Women seek breast implants for a variety of reasons. Enhancing naturally small breasts, correcting asymmetrical breasts, restoring breast shape after trauma, or correcting congenital abnormalities are some reasons that women consider breast augmentation. Before implants, patients and their cosmetic surgeons need to decide whether silicone or saline breast implants are the best choice.
There are several differences and similarities between these two options and a variety of things to consider before choosing the best type of implant to meet your unique needs. Dr. A.J. Khalil is an expert at helping women select the right implant for them.
Safety and Risks
If a saline implant ruptures, it will deflate and affect the breast size and shape. Surgery is required to remove a silicone implant shell, but the saline will be naturally absorbed by the body.
A silicone implant, however, can pose the risk of a “silent rupture” where the silicone from a rupture can remain trapped in the tissue around the breast, creating possible eventual pain and issues with breast shape.
Saline and silicone implants also both pose general risks such as scar tissue, breast pain, infection risk, possible changes in nipple sensation or breast sensation, or risk of implant rupture or leakage. However, there are some unique pros and cons to each implant type.
Saline Breast Implants
Saline breast implants are a popular choice for patients who are seeking breast augmentation. A silicone shell is filled with sterile water, giving the appearance of a full, round breast shape. Saline implants are available to women ages 18 or over.
Some pros to saline implants include:
- More volume
- Less scarring, because the saline implants can be inserted unfilled, requiring smaller initial incisions
- More affordable
- No need for X-ray or MRI in case of rupture
Some cons of saline implants:
- May have a stiffer or less natural feeling
- Higher risk of rippling or wrinkling
- Higher rupture rate
Silicone Breast Implants
Silicone breast implants are pre-filled before augmentation and have a natural feel. They are a common choice and are generally seen as a safe option. Silicone implants are available to women ages 22 or older, or to patients of any age for breast reconstruction procedures.
Some pros to silicone breast implants:
- FDA approved and considered to be very safe
- Create a more realistic, natural look
- Silicone implants are light so there is a lower risk of downward displacement due to gravity with this type of implant
- Less risk of rippling or wrinkling
Some cons to choosing silicone breast implants:
- Require larger incisions because they are pre-filled
- More costly
- X-ray often needed to detect rupture
Dr. Khalil can help you explore the best options for you in an individualized consultation.
How to Learn More
Dr. Khalil is happy to answer your questions about breast augmentation options. To schedule a one-on-one consultation with Dr. Khalil, or to find out more about breast augmentation surgery, please contact our office.