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Everything you need to Know about Silicone Implants
Breast Augmentation

Everything you need to Know about Silicone Implants

Written by
Juli Albright
Updated
Juli is our patient advocate and community connection. She balances work, life and family with grace.
Juli is our patient advocate and community connection. She balances work, life and family with grace.

Everything You Need to Know About Silicone Implants

Do you want to increase the volume of your breasts? Or do you want to make them look a little fuller?

In that case, you will need to opt for breast augmentation surgery. But before that, you need to learn about the basics of breast augmentation surgery. Plus, you should also know the difference between silicone and saline implants. So, read the article further to get a clear idea.

Saline and Silicone Breast Implants: What’s the Difference?

When it comes to the breast implants' outer shell, silicone and saline implants have the same material, i.e., silicone. This is the only similarity between these implants. However, the implants have a different consistency and filler material.

Here is what you need to learn about these breast implants.

Saline Breast Implants

Saline breast implants have a sterile saltwater filling. The surgeon inserts the empty shell and then fills them with saline solution after placing them in your breast.

Moreover, any woman 18 years of age or above can choose these implants for breast augmentation. Besides that, women of any age can opt for this implant material for breast reconstruction.

Silicone Breast Implants

Silicone breast implants are already filled with silicone gel before getting inserted into your body. The silicone gel is a sticky and thick fluid that looks similar to human fat. People believe that these breast implants feel and look similar to the natural breast tissues.

Any woman aged 22 or older can opt for silicone breast implants for breast augmentation. Plus, these implants are available for women of any age in case of breast reconstruction.

What are the Risks of Breast Implants?

Like any other cosmetic method and surgery, both silicone and saline breast implants have some risks. The following are some of the problems that can occur.

·      Breast pain

·      Scar tissues that deform the shape of the breast implants, known as capsular contracture

·      Infection

·      Implant rupture and leakage

·      Changes in breast and nipple sensation, mostly temporary

All of these problems need further surgeries for breast correction. Your surgeon will suggest surgery to either replace or remove your breast implants, whether it's silicone or saline.

Besides that, in some types of breast implants, there are a few percent chances of developing a form of cancer commonly known as breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL). Implants that have textured polyurethane and silicone outer shells are more prone to this health condition. Furthermore, this type of cancer usually develops in the breast tissues, but it is not breast cancer. You may require treatment with chemotherapy and surgery radiation.

What Happens if a Breast Implant Ruptures?

If your implants rupture, the surgeon will decide the treatment according to your type of implant. Here are the options you will have for the treatment of these implants.

Saline Implant

Incase of a rupture in a saline implant, your breast implants deflate, which causes your affected breast to change its shape and size.

After the rupture, your breast will start to absorb the saline solution without causing you any health risks. However, you will need surgery to eliminate the silicone shell from your body. If you want, you can ask your surgeon to insert a new implant in your breast at the same time.

Silicone Implant

If your silicone implant gets ruptured, there is a high chance that you may not observe it in the beginning or maybe ever. This is because the free silicone gets trapped in the fibrous tissue (capsule) of your body that is present around the implant. This leads to a condition known as silent implants.

The silicone gel leakage doesn't cause health conditions, such as reproductive problems, breast cancer, or rheumatoid arthritis. However, a ruptured silicone implant may cause extreme breast pain. It may also lead to changes in the shape or contour of the breast and its thickness.

If it happens, your surgeon will suggest you remove the implant. Apart from this, if you want a new implant inserted in your breast, your doctor can insert it at the same time.

Silicone vs.Saline Implants: How to Choose between Them?

Several factors can help you decide which one is better for you. You can compare both the implants in the following ways. We have mentioned some of the most common differences that you need to consider before choosing one of them.

Cost

The cost can greatly vary from doctor to doctor, depending on your preferences and some other factors. However, the silicone implants may have a bit higher price than the saline implants because of their different composition. But that should not be the only consideration when you are choosing the implants. It’s best to sit with your cosmetic surgeon and discuss with them which is a better option for you.

Natural Thin-Chest

This is another factor that impacts your decision to choose the breast implant for your breast augmentation. If you have a naturally thin chest or have a low amount of natural breast tissue, the saline implants are not great for you. In that case, you should go for silicone implants. This is because the saline implants can cause a ripple that surrounds the edges. In most cases, this rippling is not noticeable. But the chances of visibility increase in the women who have a thin chest. You can even observe the rippling through the skin.

Age

Age is a vital factor to consider. If you want to opt for silicone implants, you will have to wait to turn 22 years. But if you are in a hurry, you can go for saline implants.

Will the Doctor Monitor Breast Implants?

Yes, saline and silicone implants have a significant difference. But both methods are safe for breast reconstruction and breast augmentation. When it comes to your surgery, the plastic surgeon will be monitoring you after the surgery before they allow you to leave for home.

Factors You Need to Consider before Choosing any Breast Implant

We have discussed all the basics of breast implants. You may already know which one will work for you. But still, there are some things that you need to think about before choosing the surgery. Not only do you have to think about your changes, but also:

Sagging

This is vital to understand that breast implants, whether silicone or saline, don't prevent your breast from sagging. If you want to correct your sagging breast, you also need to opt for breast lift surgery with breast augmentation. Your surgeon can carry both of these procedures at the same time.

Lifetime Guarantee

Breast implants don't come with a lifetime guarantee. You may also need to know that around 20% of the women with breast implants surgery have to remove their implants within ten years of the surgery.

Another crucial fact, your breast will keep changing after the surgery. Several factors can change your breast appearances, such as weight loss or gain. If any of these problems occur, you may have to go through another surgery.

Mammograms

If you go for a regular mammogram, you will need specialized views because of the breast implants. So, when you go for the mammogram, you need to tell your radiologist about your breast implants. This way, they can check your implants to pinpoint any developing problem.

MRI Scan

The Food and Drug Administration suggests you go for routine monitoring through MRI or ultrasounds after five to six years of the surgery and after two to three years afterward. But some studies have shown that there is no evidence that routine screening can help you unless you have symptoms.

Breast Feeding

You also need to understand that not every woman can breastfeed their babies after the surgery. Some may face problems during breastfeeding or may not be able to doit at all.

Insurance

This is important to understand that insurance doesn't give you coverage for your breast implants. Your insurance company only covers the treatment if it is medically important. For instance, you may need an implant reconstruction after the mastectomy for breast cancer. In short, breast augmentation is a cosmetic method that insurance organizations will not cover for you. So, be ready to deal with all the expenses of breast augmentation surgery, which also includes the related treatment and surgeries, and imaging tests.

Bottom Line

Depending on your body type, anatomy, and other factors, your plastic surgeon will suggest the best type of implant for you. They will help you make the best choice, whether it’s saline or silicone breast implants. But before making any decision, discuss your concerns about the surgery or a specific implant. They will help you find the answers to your questions.

Alamo Plastic Surgery is offers breast augmentation in San Antonio.

Written by
Juli Albright
Updated

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