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Saline vs. Silicone Breast Implants

BREAST IMPLANTS

There are many types of FDA approved breast implants available to women that can be used in breast augmentation and breast reconstruction.  Dr. Michael Nagy at Plastic Surgery of the Face & Body in Wall, NJ is highly experienced in breast surgeries-and will consult with you to identify what breast implant type will get you the look you desire.   No matter what you are looking for, there are more choices than ever when it comes to implant type, size and style.  During your consultation, Dr. Nagy will discuss these options with you so you can make an educated choice about what breast implant type is best for you.  Once you have a general understanding of the breast implant procedure, you are ready to explore your breast implant options. The implant type you choose directly affects your final look.

BREAST IMPLANT TYPES- SALINE AND SILICONE

Saline Implants

Saline implants are filled with saline (sterile salt water) the same liquid used in IV bags given to patients who need fluid replenishment.  Saline-filled implants come in different sizes and have either smooth or textured shells. The FDA approved saline-filled breast implants for breast augmentation in women age 18 or older and for breast reconstruction in women of any age.  A new type of saline implant, the IDEAL IMPLANT®, has an internal structure to make it behave as if filled with silicone gel. The IDEAL IMPLANT® contains a series of nested shells that provide support to the edges and control fluid movement to prevent bouncing. The result is an implant that combines the key features and benefits of both saline and silicone gel implants.  

Though a rupture is not common, when a rupture or a leak in a saline breast implant occurs, the saline fluid is simply reabsorbed by the body and the implant deflates, creating a change in the size and appearance of the breast.  Deflation is not a health concern or an emergency, but most women who experience deflation desire to replace the deflated implants as soon as possible to restore their appearance.

Silicone Implants

Silicone breast implants are filled with medical grade silicone. They are FDA approved, after many years of study and evaluation and have been proven to be safe.   Silicone is thicker and more viscous than salt water, and acts and feels more like natural breast tissue.  Silicone breast implants come in different styles and sizes, and can have either a smooth or textured shell.  In recent years, a modified version of silicone, known as “form-stable silicone,” has become popular.  Nicknamed “gummy bear implants,” these are even more likely to stay intact in the case of a rupture – though routine check-ups are still recommended.

Silicone implants may rupture also, but is not as obvious since silicone is not absorbed like saline implants. In order to detect a ruptured silicone-filled implant, women need to have a special screening by MRI or ultrasound that detects if the implant has ruptured.  It is recommended that women get regularly scheduled check-ups throughout the life of their implant in order to ensure its ongoing proper function. 

Implant manufacturers offer many styles and types of breast implants, so there are multiple options available to customize your look that best suits your lifestyle and body.  We encourage you to discuss any concerns and expectations with Dr. Nagy so you are comfortable with your choice of implant for your surgery.  Whether you choose saline or silicone implants, it is important for you to monitor your breast implants and follow-up with your plastic surgeon for appropriate checkups. 

Implant Recall 2019

As reported in the news, textured breast implants have been associated with a rare type of lymphoma (cancer of the immune system) called Breast Implant Associated Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma (BIA-ALCL). This lymphoma is so rare that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not recommend that textured implants be removed or replaced in those without symptoms of BIA-ALCL.

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