Get the facts to help you choose the right type of breast implant for you.Are you interested in enhancing the look of your breasts? Maybe you have never been satisfied with the size of your breasts, maybe you want to restore a firm, perky look after having kids, or maybe you need reconstruction following a battle with breast cancer. In any case, you will probably be considering the two main types of breast implants, silicone and saline. While the final decision should be made in consultation with your cosmetic surgeon, here is some information to guide you.
Silicone Breast Implants
- Construction: Silicone breast implants consist of a silicone rubber shell filled with silicone gel.
- Appearance & Feel: Many people find silicone gel mimics the feel of natural breast tissue better than saline. Silicone can provide a perky appearance even in very large implant sizes because it is light and resists sagging. However, inserting a silicone implant requires a larger incision and therefore may leave a larger scar.
- Safety: The safety of silicone breast implants has been the subject of some controversy over the years. Besides the risks inherent in any surgical procedure, one highly-publicized risk of a breast implant is a rupture. In the case of a silicone breast implant, ruptures or leaks can be hard to detect, and some people feared that exposure to the gel could cause serious health problems. Silicone implants were actually taken off the market in the US for a number of years while their safety was investigated. Following re-approval by the FDA, the new types of silicone implants included new and improved safety features such as an extra layer around the silicone gel to help prevent leaks and a reformulated gel to help prevent capsular contraction in the event of a rupture.
- Cost: Silicone implants typically cost $900 to $1,000 more than saline implants.
Saline Breast Implants
- Construction: Saline breast implants also feature a silicone rubber shell. They are inserted empty and then filled with a sterile saline solution once inside the breast. Saline implants come in fixed and adjustable volume models.
- Appearance & Feel: Saline breast implants provide a natural look with much less risk of scarring. However, in larger sizes there may be some tendency to sag since water is heavier than silicone gel. Saline breast implants feel the most natural in women who already have a good amount of breast tissue to cover them.
- Safety: Saline implants are widely regarded as safer than silicone implants because if they leak or rupture, the saline will simply be absorbed into the body and disappear. Implant replacement is then very easy because only the shell must be removed.
- Cost: Saline implants typically cost $900 to $1,000 less than silicone implants.
Of course, depending on your needs you may also want to consider other methods of improving the look of your breasts, such as fat transfer to the breast or a breast lift. Schedule a free consultation with Dr. Mirrafati to learn more about all your options for breast implants.