Saline vs. Silicone Breast Implants
If you are considering breast augmentation surgery, one of the big decisions you’ll need to make involves choosing between silicone gel and saline implants. What are the differences, and which one is the best? Before we consider the pros and cons, let’s review the basic differences between these two types of implants:
- Saline Breast Implants contain a solid silicone shell but are filled with saline also known as physiologic solution.
- Silicone gel implants contain the same type a solid silicone shell but filled with cohesive silicone gel.
While some women claim that silicone breast implants can feel more real than saline breast implants, there are some serious health risks associated with silicone gel implants. If the silicone gel from the implant gets in the body, women can face serious health complications. Textured and tear drop shaped silicone gel implants have been associated with a rare type of Lymphoma.
According to WebMD, women with silicone breast implants should get an MRI three years after the initial surgery to check for “silent” ruptures and every two years after that to check for suspected leaks, rupture, or other problems. If the MRI discovers a leak or rupture, you’ll need to undergo surgery to have your implants removed and/or replaced. Implants are not designed to last a lifetime. So, there is always a risk that either type of implant can break. When a saline implant breaks, harmless saline solution is absorbed by the body. A break of the saline implant is immediately noticeable.
That said, breast augmentation surgery can improve your quality of life. Some women choose to undergo the surgery for reconstructive purposes after breast cancer and others choose to undergo the surgery because they have always wanted to change how their breasts look. While everyone’s reasons can vary, breast augmentation surgery can have major benefits for a person’s quality of life, confidence level and appearance.
Dr. Leonard Grossman is an extremely experienced breast implant surgeon with decades of experience working and experimenting with both saline and silicone breast implants. Research indicates that both smooth shell silicone and saline breast implants are safe. Which implant does Dr. Grossman recommend? While every woman will have to decide for herself between the pros and cons of saline vs silicone, Dr. Leonard Grossman believes that when Fat Grafting to the breasts is NOT an option, saline implant surgery when performed through the belly button (TUBA or transumbilical breast augmentation) is best. This procedure allows the breast to look natural, while also offering the safety benefits of saline implants. When a silicone breast implant is used, the size of the breast can usually be safely increased by one to two cup sizes. With the advent of TUBA, Dr. Grossman can increase the breasts to any size that is desired by the patient (as long as it is within normal parameters). Since 1996 Dr. Leonard Grossman has performed over 7,000 trans-umbilical breast augmentations. If you are thinking of getting breast implants, the plastic surgeon you choose matters just as much as which type of implant you’ll select. Choose wisely.
What Happens if my Breast Implant Ruptures?
Breast implant rupture is very rare, though it can happen. Breast implant rupture can occur if a woman suffers an injury that causes the breast implant to break within her body. Breast implants are also not designed to last forever. Over a lifetime some women may need to replace their implants.
But what happens to your body if an implant ruptures? The rupture of a silicone breast implant can be very serious. A break in a silicone breast implant might not be noticeable right away (silent rupture). While scar tissue around your implant can prevent the silicone from entering your blood stream, the scar tissue won’t prevent it in all cases. According to the Mayo Clinic, women who suffer silicone breast implant ruptures might experience soreness, swelling, or pain in the breast. They may see changes to their breast size or shape. Lumps might develop in the breast as well as in the underarms. Women who experience any of these symptoms should seek medical attention as soon as possible. While silicone hasn’t been shown to cause any diseases, women who have a leak in their silicone breast implants should seek treatment to have the implants removed or replaced. Saline leaks on the other hand are noticeable right away. The implant will deflate and the saline will be absorbed by the body.
Added Benefits of Saline Implants
One of the added benefits of saline implants is that they can be filled while they are still inside your body, allowing your plastic surgeon to achieve a more precise balance in terms of look and feel. Silicone breast implants come pre-filled. Dr. Leonard Grossman notes that saline implants have a much lower risk of capsular contracture. According to the FDA, capsular contracture is a condition where heavy scar tissue forms around the implant creating a hard feeling implant. There are several levels of severity of capsular contracture. The first level is minor and the breast still feels relatively soft and natural. The second level results in firmer breasts. In the third level, the breast may look distorted and be accompanied by tenderness. In the fourth level, the breast may be very painful and look quite distorted. Saline implants have a lower risk that you’ll need revisions to your breast augmentation surgery. When it comes to any cosmetic procedure, the skill of your surgeon matters a great deal. Saline breast implants can look and feel natural in the hands of a skilled surgeon, like Dr. Leonard Grossman. Of course, every person’s needs are unique. If you are considering undergoing breast augmentation surgery and are unsure about which kind of breast implant you should choose and which type of procedure is best for you, reach out to Dr. Leonard Grossman today. Dr. Grossman can review the pros and cons of each kind of implant and steer you in the right direction.
A recent article published on MDLinx titled ” Largest-ever study shows silicone breast implants associated with rare diseases” talks about some of these risks.
According to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, neither silicone nor saline breast implants appear to increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer. While there are other studies linking anaplastic large cell lymphoma with breast implants, the risk is very small and there appears to be a greater risk in using textured breast implants instead of smooth ones. It isn’t clear why textured implants seem to come with a greater risk. Despite this small risk, study after study finds breast implants safe. This is great news for women who have lost their breasts due to breast cancer and who are looking for reconstructive surgery options. As with any medical procedure, there are small risks of complications. This is where having a qualified breast augmentation surgeon working for you can make a difference. Dr. Leonard Grossman has performed over 7,000 transumbilical saline implant surgeries. Speak to Dr. Leonard Grossman today to learn more about your options. You can achieve the look of your dreams. Dr. Leonard Grossman is here to help.