You have already made a big decision by choosing to have breast augmentation — or maybe you find yourself close to a decision, but the question “saline or silicone?” has got you stumped. Many thousands of women elect breast augmentation every year and enjoy great results, so don’t worry — you will find the right answer. Consider these key facts about the primary types of breast implants currently available, and decide which benefits outweigh the drawbacks for you.
Saline, the original breast implant
All breast implants used to contain saline. Saline seems like an obvious choice for breast implants because it provides volume, fluidity and, if ruptured, safety — the body will readily absorb saline with few adverse effects. Saline has also proven itself safe over the last 50 years when you consider incidence of rupture, which remains extremely low. Add to this the fact that saline implants cost less than their silicone rivals, and you have an excellent choice for most women.
However, saline implants tend to feel more firm than silicone implants. Also, women concerned with rippling or wrinkling will find that saline implants tend to suffer from this more than silicone implants do — although, silicone implants will also exhibit this problem to some degree. Another factor to consider, your doctor can insert saline implants partially filled then fill them completely once placed, which means a smaller incision. Saline implants, unlike silicone implants, will immediately deflate if ruptured, however, requiring a subsequent procedure.
Silicone — is newer always better?
Silicone implants tend to feel softer to most women, and some women will pay the extra cost for this reason. Since silicone implants do not come partially filled, surgeons must make a larger incision in order to insert the implant into the woman’s breast pocket. Once in place, and if ruptured, the body will not absorb silicone fluid. In some instances, a woman may not even realise that her implant has ruptured because the silicone will stay in place and not travel for some time.
Silicone implants also give you additional options. Silicone implants come in smooth or textured shells. Textured shells help the implant stay in position, but pose some additional risk, such as a greater likelihood of capsular contracture. Additionally, silicone “gummy bear” implants offer women an even softer implant which also retains its shape inside and outside the body — even if cut in two! — but at a higher price point. Women and physicians both debate, however, whether one can really tell if you have a shaped or non-shaped implant once inserted.
So do I choose a saline or silicone implant?
For many women, the choice of implant type comes down to feel. While size does play a factor in implant choice, both implant styles come in enough sizes to satisfy most women. Other considerations, such as the appearance of side cleavage, may sway women towards one option or another — silicone implants may present better in this regard — but both implants perform quite similarly. When the final choice arrives, trust your instincts and your doctor. Your specialist plastic surgeon will have a wealth of additional information based on his training and experience, and he can recommend what will work best specifically for your body and your needs.
Do you still have questions? Call Dr Morris Ritz on (03) 8692 5566 and schedule an in-person consultation. Dr Ritz will evaluate your areas of concern, take note of your goals and offer a surgical plan best suited to the uniqueness of your situation.