If you’re considering breast implants whether for a breast reconstruction or augmentation, you will most likely have to make the decision between silicone or saline implants. Even though saline implants are typically less expensive than silicone, it\’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each before making the final decision. Here are the basics to help get you started:
Silicone gel implants are popular with many people because they are considered to look and feel more realistic, as silicone gel is more similar to feel of human fat than saline is. Another big advantage of silicone implants is that they are much lighter than saline implants, or in other words, gravity doesn’t have as much of an effect on them. Many women also prefer silicone because it can be placed over the muscle tissue in the breast without looking unrealistic.
One of the biggest concerns of silicone implants is the risk of ruptures and dangers that can come from silicone leaking into the scar cavity in the breast. If a silicone implant ruptures, it’s usually not noticeable without a physical exam or MRI. Another disadvantage is silicone implants is that they produce bigger scars as a result of the surgery. Because the implants are pre-manufactured, incisions have to be long enough for them to fit through, which some women consider unsightly.
Perhaps the biggest advantage of saline implants is the fact that the lasting procedure scars are much smaller than those required for saline implants. In facts, scars from saline implants can almost be unnoticeable depending on where the incision is made. Though the outer shell of the implant is made of silicone, it can be inserted into the breast while deflated, and then filled with the saline solution (which is basically just a mixture of water and salt) after insertion. This procedure allows doctors to make the small incisions for the implant discretely under the breast, in the underarms, or even in the belly button. Another benefit of saline implants is the lessened risk of complications due to rupturing or leaking. Saline is not harmful to the body, and if implants leak or rupture, the saline will seep into the circulatory system.
Saline implants simply don’t have the aesthetic advantages that silicone implants do. As mentioned previously, saline does weigh more than silicone, so saline implants are more prone to the effects of gravity on the breasts over time. They are also unpopular with thin women who don’t have a lot of breast tissue, as saline implants can ripple and look unrealistic.
Erika Potter is a freelance writer for Utah Cosmetic Surgery, one of the leading providers of expert breast implants in Utah. They also offer a variety of other cosmetic procedures, including liposuction, face lifts, laser hair removal, and more.