For women choosing breast implants the biggest dilemma after choosing the size is whether to go with saline or silicone implants. It is important to know that both types are safe and approved by the FDA. The “supposed” problem of collagen diseases associated with silicone implants back in the early nineties has been disproven by multi-discipline and multi-institutional studies. Having prefaced this information we can now turn our attention to the pros and cons of each type of implant.
Saline implants have many advantages. The incision is smaller because the implant is inflated inside the chest cavity. The incidence of capsule formation or hardness is lower. If there is a discrepancy in size between the 2 breasts it is easier to correct the size difference because the implants are being inflated at the time of surgery and can allow for over-inflation. If there is a leakage it is only saline which is easily eliminated by the body and doesn’t accumulate in the chest cavity as free silicone gel which is messier to remove. Saline implants are also cheaper.
The disadvantages include: less natural feel because they are essentially water bags, and increased rippling (the feeling of little bubbles).
Silicone implants have as their main advantage a more natural feel because their consistency is a gel and not saline which is like water. The disadvantages include: requiring a larger incision because they come pre-filled, higher incidence of capsule formation, less knowledge of their long term effect, and they are more expensive.
What is important to note is that the “look” of the breasts is not affected whether the implants are saline or silicone. As a rule of thumb if the pre-operative breast size is very small ( i.e. not even an A cup) silicone implants are preferred for the feel. If the breasts are at least a full A either saline or silicone should give a good result.
Visit our New York City office for a consultation to learn more about saline and silicone breast implants and which might be the right choice for your breast implant surgery.