Patients often ask about the benefits of saline or silicone breast implants. Let’s discover a few differences about each:
Saline breast implants are filled with saline, which is sterile salt water. If a saline implant gets a hole or a “rupture” it will deflate (sometimes slowly over several weeks) because your body will simply absorb the leaking salt water. This is harmless, as your body has salt water throughout it. Some patients find this an advantage in the sense that she will know if there is a leak, because the implant will deflate. Others find this a disadvantage, as the thought of one of their breasts deflating, perhaps while out of town and unable to address it quickly, is disturbing.
Another potential disadvantage to saline implants is the possibility of “rippling.” Rippling refers to seeing the edges of the implant through the skin. This can happen more often with saline implants and is more of an issue in a woman with thin skin and/or very little of her own breast tissue to help conceal the implant. This also means that you are more likely to feel a saline implant through the skin.
Silicone has become the preferred implant type for most patients. The newest versions available are made of a very cohesive gel, meaning that the silicone is more like a solid inside the implant (some think of a Gummy Bear or Jello). Why is that important? It means that the silicone wont’ leak out like a syrup if the implant shell were to get an injury or “rupture.” The caveat of this is that you may not know if your silicone implant has an injury to the shell without getting a breast MRI. For this reason, your surgeon will talk to you about the FDA surveillance recommendations at your consultation.
Another potential advantage to silicone implants is that there is less chance of rippling and the implant is typically more difficult to feel. Most patients and surgeons agree that a silicone implant will typically feel and look more “natural.”
There are a few more differences between the two, your surgeon at Synergy Plastic Surgery will be sure to review all of these with you so that you are completely comfortable with your choice. The important thing to remember is that both options are safe and you can achieve great results with either!