There are 2 materials of implants that are approved for use during breast augmentation in the United States: these include saline and silicone. Both of these materials have their own advantages, and which one is best depends on the needs of the patient. At our Austin, Texas, plastic surgery practice we offer both choices but silicone breast implants are the clear choice for most of our patients.
Saline implants are filled with a sterile saltwater solution. These implants are inserted empty and filled once they’re in place, this means that the average incision for a saline implant is just over one inch long. Saline implants are a simple device which means that any issues typically result in deflation. In the unlikely case of a shell defect or valve failure, the saline filling is harmless and will be naturally absorbed by the body. Saline implants are also bit less expensive than silicone, though price can vary depending on a number of factors. Saline implants have been approved for use on patients 18 and older.
Silicone implants are filled with a highly cohesive silicone gel. Modern cohesive silicone implants are sometimes called “gummy bear” implants because their gel filling has a consistency similar to gummy candy. Many people believe silicone implants create a more natural-looking appearance and feel. The feel of the implants is the primary motivation for nearly 90% of my patients to choose silicone. In case of a shell defect, the cohesive silicone filling will remain inside the breast capsule until it is surgically removed. Silicone implants have been approved for use on patients 22 and older.
The video attached to this blog post shows how form stable todays silicone implants are. As you can see the gel is not a leaky or runny substance and it returns to its prior shape after the pressure is released.
At Synergy Plastic Surgery breast surgeries are some of the most common procedures we perform. Breast implants are an excellent choice for many patients to add volume to their breasts, and breast augmentation is the most common plastic surgery procedure performed in the United States. If you are interested in finding out more about how breast enhancement could change your life please call our offices for a complimentary consultation. During your consultation you will have time to review the procedure with one of our plastic surgeons and better understand how implants could work for your specific anatomy. We also offer in office breast implant sizing using the Mentor® Sizing System which accurately depicts how breast augmentation could look for your body type. Please call our office at 512.244.1444 to schedule or send a consultation request from our website www.synergyplasticsurgery.com
-Mahlon A. Kerr, MD, FACS
Diplomat, American Board of Plastic Surgery
Member, American Society of Plastic Surgery
Fellow, American College of Surgeons