Silicone or Saline Implants?

If you are considering getting a breast augmentation, there are two types of breast implants from which you can choose: saline and silicone. Both options are FDA approved and give women a similar look. Of course, regardless of these factors, there are both pros and cons of each type of implant. Knowing the facts can help you make a better, educated decision as to whether saline or silicone is better for you.

Saline Breast Implants

Saline breast implants, which have been around since the 1960s, are made up of an outer shell made of silicone. When a woman chooses this type of implant for a breast augmentation procedure, the implant is empty when inserted and then filled with salt water. As a result of the procedure, the incision made is smaller and harder to notice. Saline implants are slightly lower in price than their silicone counterparts.

While cheaper, the saline in these breast implants is often more noticeable, both visually and physically. Women often say they feel firmer than their natural breasts. The implants may also need to be filled routinely to avoid the rippling or wrinkling effect. However, there is an alternative known as baffled saline implants, which have saline in separate areas to reduce these effects.

Saline implants are available to women 18 and older.

Silicone Breast Implants

Silicone breast implants are completely made of silicone. They have an outer case which is filled with silicone gel. These implants are available in a wide array of shapes and sizes, with some being firmer due to a unique “cohesive gel” silicone. These are commonly called “gummy bear” implants.

If you’re interested in these implants, you and your doctor can discuss whether this type is better suited for you based on the shape and size you are considering.

Silicone implants generally have a more natural look and feel, but carry risks if they rupture, as silicone can seep into the body. As a result, it’s wise to get an MRI every few years to inspect them.

Silicone implants are available to women 22 and older.

Is One Type Safer Than the Other?

Saline and silicone implants are both considered safe to get as long as you have your surgery with a board certified cosmetic or plastic surgeon who has a good reputation. At the same time, many think that saline is safer due to the saltwater, which can safely absorb in the body if you have a rupture.

There is some debate, but research has seen a connection between silicone implants and autoimmune diseases like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. If you have an autoimmune condition, you may want to avoid getting implants in general.

Some women have various medical issues stemming from what’s known as breast implant illness, or BII. Symptoms include aches and pains, chronic headache, gastrointestinal problems, and brain fog. There is also a connection between a certain type of blood cancer and some implants, which is usually detected within eight to 10 years after breast augmentation surgery. This, however, is extremely rare.

Schedule a Consultation

If you are in the Gulfport, Mississippi are and are considering breast augmentation surgery, contact Daniel Q. Richardson MD Plastic Surgery at your earliest convenience.


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