Now that women can choose from saline and silicone, the biggest question is, “Which one is right for me?” Through careful consideration of your personal desires, as well as discussion with your surgeon, the decision may be easier than you think.
Saline implants are filled with sterile salt water that can be safely and naturally absorbed by the body in the event of a leak. These implants can be prefilled, or filled at the time they are inserted.
Saline implants filled at the time they are placed require smaller incisions, and can be adjusted if one breast needs slightly more augmentation than the other. Dr. Marschall needs full attribution here explains, “It’s also easier to monitor the integrity of a saline implant shell: If they leak, they go flat, and you know where you stand.”
Saline implants are more prone to rippling that can be seen and felt, and they may feel firmer than natural breast tissue, especially if they are filled to capacity.
Now available for women over the age of 22, silicone gel implants have come a long way from their predecessors, and are considered a safe and effective option for breast enhancement. New York plastic surgeon Sharon Giese, MD says, “More patients are coming in requesting silicone, and I’d say the vast majority of first-time augmentation patients in my practice get gel implants.” Across the country, currently, there are still more saline implants used than silicone.
Patients and surgeons report that silicone offers a more natural look and feel. They may also be more appropriate for very thin patients, since silicone conforms better to the natural shape of the body.
Due to the nature of silicone, if an implant ruptures, you may not know. Silicone implants are also prefilled, so they require slightly larger incisions to insert. Silicone implants are more expensive than saline implants.
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