Any person undergoing breast augmentation surgery should consider the various types of implants available to achieve their goals. Specifically, asking about saline vs. silicone implants is an important step. The right doctor will talk to you about the advantages and disadvantages of each option, helping you choose which is right for you. Before you have this conversation, it helps to have a high-level understanding of the big picture differences between these two options. Read on to learn about the different look and feel, as well as associated safety risks, for saline and silicone implants.
A quick definition of saline and silicone implants
As mentioned, there are two different options for breast implants available in the United States: saline and silicone. Saline implants are made of silicone shells that are filled with sterilized saltwater. In some cases, saline implants are pre-filled. However, some are filled during breast implant surgery. Silicone implants, on the other hand, are silicone shells that are pre-filled with a gel made of plastic (silicone).
Both options come in different shapes and textures. This helps you achieve your specific body goals and surgical outcome.
Saline vs. silicone implants: look & feel
When it comes to the look and feel of saline vs. silicone implants, there are significant differences. Most people believe that silicone implants look and feel more like natural breasts. This is due to the texture of the gel in the implant.
What is the cost difference between implant types?
The cost of breast implants is based on a number of different variables. This includes the following.
- Doctor fees
- Type of implant used
Generally, the manufacturers of breast implants charge slightly more for silicone implants. As a result, breast augmentation using silicone implants is slightly more expensive. The post-surgery costs of breast augmentation using silicone implants will also likely be more expensive. This is because doctors recommend more frequent follow-up appointments and the FDA recommends regular MRIs to detect any silent ruptures that may occur.
It’s important to note that health insurance typically does not cover the cost of breast augmentation.
Saline vs. silicone implants: safety & risk factors
The following risks are associated with both saline and silicone implants.
- Breast pain
- Scar tissue that distorts the shape of the breast implant (capsular contracture)
- Changes in nipple and breast sensation
- Implant leakage or rupture
To fix any of the above complications, additional surgery might be required. The surgeon will recommend to either remove or replace the implants.
What happens if my implant ruptures?
All breast implants are not intended to last an entire lifetime. As a result, revision surgery might be necessary at some point. The approach to fixing a ruptured implant will vary depending on the type of implant and the person’s individual health.
Ruptured saline implant – A ruptured saline implant will deflate, causing the affected breast to shrink in size and change the shape. Saline poses no health risks to the body and will be absorbed naturally. However, surgery will be necessary to remove the silicone shell and to replace your implant.
Ruptured silicone implant – A ruptured silicone implant is difficult to detect. Due to the texture of the gel, free silicone is likely to remain trapped in the capsule that forms around the implant after surgery. A ruptured silicone implant may eventually result in breast pain or changes in breast shape. As previously stated, regular MRIs are recommended by the FDA to detect the presence of leak or rupture. Surgery will be necessary to remove the implant shell and leaking silicone.
An experienced breast augmentation plastic surgeon in New Jersey
Anyone who is considering breast augmentation surgery should seek a board-certified plastic surgeon. Your surgeon should make you feel comfortable and discuss the decision of saline vs. silicone implants with you. The right doctor will explain which types of implants are better suited for your specific needs. Dr. Berlet has been practicing plastic surgery in northern New Jersey for over 20 years. He helped hundreds of patients determine the best path to achieve their goals. To learn more about breast augmentation surgery and which type of implants are right for you, contact us!