For decades, women have sought ways to improve upon their looks, from facelifts to tummy tucks to breast enlargements. In fact, the first breast augmentation efforts date back to the 1890s! Today, breast enhancement surgery is one of the most commonly performed plastic surgery procedures, offering women the benefits of improved self image and natural looking breasts. There are numerous advantages to breast augmentation. In addition to a boost in self confidence, breast implants allow for women with asymmetrical breasts to balance out the difference in size and also for reconstruction after mastectomy.
One of the most commonly asked questions is: saline or silicone? There is a lot of discussion on this topic, as silicone implants became available again in 2006 after a 14-year ban in the U.S.With increased safety and reliability, silicone gel implants were made available as an option. According to Plastic Surgery Practice, 90% of implants outside of theU.S. are silicone. In fact, since becoming available again six years ago, silicone gel-filled implants are becoming the more popular choice for women undergoing breast augmentation, actually surpassing saline in terms of popularity in 2010.
So, how do the two types differ? The outer shell of both silicone and saline implants is made of a solid silicone material, according to Breastimplantsafety.org. Saline-filled implants are filled with salt water (similar to that used in I.V. fluids). Silicone gel implants are made from a semi-solid silicone gel. There are risks associated with both types of implants, but there are advantages as well. Silicone implants are claimed to look and feel more natural than saline implants. However, unlike silicone implants, the size of saline implants can be altered since they feature small valves in which a doctor can insert a needle and add or subtract liquid. And, ruptures are easier to detect with saline implants. Whichever you choose, be sure to discuss with your doctor before surgery.
On the Breast Augmentation page of our website, you will find valuable information on considerations when electing to have plastic surgery. From common misconceptions to information about the type or shape of implants, make sure you educate yourself on any procedure before opting for surgery. Dr. Martin is available to answer any questions you might have during your consultation as well.
Check out our Before/After gallery for additional information on breast augmentation (silicone and saline), as well as other breast procedures available at Kurtis Martin, MD Plastic Surgery, including breast lift, breast liposuction, breast reduction and breast revision.