Choosing to undergo breast augmentation is a personal decision that’s also personalized with a wide range of options. Depending on your body and appearance preferences, you can choose breast size, surgical approach, and more. Perhaps the biggest question when considering implants is which type to choose, saline or silicone.
Your first choice, though, should be discussing your options with a qualified and experienced cosmetic team such as at Diamond Surgical Institute in Encino. Dr. Roya Dardashti and her staff can help you navigate the variables that make your breast enhancement a success.
Saline versus silicone
Though the two types of breast implants seem to represent two different materials, their names actually refer to the filling.
While saline implants get filled with a sterile water solution, the outer shell is made of silicone. These sacs are inserted empty. Once in place, the sacs are filled with saline solution. This gives some flexibility over the final size, since saline can be added or removed.
Because of the nature of the water-based filling, rippling or movement may be noticeable. Saline implants with internal baffles can minimize this effect, and sometimes additional saline reduces the problem too. Often, the scar needed to place a saline implant is smaller than that required for a silicone implant of similar size. Saline implants are usually the more affordable solution.
Silicone implants have a viscous silicone filling. Many patients think that means a silicone implant more closely matches natural breast tissue. However, natural tissue varies widely, so your experience may be unique, though the silicone used for implants does closely mimic the feeling of human fat.
Silicone implants can be round or shaped, smooth or bumpy, each type with its own advantages and drawbacks. For breast augmentation purposes, silicone implants are recommended only for women over the age of 22. When silicone implants are used for breast reconstruction, the recommended age is 18, which is also the recommended age for saline implants for either purpose.
Both types of implants are approved by the Food and Drug Administration for breast augmentation. Breast implants are safe when your surgery is performed by a reputable surgeon, like Dr. Dardashti. While the risk of complications is low, both types of implants have similar risks. These complications can include:
- Breast pain or discomfort
- Capsular contracture, a distortion of implant shape due to scar tissue
- Changes in breast or nipple sensation, which may or may not be temporary
- Infection (common to any surgery)
- Implant rupture
While silicone is medically inert for most people, there are some evidence that may associate silicone implants with certain autoimmune disorders. People with these may be advised to sidestep breast augmentation since both types of implants introduce silicone into the body.
When an implant ruptures
Saline solution is easily absorbed and flushed from the body if it escapes the implant shell. You’ll notice that breast volume decreases, reducing shape and size. The saline won’t affect your health, but you’ll likely need surgery to remove and replace the leaky implant.
A ruptured silicone implant may not be obvious immediately, since silicone tends to remain in place, captured by a fibrous tissue that forms around each implant. There’s no conclusive evidence that silicone causes other health issues, but long-term effects can include breast pain, changes to the shape or size of the implant, and thickening of breast tissue.
There’s much to consider when you decide on breast augmentation. Contact Diamond Surgical Institute to arrange your initial consultation by calling 818-528-2559, or by booking online. Dr. Dardashti and the team will make your experience as trouble-free as possible.