Saline Vs. Silicone Breast Implants

When choosing to undergo breast augmentation surgery, it is necessary for all patients to thoroughly research the available types of breast implants. Saline-filled breast implants and silicone-filled breast implants are available for patients to choose from prior to breast augmentation surgery with Dr. Poser. Certain aspects, such as the patient’s age, the desired aesthetic, and the results from the consultation should be considered when determining the ideal breast implant. Additionally, for any patients needing or desiring to undergo breast revision surgery, breast reconstruction or a mommy makeover, Dr. Poser will assist patients in choosing the breast implant type. If you would like more information from our Gainesville plastic surgeon regarding breast implants, contact Poser Plastic Surgery Center.

Saline-Filled Breast Implants

Saline breast implants are comprised of a silicone shell filled with sterile saline (salt water). The outer silicone shell may either be filled prior to or filled during the operation to accommodate any adjustments to implant size during the procedure. Saline-filled breast implants are available in a variety of sizes and multiple shapes.

Advantages Of Saline Breast Implants

Patients who choose saline breast implants have the ability to make minor adjustments to implant size during augmentation. While the majority of patients choose their breast implant size during the consultation, any necessary adjustments to the saline implant may be performed during the breast implant procedure. In the event that a saline implant develops a leak or ruptures, the patient will immediately notice as the saline will be released from the shell and enter into the body. Saline from a leaking implant will expel and naturally absorb within the body, preventing the occurrence of infection or other immediate issues.

Disadvantages Of Saline Breast Implants

Saline breast implants are among the first types of implants used within breast augmentation surgery — despite their popularity, they may not be suitable for every patient. Depending on your desired aesthetic, saline breast implants may not look as natural as the appearance of silicone gel-filled breast implants or cohesive gel implants. Saline breast implants provide patients with a breast shape that is rounded on the top and they also typically feel firmer than silicone implants. In contrast with gummy bear and silicone implants, saline implants may pose an increased risk of “bottoming out” due to implant weight.

Am I A Good Candidate For Saline Breast Implants?

Breast augmentation is a viable option for the majority of healthy women. Patients who choose saline-filled breast implants must be at least 18 years of age and in an otherwise healthy condition. Saline implants are available for breast augmentation, breast revision, and breast reconstruction. To adequately determine your eligibility for breast surgery with saline-filled implants, contact us to schedule a consultation with Dr. Poser.

Silicone Breast Implants

Silicone breast implants share the same plastic outer shell as saline-filled implants, but they are filled with a silicone gel instead of salt water. The outer shell may be smooth or textured. Silicone implants are very popular due to the manner in which the gel acts and feels, mimicking the feel and look of natural breast tissue more closely than saline breast implants.

Advantages Of Silicone Breast Implants

Silicone-filled breast implants offer patients a more natural breast feel and appearance than with other types of implants, as the silicone implant slopes downward instead of sitting upright within the breast cavity and the surrounding tissue, as with saline-filled breast implants. The softer feel of the silicone breast implant also closely resembles fatty breast tissue, which appeals to patients who seek cosmetic surgery solutions to achieve a naturally appearing bust with greater breast volume. What's more, silicone breast implants are less susceptible to rippling skin in comparison with saline breast implants.

Disadvantages Of Silicone Breast Implants

Patients who choose a silicone breast implant require a longer incision due to the implant’s pre-filled nature — silicone implant size cannot be adjusted during the procedure as with saline implants. We highly recommend our patients have MRIs performed on a regular basis to ensure that the implant is not leaking or has not ruptured as silicone-gel may be harmful to the body if absorbed due to a leak. Patients may have a difficult time detecting an implant malfunction, as a leak is not always visibly apparent and the thick silicone shell may disguise the leak.

Am I A Good Candidate For Silicone Breast Implants?

Patients in good health and those who are at least 22 years of age are able to undergo breast augmentation using silicone breast implants. Silicone implants are available for breast augmentation, breast revision, and breast reconstruction, among other procedures. To adequately determine your eligibility for breast surgery with silicone-filled implants, contact our office to schedule a consultation with Dr. Poser today.

How Long Do Breast Implants Last?

The majority of saline-filled breast implants and silicone-filled breast implants last between 10 – 15 years. However, the longevity of a patient’s implants is highly dependant upon a number of different factors, such as the initial augmentation surgery, the degree of post-surgical care, and any trauma to the breast following the procedure, and the overall health of the patient, among other factors.

Choosing The Type Of Breast Implant

During the consultation, Dr. Poser will conduct a thorough examination and discuss with the patient their aesthetic goals for cosmetic surgery. Based on the patient's body type, the overall health, the current amount of breast tissue, the size of the chest wall, and the specific breast goals, saline, silicone or another type of breast implant may be recommended by Dr. Poser.

How Long Is The Recovery Process For Breast Implants?

Regardless of whether you received saline-filled implants or silicone-filled implants, the recovery time will be similar with both types of implants. After surgery, your breasts will be wrapped in gauze and you may choose to use a supportive bra to ease discomfort. Patients typically recovery for an hour as anesthesia subsides. All patients receive post-operative care instructions upon discharge, pain medication or antibiotics may be prescribed. You will also be given a date to return to our surgical center to check on your healing. Most patients may resume normal activities after one week. Full recovery typically takes six weeks or more, depending on a number of factors specific to the patient and the chosen procedure.

Are There Risks Involved with Breast Implants?

Both types of Gainesville breast implants can present similar risks related to the procedure or the implant itself. The most common risks include the following.

  • Breast Pain: following breast implant surgery, the breasts will likely be sore and tender. Prolonged pain could be a sign of more serious issues. If this occurs, contact Dr. Poser immediately.
  • Infection: The most common symptoms of infection are increased pain, swelling, redness, and fever. Note that it is not necessary that all symptoms of infection are experienced for an infection to be present.
  • Ruptures & Leakage: Breast implants that rupture or leak may either be easily detected or it may be undetected. Regularly scheduled breast examinations will serve to ensure any ruptures are quickly remediated.
  • Capsular Contracture: Capsular contracture is experienced when a buildup of scar tissue near the implants occur, which causes significant breast tissue pain. Dr. Poser will provide instructions to prevent this issue.
  • Possible Loss Of Breast & Nipple Sensation: A temporary side effect of the procedure, but prolonged symptoms may indicate nerve damage, in which case the sensation may be lost for a number of years.

What Happens If My Breast Implants Rupture?

If your silicone breast implants rupture, you may not immediately notice because the rupture becomes trapped in the fibrous breast tissue that surrounds the implant. Commonly known as a silent rupture, this encased silicone does is not proven to cause breast-related health issues such as cancer, disease or arthritis. However, you may experience pain over time and it is possible your breasts will change shape. We often recommend surgical removal of the damaged implant, where you may receive a new implant during the same procedure.

When saline breast implants rupture, patients usually notice the breasts sagging, becoming smaller or changing shape. The leaked saline will be absorbed into the body and it does not pose a risk to your health — saline is just sterile salt water. We often recommend surgery to remove the outer shell of deflated saline implants, and we can replace the implant at the time. Implant deflation is the leading reason patients undergo implant revision surgery.