A Comprehensive Guide to Saline vs. Silicone Breast Implants

silicone breast implants
silicone breast implants

Today, women in all corners of the globe get breast implants to make their breasts appear fuller and bigger. They opt for this procedure for reconstructive purposes, including mastectomy for cosmetic reasons or breast cancer. Before you opt for breast augmentation in Atlanta surgical procedure, you need to need to understand every detail about the surgery, the implants, the recovery, and the possible risks.

When you consult your plastic surgeon, you will learn there are two basic types of implants they use: silicone gel and saline. You should know that saline-filled breast augmentation implants are silicone shells, which have saline (sterile salt-water) filling. During the implant operation, some implants are pre-filled.

However, silicone gel-filled breast implants are silicone gel implants that have a plastic gel (or silicone) filling in them. Although women who choose silicone gel implants say their breasts feel more natural, they may pose much more of a risk if they end up leaking. Keep in mind that both silicone and saline come in variable sizes and each one has textured or smooth shells. They both have their pros and cons, so in the end, it is all a matter of personal preference.

The Costs

The cost of breast implants all depends on the doctor, location, and the type of implants surgeons use. According to statistics from the year 2016 from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, “the average cost of the breast augmentation procedure is about $3,719.” Back in 2016, the removal of implants was about $2,506. If you are considering breast surgery, you should remember that these costs could vary.

What Happens During the Procedure?

In women, the breasts continue to develop until she reaches her early 20s, hence the FDA requires that the women who wish to go under the knife to enhance their breasts should be at least 18 years of age or older for saline-filled breast implants and about 22 years of age for silicone implants. When you choose your surgeon, you need to look a board-certified one with years of experience such as one from Crispin Plastic Surgery.

Through the help of experienced surgeons, you will be less likely to have complications later in time. You should consider a surgeon who has at least five years of training in surgery and two years of experience in the field of plastic surgery. When you meet your surgeon before the surgery, he or she will conduct a thorough medical evaluation. You can always talk about everything you want, discuss your concerns, and get the right feedback from your doctor. Before the procedure, your surgeon will probably ask you to stop the intake of certain medications weeks or days before the procedure.

Breast augmentation surgery often takes about one to two hours. They will inject you with general anesthesia, which will put you to sleep and make the procedure a painless one. Depending on the type of incisions, you and your surgeon agree upon, your surgeon will make cuts under your breasts, arms, as well as around your nipples or depending on the type of implant and enlargement.

Once the surgeon places the implants into the breast pockets, or below the chest muscle, he or she will close the cuts with medical, absorbable sutures.

Post Breast Augmentation Recovery

After the procedure, medical gauzes will cover your breasts. You will need to wear a surgical bra for the healing process. For a few days after the surgical procedure, you will also need to take it all easy. For example, you will have to stop lifting heavy objects for at least six weeks after you have the implants. During this phase, some over-the-counter painkillers such as acetaminophen may help to keep the discomfort under control. However, your surgeon may prescribe other medications for you.

Swelling and minor bruises are common for a few days to post-operation. Over time, you should be at ease because the scars will fade.

Possible Risks

  • Scarring
  • Breast pain
  • Infection
  • Changes in the nipple sensation and breast
  • Bleeding
  • Formation of scar tissues hardening and forming in areas around the implants
  • Infections
  • Issues with the shape, or size of the breasts implants (the breasts may not appear symmetrical)

In addition, it is possible for the breast implants to rupture and eventually leak. If saline breast implants rupture, the saltwater safely absorbs in the body. Silicone implants may leak and remain inside the breast implant shells or even leak outside of the breast shell.

Saline implants when they rupture deflate. However, silicone implants tend to cause no obvious symptoms at times when they rupture (silent rupture).

Maintenance of the Results

Keep in mind that breast implants do not come with the ability to last a lifetime. If you experience a change in the size or other complications, you will need revision surgery. Every three years after the surgery of the implants, women with silicone gel-filled implants will need an MRI scan. To avoid silent ruptures, it is best to have an MRI scan every two years.

If you opt for a breast augmentation surgery, this comprehensive guide should give you an insight into what you should expect. However, before you go under the knife, make sure you consult a board-certified surgeon.

Also Read: 10 Ways That Breastfeeding Can Improve a Mother’s Health