By Dr. Adam Saad
Breast augmentation is one of the most common cosmetic surgery procedures performed in the world today. The surgery is done by placing a breast implant under the breast and/or chest muscle to add volume to the breast. There are two main types of implants offered in the USA today. Both use an outer silicone shell. One is prefilled with silicone gel and one is filled during the surgery with saline (salt water).
When considering a breast augmentation, it is important for you to decide which type of implant would work the best for you. Often times people are biased based on what type their friends have had or what they hear on the news. Therefore, I think it is important to tell you the differences between both options from a surgeon’s standpoint. Each plastic surgeon is subject to his or her own biases, but there are some undeniable differences between the two implants.
No matter which manufacturer your plastic surgeon uses, silicone implants come prefilled at different volumes. This size will usually be pre-selected by you and your plastic surgeon prior to surgery. The feel of the implant is very close to that of natural tissue. It does not have the rippling that can be seen with saline-filled implants. The silicone implants are slightly more expensive. If they rupture it can be more difficult to detect since the silicone is not absorbed by the body. Much was made about silicone causing autoimmune diseases in the 1990s. However, several large studies have shown this is not the case, and these implants are FDA approved for cosmetic augmentation. Silicone implants are as safe as saline.
Saline implants are not pre-filled. They come as an empty shell that is placed in the pocket created behind the breast. This allows us to make a smaller incision and (thus a smaller scar) to get the implant in. In addition, they can also be placed via the axilla (armpit) or umbilicus (belly button). Once in place we fill them with saline. The exact amount of saline can be adjusted which allows for fine tuning at the time of surgery. They are slightly cheaper than silicone and if they rupture the saline is absorbed back into your body. Since they are filled with water the feel is less like natural tissue. In addition, there can be rippling of the implant that may be visible.
Those are the major differences between both implants. Based on this, can you guess which implants I prefer? If you guessed silicone you would be correct. In my opinion the natural feel and lack of rippling outweigh the cost and size of the scar. But that is just my opinion. You need to form your own opinion with the help of your board certified plastic surgeon and choose the implant that will work best for you.
The Plastic Surgery Center offer plastic surgery at all our locations. We have multiple locations throughout New Jersey, including Atlantic City, Cape May, Philadelphia, Freehold, Brick, East Brunswick, Somerville , Shrewsbury, Edison, Manahawkin and soon Princeton. Make your appointment for a free consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon today.