Patients wanting to improve their bust line will eventually need to choose between saline and silicone breast enhancements. In the 90s, there were some concerns raised that silicone implants were tied to health issues, but years of extensive research and testing could find nothing. This means that, while doctors may recommend one or the other for specific reasons, patients will still need to weigh the pros and cons of choice and make the final decision.
Silicone breast implants are made of a silicone rubber shell filled by the manufacturer to a specific size with non-toxic silicone gel. They come with various shell types, volumes, colours, shapes, and thicknesses to help physicians make them appear as natural as possible. However, it’s important to note that this variety is not adjustable and requires a larger incision below the breast because they are prefilled.
With the same outer shell as silicone implants, saline devices are filled with a saline solution, which is better known as a saltwater solution. They can come prefilled by the manufacturer to a specific size, or they can come deflated.
The deflated versions are favoured because they can be placed through the belly button, under the arm, around the areola, or under the arm through a small incision. This provides plastic surgeons with a number of options to hide the incision. Then, physicians can fill them to the correct size and firmness. Adjustments can then be made at any time through a minor surgery.
Patients do state the saline implants feel harder than normal and have a texture that resembles a water balloon. To help offset this effect, however, new surgical techniques have made it possible for plastic surgeons to set the implant behind the chest muscle in addition to overfilling it slightly.
Plastic surgery experts warn patients that there are risks involved with this procedure, regardless of the implant chosen. Permanent damage, infection, excess scar tissue, breast pain, and the need for additional surgeries are just a few of these risks. Both materials are also at risk for leakage. A leak in saline implants, however, is almost instantly noticeable while silicone implants are difficult to see because the gel leaks and collects in the surrounding tissue. Silicone and saline implants can also interfere with the detection of breast cancer and dense tissue.