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Breast Augmentation Essentials: Silicone vs. Saline Breast Implants

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Breast Augmentation Essentials: Silicone vs. Saline Breast Implants

Breast augmentation is a completely personalized procedure. Everything from the incision location to the size of the implants will be tailored to your needs. One of the major breast augmentation essentials is which type of breast implant you should get. As each type has its pros and cons, silicone implants may be best for some women while saline implants may be best for other women.

Silicone Implants

Silicone breast implants are made of a silicone shell filled with silicone gel. They are FDA-approved for use in long-term breast enhancement.

Reasons to Choose Silicone Implants

  • Appearance and Feel: Silicone implants have a more natural breast-like appearance and feel. While saline implants may cause the breasts to feel unnaturally firm and round, silicone implants enhance breast fullness and size without compromising a natural breast aesthetic.
  • Structural Integrity: Silicone implants are less likely to ripple or rupture than saline implants.
  • Longevity: Silicone implants tend to last longer than saline implants.
  • Thin Breast Skin: If you have naturally thinner breast skin, and especially if you desire larger implants, silicone implants may produce more optimal results.

Downsides of Silicone Implants

  • Cost: Silicone implants tend to be more expensive.
  • Age Limit: Silicone implants are only approved for women ages 22 and older.
  • Scarring: Silicone implants require a larger incision than saline implants, which means there will be a more prominent scar. Note: Scarring can be minimized with strategic incision placement.
  • Fixed Size: While the size of saline implants can be adjusted during surgery, silicone implants are a fixed size. Therefore, it is especially important to choose your ideal size before the surgery.
  • Capsular Contracture: Silicone implants are less likely to rupture; however, if a rupture occurs, it is more likely to remain undetected. If the silicone gel leaks unnoticeably into the breast capsule, it may lead to inflammation, resulting in capsular contracture.
  • MRIs: To ensure that any unlikely ruptures are detected quickly, regular MRIs are recommended for women with silicone implants.

Saline Implants

Saline breast implants are made of a silicone shell filled with a saline (saltwater) solution. They are also FDA-approved for use in long-term breast enhancement.

Reasons to Choose Saline Implants

  • Age: Silicone implants are only approved for women who are at least 22 years old. You should choose saline implants if you are under 22 years of age.
  • Size Adjustments: Saline implants can be filled after insertion, giving the surgeon more control over final breast volume and size. This can help the surgeon achieve more ideal breast symmetry during the surgery.
  • Affordability: Saline implants are usually more affordable than silicone implants.
  • Reduced Scarring: Since saline implants are filled after insertion, the surgical incisions can be smaller. This means reduced scarring after breast augmentation.
  • Rupture Detection: A ruptured saline implant is usually immediately noticeable because the harmless saline will leak out of the implant, causing the implant to deflate. This makes it easy to know whether it is necessary to seek revision surgery.

Downsides of Saline Implants

  • Appearance and Feel: Saline implants tend to look and feel less natural than silicone. They may cause the breasts to be unusually round and firm to the touch.
  • Rippling and Rupture: Saline implants are more likely to ripple or rupture (although both are still rare). Note: Visible rippling can be avoided with submuscular (under-the-muscle) implant placement.
  • Rupture Detection: Should one of your implants rupture, it will likely cause noticeable breast asymmetry until you can get revision surgery.

In addition to implant type, there are many other factors that will ultimately affect your final breast augmentation results. A board-certified plastic surgeon can guide you through the process of choosing the best options to give you your ideal breast augmentation results. Your surgeon will help you decide whether silicone or saline implants will be best for you and assist you in making all the other choices associated with breast augmentation surgery.

To schedule your personal consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Richard Mouchantat, call (303) 232-8585 or contact us online today.



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    Dr. Mouchantat has been performing plastic surgery procedures in the Denver area since 1996. Some of these procedures include abdominoplasty, breast augmentation, breast reconstruction, breast reduction, liposuction, face lifts and eyelid surgery. Dr. Mouchantat is experienced in fat grafting techniques as well. Some procedures can be done comfortably in the office under local anesthesia, while others are done in an accredited outpatient surgical facility or hospital setting.

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