The results of any plastic surgery procedure depend on a number of factors, including the patient’s body type, surgeon, and specific techniques used. When it comes to breast implants, even more variables are introduced. At Northwest Plastic Surgery Associated of Missoula, we want to help you make the right decisions for your surgery, giving you the safest and most satisfying results possible.
If you are planning on having a breast augmentation or reconstruction, please consider the various advantages and disadvantages between saline and silicone implants. By understanding which technique is better suited for you, you can rest assured that your treatment can match your expectations.
Both saline and silicone are FDA approved implant materials, providing safe and effective results. While most patients are physically able to have either type of implant, the cosmetic and procedural differences between them may offer certain benefits for patients of varying body types. The two types of implants can be summarized as follows:
The aesthetic advantages of silicone tend to be the primary reasons for its use in breast implants. Since silicone is able to mimic the texture and shape of breast tissue, silicone implants generally produce more natural looking results. Likewise, teardrop shaped silicone implants can create more subtle curvature of the breast, as opposed to appearing overly stiff or spherical. Finally, silicone is less likely to allow imperfections of the skin, such as rippling or wrinkling.
Despite the cosmetic advantages of silicone, saline implants are still a viable option for many patients. Since saline is filled after insertion, incisions can be smaller, resulting in less noticeable scarring. If patients wish to completely avoid scarring around their breasts, only saline implants or smaller silicone gel implants may be used for such incisions (at the armpit or navel). Also bear in mind that the current size of one’s breasts will play an important role in an implant’s outcome; the aesthetic differences between saline and silicone are less noticeable in moderately or large sized or breasts.
With an experienced surgeon, the risks associated with breast implant surgeries are few and minor, regardless of implant type. The rate of possible complications and their ease of detection, however, may vary:
For most patients, saline and silicone implants are a matter of aesthetics vs. reliability. However, there are a few additional factors that may influence your decisions. First, saline implants are available to patients who are 18 or older, while the FDA has deemed silicone implants safe for those 22 and older. Regardless of implant type, the most accurate results will be achieved once a patient’s body has finished growing through adolescence.
Saline implants also tend to be less expensive, although particular prices will vary among doctors and patients’ needs.
Before deciding on the details of your breast implant treatment, speak with a knowledgeable doctor who can help you achieve the results you want. Contact us to schedule an in depth consultation with Dr. Stephen Hardy or another one of our skilled plastic surgeons.