Silicone or Saline Breast Implants?

The use of saline versus silicone breast implants has been a big question for women for years. Their minds should be set to ease now knowing that the FDA has recently put its stamp of approval on the use of silicone gel breast implants in the United States.

All breast augmentation options offered at Kuy Plastic Surgery are FDA approved, whether you prefer saline or cohesive silicone implants.

Both types of implants are encased in a silicone shell, but saline implants are filled with a salt water (saline) solution, whereas silicone gel implants are filled with silicone gel.

Cohesive gel implants present a great option when compared to saline implants. Their softer quality creates a more natural feel and they are much less likely to wrinkle than their saline counterparts. Cohesive gel implants also maintain their shape and integrity better than saline in the event of a rupture.

The large variety of models available for cohesive gel implants allow for a more customized fit for each woman.

At your consultation, Dr. Kuy will evaluate whether saline or silicone is better suited to your individual needs.

About the Procedure

Women seek breast augmentation for a variety of reasons. This procedure is beneficial for women who wish to correct breast imbalance, to receive breast reconstruction after surgery, to address a reduction in breast volume post pregnancy, or simply to achieve a desired size and shape of the breasts.

The procedure is accomplished with the placement of an implant behind one or both breasts. A small incision – usually 1.5 inches long – is made either in the breast fold, around the areola (dark skin around the nipple), or in the armpit region. The implant(s) are then placed underneath the muscles of the chest wall, or directly behind the breast tissue. Traces of the incision will be barely visible over time.

Patients are placed under general anesthesia or twilight anesthesia for the procedure.

Recovery

Women will experience soreness for 24 to 48 hours after the procedure. Breast swelling will decrease after several weeks. Most women only miss a few days of work.

Lactation

Nursing mothers will continue to lactate after breast augmentation. It should be noted that if a mother has nursed a child within the twelve months leading up to the procedure, lactation may occur for a few days post surgery. This may produce some discomfort, but can be addressed with medication.

Breast Screenings

Women should be careful to select a radiology center where technicians are experienced with providing mammograms to women with breast implants. Some women opt for ultrasound examinations in place of a mammogram to detect lumps or to evaluate the implant.

Risks

The risks are relatively low for a breast augmentation procedure.

Capsular contracture is a rare condition that occurs if the scare or capsule around the implant begins to tighten, causing the implant to feel firm. This is usually treated by a removal of the thickened capsule. The risk for capsular contracture is greatly reduced by placing the implant behind the chest wall.

Infection may occasionally occur around the implant, usually within a week after surgery, but may occur at any time. In some cases, the implant may have to be removed and later reinserted to combat the infection.

The procedure may cause the nipples to become oversensitive, under-sensitive, or in some cases, numb. For most women, this is only temporary, although some patients have experienced permanent numbness.

Leaking of breast implants due to a fracture in the silicone casing may occur as the result of an injury or even normal compression of the breast over time. If a leak occurs in a saline implant, it will deflate in a few hours. Saline is harmless when absorbed by the body. If a leak occurs in a silicone gel implant, it is harder to detect, as the breast often does not look or feel noticeably different. The silicone gel that has leaked from the implant should be removed, if possible, but there has been no evidence to indicate that medical problems arise in connection with silicone breast implants.