Posted: March 27, 2009
Now that you have decided to have a Denver breast augmentation, it’s important to decide whether to use saline- or silicone gel-filled implants.
Which is Best? The decision is always individual and personal, best determined in a dialogue between you and me during your consultation.
Breast Implant Safety: Breast implants have had a great record of safety. The fallout of the breast implant“crisis” of the mid 1990’s and the focus of the FDA has led to hundreds of scientific and clinical studies, as well as technologic advances.
Currently, gel implants are highly cohesive: this means that the gel sticks to itself, like jello. If the shell of the implant develops a leak, the gel does not flow out of the implant, and remains well contained. Still, some prefer saline (balanced salt water solution), because it is a normal intravenous solution and a normal fluid component of the body. If a saline implant develops a leak, the saline is rapidly absorbed and removed into the urine by the kidneys.
Imaging: Normal breast diagnostic studies like ultrasound and mammograms can and should be done with either silicone or saline implants. After your Denver breast augmentation, your mammographer may choose to take 3 views of each breast, rather than just two in order to see adequately around the implant.
Radiographic tests are not necessary to detect leaks in saline implants, because saline implants deflate if they leak, and the change in breast size indicates the diagnosis. With silicone gel-filled implants, mammograms, ultrasounds, and scans are less reliable for diagnosing leaks: now that the silicone gel is so cohesive, it’s hard to see any gel outside the implant shell.
Incisions: Normally, I make a 2cm (~1/2inch) incision in the crease below the breast. Because saline implants are inflated after they are inserted into the breast, we do not need a larger incision. Because silicone implants are pre-filled, a larger incision may be necessary. Depending on the size of silicone implant chosen, incision size varies from 2cm (~1/2inch) to 3-1/2cm(1-1/4inch).
Aesthetics: If you have enough breast tissue to cover the implant, saline implants can feel quite soft and natural. However, the flow and feel of silicone gel is much more like natural breast tissue and it’s much harder to tell an implant is present. It’s also harder to see or feel the edge of a silicone implant. The very natural feel of the silicone gel implant is the reason more than 70% of my patients choose silicone implants.
I look forward to meeting you, answering your questions and assisting you in your deciding which implant is best for you.