When it comes to planning breast augmentation surgery, one of the major choices facing many women is what type of implant to choose. The two main types of breast implants used for augmentation and other breast surgery procedures are saline and silicone. Although these implants are quite similar, there are a few important differences to be aware of when planning your surgery. Saline breast implants consist of a silicone pouch filled with saline liquid.
Look and feel
On the other hand, many women feel that saline implants result in a less lifelike or realistic appearance or texture. The use of saline implants can result in a firmer feeling in the breasts. Wrinkles and other positioning issues are also said to be more likely with saline implants. However, new surgical techniques have led to better results when using saline breast implants, including a more realistic look and feel. Much of this difference in texture comes from the consistency of the solution inside the implant. Silicone breast implants use a gel-like substance, while saline implants are liquid continued in a silicone shell.
While the liquid in saline implants may result in a slightly less realistic feel, it can also lead to smaller incisions. Many saline implants are filled once inserted into the body. The shell of the implant requires a shorter incision line than the pre-filled silicone implants. This reduces the likelihood of being left with a long scar after breast surgery.
Risks of saline implants
While both saline and silicone implants are typically implanted in the same manner and carry the same post-surgery risks, there are a couple of differences to be aware of. Saline may be safer to use as an implant, since any leaked saline can be safely absorbed by the body without causing negative health consequences. The implant would visibly deflate, alerting patients to the issue. On the other hand, a leaking silicone implant may only be caught through an MRI scan, and can pose a health risk.
Both saline and silicone implants are used in thousands of breast surgeries each year. Although your surgeon may have a preference for one type over the other, ultimately it is up to you as the patient to determine which type of breast implant – silicone or saline – is right for you.
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