Breast implants are used in breast augmentation surgeries to change the size or shape of the breasts, as well as in breast reconstruction surgeries. There are currently two approved types of breast implants: saline implants and silicone implants. Both types of implants present their own pros and cons. Today we are going to explain what are breast implants made of, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of both types.
Choosing The Right Breast Implants For You
Every patient is unique and has a different body type and lifestyle. Deciding which implants are best for your needs will be done in consultation with your cosmetic surgeon. Each cosmetic surgeon has his or her preferences and will need to take your personal risk factors into account before you move ahead with the surgery. Because surgery is a major decision it is always advisable to get a second opinion and give yourself enough time to think your decision through.
Even though silicone implants are favoured more generally by patients, saline also has its merits in different circumstances.
What Are Breast Implants Made Of?
All breast implants are made from a tough silicone outer shell and then filled with a sterile saline (salt) solution or silicone gel.
What Are Breast Implants Made Of? Pros And Cons Of Implant Type
What Is A Structured Saline Breast Implant?
A saline breast implant consists of a silicone envelope that is filled with saline (salt) solution. The envelope can be prefilled with saline solution or it can be inserted and then filled up once it is in position. If your saline implant ruptures or leaks, the implant shape will deflate noticeably. Some people favour saline implants because they have concerns about silicone but it’s important to note that the saline solution is still contained within a silicone envelope.
Pros Of A Saline Breast Implant
The biggest pro of having saline breast implants is the safety consideration. In the event of a rupture or leak, your body will simply absorb the solution. If you opt for saline implants and have them filled after insertion, the incision made by your cosmetic surgeon may be smaller than if a prefilled silicone implant was inserted.
Cons Of A Saline Breast Implant
Some people think that saline implants feel firmer than silicone. If a saline implant is underfilled, it can cause it to deflate. It can also be more difficult to fill or insert a saline implant.
It is also possible for saline implants to deflate, wrinkle or collapse on themselves. This can cause visible changes to your skin, which may ripple or crinkle. If the implant collapses on itself, it can cause the silicone envelope to be damaged, which would require urgent surgery to correct.
Some patients have also reported hearing sloshing sounds when they do vigorous exercise with saline breast implants.
What Is A Silicone Breast Implant?
A silicone breast implant consists of a silicone envelope that is filled with silicone. Because the texture of silicone is closer to human fat, some people believe they have a more natural and realistic feeling.
Pros Of A Silicone Breast Implant
Many people claim that silicone implants feel more natural than saline. Silicone implants are available in a range of shapes and sizes that make them suitable for all body types and profiles. In the event of a silicone leak or rupture, your breast shape will remain largely unchanged. Because of this, in the event of a leak (which is picked up with an MRI), the surgery to remove or replace the implant can be planned and requires less urgency than addressing a saline rupture.
Cons Of A Silicone Breast Implant
In the event that your silicone implant ruptures or leaks, you might not even know. This is because silicone will stay contained in the fibrous tissue and is unlikely to cause any side effects. While there is no evidence to suggest that leaking silicone is associated with breast cancer or reproductive disorders, over time the leak could cause breast pain and changes to your breast tissue.
Because silicone implants are prefilled prior to your breast augmentation surgery, you may end up with a larger incision than if a saline implant was inserted and then filled up.
Saline Vs Silicone Breast Implant: What’s Best For You?
Both silicone and saline breast implants are considered safe for breast augmentations and breast reconstructions, and both types will need to be replaced or removed after around ten years. Both implant types come in a variety of sizes and shapes, as well as different textures.
Because there are so many considerations to take into account it’s important to work with a cosmetic surgeon you feel comfortable with. It’s always a good idea to ask to see before and after photos of work done, as well as questions related to risks and complications. Make sure you work with someone who is registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and a fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS).
To find out more about what are breast implants made of, or to schedule a confidential appointment, please contact us: (02) 8599 7161.
Breast implants: Saline vs. silicone
Breast augmentation (breast implants)