Many women consider getting breast implants as a way to improve their figures. This is a good option if you are dissatisfied with the size or shape of your breasts and desire a more flattering, feminine form. However, there are two options available for a breast augmentation procedure: silicone and saline implants. It’s important to know the differences between them so you can make the best decision for you.

Silicone Breast Implants

Most women who get breast augmentation surgery choose silicone breast implants. These are implants that are made of silicone and are filled with silicone gel that provides a more natural look and feel. In other words, silicone implants feel more like natural breast tissue.

Women who are 22 years old and over can get silicone breast implants when they choose to get breast augmentation surgery. They are also available for women of any age who want to undergo breast reconstruction surgery.

Saline Breast Implants

Unlike silicone breast implants, saline breast implants do not have an interior made of silicone gel. Instead, they are filled with sterile saltwater. In some cases, they are also not pre-filled like their silicone counterparts. Instead, the shell of the implant can be put in and then filled with the saltwater afterward.

Saline breast implants are available for any woman 18 years of age or older who want to undergo breast augmentation surgery or those who wish to get breast reconstruction.

Risks of Breast Implants

Both silicone and saline breast implants carry some risks. They include the following:

  • Breast pain
  • Changes in the sensation of breasts and nipples, which is usually temporary
  • Implant rupture or leaking
  • Infection
  • Scar tissue that may change the shape and/or feel of the breast

Any of these problems can warrant undergoing correction surgery. During that procedure, some women may need to have the implants replaced while others may need them removed altogether.

There is another type of risk associated with breast implants that is important to know. Although rare, a cancer called breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-LCL) can develop. In most cases, implants that have polyurethane or textured silicone outer shells carry the highest risk. This is not a type of breast cancer in spite of the cause being breast implant-related. Women who develop BIA-LCL can be treated with surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.

Breast Implant Rupture Risks

Unfortunately, one of the common problems that can occur with breast implants is a rupture. This can happen with both silicone and saline implants. Because silicone is a thicker substance than saltwater, you may not immediately realize the rupture has occurred. Once it’s recognized however, you may need surgery to remove the ruptured implant, at which point a new one can be implanted if desired.

Saline implants that rupture are more obvious as they deflate and cause a clear difference in breast size. Saline can leak into the body without any risks to your health, but you will need surgery to remove the shell. A new implant can be put in at that time as well if desired.

Professional Breast Implant Consultation

Ultimately, it’s up to you which type of breast implant you prefer. If you live in St. Petersburg and want to discuss your options with a double board-certified plastic surgeon, feel free to call Dr. Christopher Newman at (727) 228-0622 or contact us online to start a conversation about breast augmentation.