When the FDA placed a restriction on silicone implants in the early 1990s, saline breast implants were used almost exclusively in the United States until 2006. They’re considered safe and offer some important advantages to consider for your breast augmentation procedure:
- They are a cost-effective option for breast augmentation
- They can be filled to precisely the right size for improved symmetry
- The incision will be smaller during surgery
- They do not require routine MRI’s to monitor for rupture
What is a Saline Breast Implant?
A saline implant is made of a silastic (silicone rubber) outer shell and filled with a sterile saltwater solution. The implant comes from the manufacturer as an empty shell to be filled during surgery. The manufacturer defines recommended fill levels for the implant, but it is common practice for a cosmetic surgeon to overfill the implant to a certain extent in order to match the patient’s needs. Filling the implant during surgery allows for a smaller incision – that’s one of the key advantages of saline implants.
Saline implants are generally heavier and firmer than silicone. Some patients appreciate firm characteristics and some do not. It really just depends on your personal preferences.
Are Silicone Breast Implants a Better Choice?
Now that silicone breast implants are an option, patients often compare the characteristics of both implant types to decide which is more natural. The common concerns about saline implants are:
- Rippling: in women with thinner breast tissue, visible rippling is more likely with saline implants
- Less natural feel: saline implants have a firmer feel than silicone
We take all the necessary precautions to minimize the risk of visible implant rippling. Filling implants to the proper specifications is very important in this regard. Concerns about a natural look and feel can often be addressed by placing the implants in a submuscular position draped below your existing breast tissue.
Dr. Branman has years of experience performing breast augmentation with saline implants. To learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of each type, contact us to schedule a consultation.