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Both silicone and saline implants are traditionally used in breast augmentation surgeries. The silicone or saline implant is placed behind the breast to change its size and/or shape. Breast augmentation is performed for a variety of reasons, such as enhancing the size of the breasts in patients with smaller chests, restoring mothers’ bodies after birth and/or nursing, completing a transformation after weight loss, and recovering after a mastectomy. At Advanced Aesthetics, our team wants to help you fully understand your options before choosing to undergo your transformation. If you are considering breast augmentation and have questions about implants, we can give you any answers you need during your consultation.
One important detail to understand about implants is that silicone is involved with both silicone and saline implants. All breast implants have a silicone shell, which can either hold silicone or saline inside the shell. Breast implants are customized in width, depth, and fill volume to suit each patient’s needs. When completed properly, the movement of the silicone or saline within the shell will mimic the natural movement of breasts.
Silicone is known for feeling more natural than saline due to its gel-like consistency. Silicone has been used in implants since the 1960s. Although silicone faced some scrutiny in the 1980s and 1990s when some patients claimed adverse reactions, the FDA has since conducted further studies to confirm their safety.
Silicone implants are one of the most widely studied medical devices, which speaks to the safety of their use. They have dramatically improved since the 1960s, and we expect they will continue to improve in the years to come. The FDA does require that patients be at least 22 years of age to receive silicone implants. Silicone implants are typically more expensive than saline implants, but many patients find the investment to be worthwhile long-term. If you’re undergoing breast reconstruction, silicone implants are always the choice given the nature of the procedure.
While gaining popularity in the 1990s and early 2000s, saline implants were created as an alternative to silicone implants. The silicone shell is placed behind the breast, and then the surgeon can fill it to the desired capacity with saline. Saline is salt water, so the implants can have movement if not overfilled. Because saline is made up of water, patients with thinner skin may experience wrinkling or rippling, which can occur when the folds of the implant can be seen or felt. The FDA allows for patients 18 and over to receive saline implants for breast augmentation. Saline implants are a popular choice for the more affordable cost, but also because if they deflate, the saline can safely absorb into the body.
If you are unsure whether saline or silicone would be the better choice for your goals, our board-certified surgeons would be glad to offer guidance. Breast augmentation is never a one-size-fits-all procedure for Advanced Aesthetics. We are committed to helping you achieve your desired appearance comfortably and safely.