Saline vs. Silicone Breast Implants
In recent years there has been some debate as to which breast implants are better and what kind of maintenance or replacement is necessary. The FDA ruling to allow the use of silicone again has certainly raised the popularity of these implants and I have seen a greater demand in my own practice in Miami. So what are the differences? Breast implants are composed of a shell and a filling. The shell consists of solid silicone. In saline filled implants there is a valve through which saline is added. The Silicone implants come pre-filled so there is no valve present but instead there surface is completely smooth. The main difference of course, is the filling. Saline implants are filled with salt water and silicone is filled with silicone gel.
The surgery of implant placement also differs. Because saline implants are empty they require a smaller incision for their placement and they are filled and positioned in the pocket. Because silicone is pre-filled this incision has to be larger (generally about half an inch more). For this reason, some surgeons have used the lower fold incision for placement which I consider a cosmetically inferior choice. I have preferred to extend the areola (nipple) incision rather than using the lower fold. The wound closure is identical when I used absolvable sutures which do not need to be removed and do no leave a mark. Postoperative care is also identical.
Now that the implants are in how do they differ in look, feel and durability? From across the…
Read Complete Article