Overview of Saline & Silicone Implants

When one is considering getting breast implants, there are two popular types to choose from; the saline or silicone implants. These two types are normally used either for breast reconstruction or augmentation purposes.

Saline implants have been around for longer. They are normally filled with saline and this is done at the time when surgery is performed. For augmentation purposes, they are recommended for women who are 18 years or older. But for breast reconstruction they are available to women of any age. Over time, there have been improvements in surgical techniques involving saline implants especially after complaints that they felt a bit hard and unnatural.

ate-generation models of silicone-gel breast implant devices
Breast augmentation: Late-generation models of silicone-gel breast implant devices. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On the other hand, silicone breast implants are normally filled with a thick and sticky silicone gel before the surgery procedure. This gel has the feel of human fat. For this reason some women prefer them arguing that they feel just like natural human tissue. For augmentation purposes, they are used on women who are 22 years or older. But when used for breast reconstruction purposes they are available for women of any age.

Both of these two types of implants have been considered as safe breast implants either for reconstruction and augmentation purposes. However, research is still being done on both types in order to determine their long term effects and any other issues that may arise from time to time such as safety.

But whether one uses saline of silicone implants, some similar risks have so far been observed. These include the leakage of the saline or gel in them or rupture, pain on the breast, infections, change in sensation on the breast nipple or the breast itself among others. One may also need additional surgery if some complications arise.

There are some pros and cons for choosing either saline or silicone implants. For example, both may for some reason rupture. For the silicone implants, rupture may not be noticed immediately. But it may after some time cause pain in the breast. The rupture may also cause changes in the shape of the breast. This can be corrected through additional surgery in which the ruptured implant can be replaced. However, studies that have been done so far have not indicated the possibility of any possible adverse health effects of the rupture.

A rupture of the saline implant normally results in s deflation with the breast changing its shape and size. The leaked salt solution can be absorbed in the body without any health risks. However, one would require additional surgery to remove the shell that remains and a new implant put.

Between the two, silicone implants may be preferred by more people due to their natural-like feeling and appearance. They also do not ripple.

On the other hand, while saline implants pose no health risks, some people feel that they do not come with natural feeling associated with the silicone ones. They have also been found to have unpleasant effects on women who have little breast tissue. They may cause rippling for those with very tiny breasts or those with no breasts at all.

But the choice of either of the two implants depends on one’s preferences. More importantly, one has to seek professional advice from a qualified surgeon.