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Silicone v. Saline, Hollywood Finest

Posted On: August 12, 2008 Author: The Office of Dr. Stuart Linder Posted In: Breast Implants, Home

Placement of silicone breast implants has great advantages and disadvantages versus saline breast implants. Let us go through the most important ones.

silicone breast implants

silicone breast implants

The Advantages of Silicone Breast Implants are:

1. Silicone implants are very useful in patients who have minimal amounts of breast tissue. As stated before, women who are very, very thin and have an ectomorphic build, will do very well with silicone implants because it will certainly reduce the visualization of the bag on the side. Saline implants have a higher rate of rippling, especially along the side of the breast where there is no muscle coverage and therefore these patients do well with silicone implants.

2. Silicone feels way softer than saline. It feels more like a natural breast. The cohesive Mentor and Allergan silicone implants are very, very soft and the breasts will feel much more natural with these placed in the subpectoral position.

The Greatest Disadvantage of Silicone are:

1. They are a more high maintenance product, which will require MRI’s to be performed at least every three years. The FDA requires MRI’s because mammograms and ultrasounds are not always sensitive in determining rupture or a shell defect of the silicone implant. MRI’s are very sensitive in determining whether the implant is broken or not.

2. The second disadvantage of silicone is there is a higher rate of capsular contracture and calcification.

3. Obviously, there can be migration of silicone material to the lymph nodes, the axillary lymph nodes or any lymphatic organ within the body.

4. It is difficult to determine rupture of these implants and a rupture can go unknown or silent for many, many years if the patient does not undergo MRI’s.

The Advantages of Saline Breast Implants are:

1. They are easy and simple to use. You can titrate the volume more easily, especially with congenital breast asymmetry patients.

2. If it ruptures, it is obvious clinically to determine because the implant and breast become flattened.

3. The silicone cannot spread or metastasize to any part of the body because there is no silicone, it is simply salt water.

4. They are less expensive and this can be important for patients who have a financial restriction on cost.

The Biggest Disadvantages of Saline are:

They ripple and are visible. You can see the bags along the sides of the chest on many patients because the subpectoral coverage does not cover the lateral third of the bag on the outside.

They feel more like a water balloon. They are obviously less soft than the silicone counterparts because they’re filled with water and therefore in thin women they look more unnatural and will not feel like a natural breast.