Saline vs silicone: Which implant is right for you?

Important things to Know about Breast implants, Lawrence Iteld, MD, Chicago Plastic SurgeonYou’re considering breast augmentation but haven’t decided which implant is right for you. That’s okay. Both saline and silicone (commonly referred to as gummy bear because of the consistency) implants come in different sizes and shapes. Both have their pros and cons.

Outer surfaces of breast implants are either smooth or textured.

  • Smooth breast implants are the most commonly used in North America. They can move with the implant pocket, which may give you more natural movement. mimicking the movement of a natural breast. They have the softest feeling but may have some visible rippling under the skin, especially if you have very thin skin.
  • Textured breast implantsdevelop scar tissue to stick to the implant, making them less likely to move around inside the breast and become repositioned.

Saline

Used since the 1960s, saline implants have a long and successful history of use for breast augmentation. Inserted empty and then filled with saline (sterile salt water) during surgery allows me to make your incision site small and less noticeable.

Some saline implants have the advantage of being postoperatively adjustable via a remote injection port, which lets me to fine-tune the implant volume before removing the implant port. On the negative side, saline implants feel more firm than natural breast tissue. Also, they’re more easily seen under the skin, which can cause rippling.

Silicone/Gummy Bear

Gummy bear implants have a silicone material for both the shell and filler.  They are gel-based implants and, most often, teardrop-shaped. They retain their shape better than other types of breast implants. Patients report that gummy bear implants leave their breasts feeling naturally soft to the touch. Yes, there are other silicone implants, but I am partial to gummy bears as they are more natural looking and have the widest array of options.

While ruptures are very uncommon with less than one percent a year, they are clinically difficult to diagnose. That’s why manufacturers recommend checking for ruptures every few years through either ultrasound or MRI screening.

Size and shape are equally important

The shape you choose is important. For example, overly large or full implants may not be the best fit for you if they look out of proportion and don’t complement your silhouette. That’s why we use Vectra 3D imaging to help you see how you’ll look with different sizes and shapes before you make your decision.

Neither type is a guaranteed permanent option

It’s important to keep in mind that neither type of implant may be permanent. For new breast augmentation patients, I council them on this possibility. Reasons for this varies but, most often, women have their implants removed or replaced for aesthetic reasons.

What is right for you?

My team works with you in helping you select the option that’s right for you. Please contact my patient coordinators and schedule your confidential confidential consultation. Call 312.757.4505 or send us an email at info@driteld.com.

By |April 3rd, 2022|Surgical Procedures|Comments Off on Saline vs silicone: Which implant is right for you?

About the Author:

Lawrence Iteld, MD is a board certified plastic surgeon in Chicago, IL. Dr. Iteld is committed to delivering the highest standards of aesthetic plastic and reconstructive surgery. He works tirelessly to achieve long-lasting, sustainable results for each patient, delivered with one-on-one personalized care.
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