As their names indicate, silicone and saline are made of different materials. The silicone implants consist of a silicone breastplate previously filled with silicone gel. Saline implants also have a silicone shell, but unlike saline implants, it is filled with saline (water with salt) during breast augmentation surgery.
In addition, the materials make the implants feel different. While the saline fluid is not compressible and gives a firm consistency to the breasts, the silicone gel is a viscous and thick and imitates body fat making the breasts look and feel more natural.
When you use breast implants for aesthetic reasons, there is an age limit. For silicone, you must be 22 or older and for salines, you must be at least 18 years old. Why? It is because before these ages the tissues of the breasts are still developing. And second, because the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wanted to make sure that patients had an age they considered adequate to make a responsible and well-informed decision.
Risks of breast augmentation:
In general terms, the two breast implants have the same risks: rupture, infection, pain, problems to breastfeed and capsular contraction, among others.
In addition, both last on average 10 years, and when that time is met you may need a new surgery to replace or remove them for cosmetic reasons or because they break.
What if the implants are broken?
When a saline implant ruptures, it is immediately noticeable as it deflates and changes shape while the fluid exits the silicone shell. When a silicone implant breaks, the gel also comes out of the shell but is not so easy to detect.
That’s why, when you have silicone breast implants, some doctors recommend that you get an MRI scan every two or three years. This study, if there is not a very high suspicion of rupture, is sometimes not covered by health insurance.
Which ones should you select?
The final decision depends on you. Consult with your plastic surgeon before making the decision on which is the best breast implant for you, he or she can advise you in your particular case since your anatomy also influences the results. If necessary, ask for a second opinion.
What other types of implants are developed?
Another type of silicone implant, which is named “Gummi Bears”, is under development. This sticky implant has denser silicone gel implant that better help holds its shape over time. Today, these implants are only available to women in clinical trials to test the safety and efficacy of the products.
What is the result?
Based on your body type, your doctor may recommend some type of implant for the optimal cosmetic result. Every type of implant is safe. Ultimately, the choice between saline and silicone is for you.