Both are approved by the FDA but that is better? Each has its benefits and advantages. Each has its potential liabilities and disadvantages. Neither is perfect. But both have their good points. Following a physical examination, an in depth consultation and an intensive review of all the various pro's and con's along with your chicago plastic surgeon, an educated choice could be made. But there really is no wrong answer or better implant - the implant that represents the most effective overall choice for you is the right one. Let's take a peek at a few of the key points you need to be considering in your choice making process.
The saline (physiological salt water) which can be used to fill saline breast implants comes directly from an IV saline bag. Rather than starting your circulatory reborn dolls
though an IV, the saline goes through the sterile tubing right into the implant. No body is performing research on the safety of sterile IV saline; thousands of people receive IV saline everyday all around the world. If it's safe enough to go straight into your veins, does it stand to reason so it could be just as safe to fill a breast implant with? This is a truly 100% safe fluid that is completely identical to one's natural body fluid. The silicone gel inside silicone implants has been studied exhaustively. The FDA concluded that approval as a safe and effective device was warranted, granting such status in 2006. But studies are still ongoing and further longterm evaluation and research mandated by the FDA remains pending. So silicone safety information is not quite the "slam dunk" it is for saline. Please see our associated article, "Are Silicone Implants Safe?" for more information on this subject.
As per FDA stipulations, patients should be age 22 or older for silicone gel implants. There is no age stipulation for saline implants.When ordered for you and your procedure by your plastic surgeon's office, silicone implants are roughly double the cost of saline implants.
Rippling is just a phenomenon which occurs very commonly with saline implants but is extremely uncommon with silicone implants. Rippling is characterized by small longitudinal ridges, like the ripples on a lake, that might be felt along underneath or the outer side of the breast where in actuality the tissues are often their thinnest. In extreme cases, the ripples could even be visible. However, a lot of the time when rippling does occur it is of an extremely minimal nature. Patients with very low excess fat, a petite body frame, thin skin and/or stretch marks on the breasts, and minimal breast tissue are in higher risk for significant rippling. But rippling can occur in anyone. Picking a silicone implant lowers this risk substantially.
For patients trying to find better symmetry because of any level of size difference involving the sides, the fine tuning adjustability that can be best realized only with saline implants is a significant asset. Silicone implants are not adjustable.The inframammary (under the breast) crease incision is the most commonly used and preferred incision by most plastic surgeons. The natural shadow and crease underneath the breast has a tendency to additionally hide the typically thin, hard to see final scar quite well. This incision can be properly used for either form of implant. The incision size is normally about one inch or less for saline implants, which are inserted empty, then filled and adjusted once properly situated inside the pocket that has been made for them. The incision must certanly be made bigger (about two inches) to allow the insertion of the pre-filled, fixed total level of the silicone implant.
Saline implants have a ~ 1% - 2% per year leak rate; silicone implants have somewhat lower rate with a less than a 1% each year leak rate. The chance for leak/rupture with both types of implants generally increases with the age of the implant. Leak/rupture rates may also be higher for implants utilized in revision or reconstruction procedures.