Saline vs. Silicone: Making the Choice

breast augmentation with silicone implants

The decision to undergo breast augmentation leads to a series of complex choices that are very important to consider — from implant type to size and placement. Your implant type selection is one of the primary ways to tailor your procedure to your aesthetic goals. With many different options to navigate, Montecito Plastic Surgery wants you to have the facts about each so that you can choose the best implants for your body.

The Saline Choice

Saline implants feature a silicone shell filled with saline. Saline is a sterile liquid that is also used in IV solutions. It has a long track record of safety, which gives you peace-of-mind in knowing that if your implant ruptures, the liquid inside will be absorbed by your body without any adverse effects. You will also see the impact of the rupture outside the breast, making it easy to know if you would require implant replacement.

The saline implant is filled with the saline solution after it is placed on the chest wall, which provides the benefit of a smaller incision in most cases. It also allows Dr. Lowenstein to make subtle adjustments in the size of each breast to ensure balance and symmetry. The primary disadvantage to the traditional saline implant is that it does not look or feel quite as natural as its silicone counterpart. However, an innovation in this product has eliminated that drawback.

Introducing the IDEAL IMPLANT

Now, a new type of saline implant is available at Montecito Plastic Surgery that looks and feels more like your breast tissue. Known as the IDEAL IMPLANT, this breast implant boasts a revolutionary support structure that controls the movement of the fluid inside. While a rupture still allows the sterile solution to be absorbed by the body, patients like the fact that the implant more closely resembles silicone in appearance and touch.

While the IDEAL IMPLANT is still a relative newcomer to the breast augmentation field, it already has a track record of safety, efficacy and patient satisfaction. The implant has been in use since 2009 by a select group of surgeons that placed the implants into more than 500 patients. The women were followed up over the following five years, and surgeons discovered the implants offered a high satisfaction rate with a reduced risk of complications like capsular contracture.

Dr. Lowenstein offers both the traditional saline and IDEAL IMPLANT products at his practice. He will help patients select the best saline implant based on their concerns, expectations and budget.

Silicone Implants

As the name suggests, silicone implants feature a silicone substance inside a silicone shell. It tends to be the most requested option by patients at Montecito Plastic Surgery, due to its natural results. This implant will not change shape if it ruptures, which means your appearance will stay consistent. However, it also means you will need to undergo MRIs somewhat regularly to ensure the implant remains intact. This requirement is not necessary with saline implants.

Options in Silicone

The most popular type of silicone implant is the smooth, round version. The non-textured shell allows the implant to move naturally within the breast tissue, while the shape can enhance cleavage when a push-up bra is worn. Women tend to like the look and feel of this implant the most as well.

While the traditional silicone implant continues to be a top choice, there is another version that has also been more frequently requested in recent years. The shaped or form-stable implant, also known as the “gummy bear” implant, has enhanced the appearance of many patients, offering a smooth, youthful upper body profile. These teardrop-shaped implants provide a subtle lift to the right patient and offer a natural curve with more fullness on the bottom than on top. The silicone shell is textured on the outside, ensuring it remains in position to prevent distortion of the breast shape.

Gummy bear implants also boast an even lower rate of capsular contracture than other types of implants. Capsular contracture is a painful complication that arises when scar tissue around the implant hardens and constricts, often distorting the appearance of the breast. In many cases, the only way to reverse capsular contracture is to perform additional surgery to remove the affected implant.

Making the Right Choice

With many excellent choices in breast implants today, how do you determine which one will work best for you? The decision isn’t always clear or easy, which is why it is critical to enlist the services of an experienced plastic surgeon like Dr. Lowenstein for your procedure. Dr. Lowenstein will take the time to identify all the factors that might influence your implant choice, including your body proportions, breast concerns and aesthetic goals. Once he collects all the facts, he can recommend the best implant to achieve your desired outcome.

Breast augmentation involves many decisions, but the process should be exciting rather than stressful. With ample choices and plenty of expert guidance, Dr. Lowenstein will work with you to ensure you get the perfect implants for your body. To find out more about your options, contact Montecito Plastic Surgery today at 805-969-9004.

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