Types of Implants for Breast Augmentation

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A breast augmentation is a surgical procedure that involves placing synthetic implants into the chest to enhance the volume and appearance of breasts. The procedure, which is sought out by over 300,000 American women a year, is typically done to increase breast size or improve breast symmetry. Whether you are looking for a subtle boost in size or a dramatic change, a breast augmentation can give you the feminine look you have always wanted.

When option to have a breast augmentation, it is important to consider what types of implants you would like to use. There are two types of implants available for women considering a breast augmentation. Each offers unique benefits and drawbacks and should be chosen based on the patient’s surgery goals.

Saline Implants
Filled with a sterile saltwater solution, saline implants are among the safest types of implants. One of the greatest benefits of saline implants is their high safety rate. If a saline implant ruptures or leaks, it will simply be absorbed into the body without harm. Aside from being a safe option, saline implants are also typically less expensive than silicone implants. Lastly, saline implants can be sought out by younger women looking to undergo a breast augmentation. The FDA requires that women be at least 18 years old to get breast augmentation with saline-filled implants and at least 22 years old to receive silicone implants.

The most commonly reported drawback of saline implants is that they do not look and feel as natural as silicone implants. Saline implants are more prone to noticeable “rippling,” adding to their less natural looking appearance.

Silicone Gel Implants
These implants have a silicone outer shell that is filled with silicone gel. This liquid more closely mimics authentic tissue, and over time, silicone gel oozes to conform with the natural tear-drop shape of a patient’s breasts. They come in different sizes and have either smooth or textured shells. Many women opt for soft silicone implants because of their natural look and feel.

The drawback of silicone implants is that they are a bit pricier than saline implants, and may pose more risk to the body in the case of a rupture. Additionally, there are only available to women who are 22 years or older.

Which Material Should I Choose?
The decision on what type of implant you choose for your breast augmentation is completely personal and should be based around your budget, age, safety factors, and the look you are trying to achieve. Both saline and silicone implants are safe when administered by an experienced plastic surgeon. Be sure to follow all post op instructions and monitor your healing progress to ensure you avoid any unprecedented complications.