The choice to have breast implants can be a major step forward in improving your self-confidence or reconstructing your breasts after a lumpectomy or mastectomy. Choosing between silicone and saline implants will be part of the choices you need to make. There are several factors that can sway your decision between these two options.
Similarity To Natural Breasts
For some women, having breast implants that closely mimic their natural breasts is important, especially if they are having their breasts reconstructed. In general, silicone implants are considered to be more natural in feel than saline. This is because the gel used in silicone implants has a consistency similar to fat or breast tissue. Depending on natural variations in breast tissue and skin thickness, saline implants can feel more unnatural because the saline may obviously slosh around. Women who have denser breast tissue might find it is easier to achieve a more natural feel with saline since the dense tissue can make the feeling of saline implants less noticeable.
There are many variables that will affect the surgical approach, regardless of the type of implants you choose. Generally, saline implants can be inserted with a smaller opening. If you choose silicone, part of the process will include minimizing the scar, whether it is concealed under the breasts or in the armpit. The main reason saline implants can be inserted with a smaller incision is that the implant can be rolled up and inserted into the pocket then filled with saline. This flexibility also makes it easier for the surgeon to make adjustments during the surgery, as needed, so the breasts are symmetrical.
Although a ruptured implant is uncommon, you should factor the possibility into your decision. If your breast implant ruptures, how the implant behaves will be different based on whether it is silicone or saline. Saline implants are more obvious when they rupture because they will deflate and the saline will be absorbed by the surrounding tissue. With silicone implants, a rupture may not be noticeable since the silicone will typically stay within the confines of the breast.
From a cosmetic perspective, having a ruptured silicone implant may be undetectable, whereas saline will require a prompt replacement. Unfortunately, this can mean a ruptured silicone implant will not be addressed promptly. Depending on how long it has been since the silicone implant has ruptured, repair may be harder if there are changes in the breast tissue, such as calcification around the leaked silicone.
Making the decision between silicone and saline implants can be challenging. Knowing the advantage of each type can help you and your surgeon reach the right decision for your body. Speak with a breast augmentation professional to learn more.