Saline Breast Implants: The new normal in breast augmentation?
Should I get saline implants for my breast augmentation? I have heard they are safer and better.
Any surgeon specializing in breast enhancement procedures wants to use an implant that is safe and comfortable. But the implants have to look and feel great and be long lasting. Both silicone implants and saline implants have been studied in millions of patients and have extremely high patient satisfaction rates and are proven to be very safe. One recent study even confirmed lower breast cancer rates in women breast implants. While both types of implants are commonly used, there are some advantages to saline implants that have led me to recommended them more and more over the years.
Our practice has become a recognized specialty center in saline implant augmentation.
Here are the top 7 advantages of saline implants:
- They can be left in for years or even decades. There is no need for removal in 10 years.
- Saline implants are generally very comfortable and soft and do look terrific.
- If they do rupture, the water gets absorbed and is just like IV fluid and completely harmless.
- You do not need MRIs or ultrasounds or any special testing to take pictures of the implants, just routine mammography as recommended.
- They are adjustable in size by up to 50 cc, so minor breast asymmetry or size differences can be corrected easily.
- Incisions can be smaller than silicone implants
- If the implant ever breaks or ruptures, it is easily detectable because of deflation. There is no such thing as “silent rupture “, which can occur with gel implants.
There are some minor potential disadvantages to saline implants versus silicone. But these are not common and can be avoided in most cases by an experienced breast implant plastic surgeon:
Saline implants are slightly more firm to the touch than silicone implants.
They have the potential to have folds or ripples that can be visible at possibly a higher rate than silicone (though I have not seen this in my practice) .
The 3 common brands of saline implants include Mentor, IDEAL, and Allergan Natrelle. They generally seem equivalent to me in terms of outcome. The main difference is the IDEAL implant has more structure to it , with 2 separate filling compartments. Their company claims they are more comfortable and more like gel than the standard single compartment saline implants. As I was the first surgeon to use IDEAL implants in the region, I have extensive experience with them.
In 20 years of practice, I have yet to have the patient come to me with saline implants complaining of illness, significant discomfort, or any major complications. I have found that the rate of capsule contracture and rupture are very low, but these complications can occur. I also have many patients who have implants in place for well over a decade without any problems and are extremely happy.
Who are are happiest breast augmentation patients?
The patient satisfaction rate of implant surgery is over 96% ( “worth it” rating on realself.com). Almost all my patients state is was one of their best decisions. I emphasize recommending surgery for patients who are choosing surgery for the right reasons, and steer people away from surgery when I have concerns that surgery may not meet their expectations. Here’s what makes a happy patient after breast implant surgery:
- Having a significant and generally noticeable deformity before surgery
- Being in excellent health overall, both physically and emotionally
- Having a generally positive self image and content state of being
- Not being “overly obsessed” with their deformity, where it is all they can think about
- Proceeding with caution with implants in larger breasted patients and those with lots of skin droop
Dr. Michael Suzman is a plastic surgeon at Westmed Medical Group in New York and Greenwich Connecticut. He is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and the member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, and The Aesthetic Society, the leading organization for Board certified specialists in plastic surgery in the world.