Breast Augmentation

Pros and Cons of Saline Breast Implants

Dr. Gerstle performs a number of breast enhancement procedures in Lexington, KY using saline breast implants. Silicone can be a great alternative for a variety of reasons, but here we will focus on the pros and cons of saline breast implants.

A saline breast implant is an implant composed of a silicone outer shell, and filled with a saltwater solution called saline. Saline implants were created in response to an unfounded worry about silicone implants. While this worry disrupted the advancement of silicone-based implant development, we are fortunate that we have more choices to provide patients.

The Pros of Saline Breast Implants:

• Many incision placement options
• Approved for patients 18 years and older
• Saline is sterile and absorbable
• Saline breast implant ruptures are noticeable

Your choice of saline breast implant placement incision

A silicone implant is filled before insertion, whereas a saline breast implant is filled after the implant shell has been placed. This allows Dr. Gerstle to offer more options for placing the insertion incision. The options can include transaxiliary, through the arm pit, and through an incision placed on the boarder of the areola and skin. Both are small, discrete incisions that are well-hidden. A silicone implant is almost always placed through an inframammary incision resulting in a scar near the crease of the breast. While this scar is hidden, some may prefer the even more discrete incision options afforded by saline breast implants.

Saline breast implants FDA approved for youngest adults

Silicone breast implants are only approved by the FDA for use in women 22 years or older. By contrast, you can be 18 and receive saline breast implants.

Saline is a common bodily fluid

There was a panic over the safety of silicone implants which turned out to be unfounded, but saline is an alternative for those who wish complete peace of mind. The saltwater solution that fills the implant is roughly the same as the saline fluid commonly injected into dehydrated people. It’s safe.

Saline is absorbable; if there’s a leak, you will notice it

Implant rupture is a risk, though not common. For patients with silicone implants, a rupture may not be detectable without advanced imaging, like a MRI. If a saline implant ruptures, the body begins absorbing the fluid and soon the affected breast is noticeably smaller.

The Cons of Saline Breast Implants

• Silicone “feels more natural”
• Rippling is more common in saline than silicone

Feel is a matter of preference

While many claim that silicone feels and acts more like natural tissue, it is a matter of preference.

Saline may ripple

Saline breast implants have been at risk of visible rippling, a distortion that can show on the surface of the skin. Because of this, saline implants are often suggested for women who have more breast tissue already present; silicone breast implants are usually recommended for thinner, smaller breasted women.

Are Saline implants right for you?

The best way to learn if saline implants are right for you is to speak to a board-certified surgeon like Dr. Gerstle. During a consultation, Dr. Gerstle will be able to make recommendations that work for your body type and address any concern you may have over the type of breast implant. You’ll even have the opportunity to feel the implants yourself. If you are in Lexington, KY or surrounding area, schedule a consultation with Dr. Gerstle with Lexington Plastic Surgery and get your questions answered.

Pros and Cons of Silicone Breast Implants

There are two main types of breast implants for use in augmentation and reconstruction: silicone breast implants and saline. Breast implants generally have an outer shell and are filled with either saline or silicone. The silicone in a silicone breast implant is a synthetic material that is thick and mimics the feel of fat; it is inert and sterile. In the late eighties, there was a scare that resulted in FDA regulation and banning of silicone. Subsequent research proved that the scare was unfounded, and that silicone was a safe material to use in implants.

Silicone breast implants have evolved since their reintroduction to the market and there are now two varieties to choose from: silicone gel or highly cohesive gel. When weighing the options between implant types, it’s important to understand the benefits and potential drawbacks of each type.

Pros of Silicone Breast Implants: Why They May Be Right For You

• “Better” Feel
• Style options
• Less Rippling

Silicone Breast Implants Offer “Better” Feel

Silicone breast implants are often described as softer, and more like natural fat tissue. The edges of the implant are also less noticeable. Thin patients with small breasts often select silicone breast implants because they are less detectable–a consultation with Dr. Gerstle is the best way to find out what type of implant would work best for your unique anatomy.

Silicone Breast Implants Offer Style Options

Because there two varieties of silicone breast implants, there are more styles of implants. The cohesive gel implants are “gummy bear like,” and can be formed into an anatomical shape. This shape offers lower projection at the base of the breast. A regular silicone implant creates a fuller appearance at the top of the breast.

Less Rippling in Silicone Implants

Silicone breast implants are made of thicker, viscous material (or gummy-like cohesive gel) and are less prone to rippling than saline implants. This is also why silicone is preferred by smaller breasted women.

Drawbacks of Silicone Breast Implants

• Must be older than 22
• Ruptures can go undetected
• Larger incisions/limited incision placement options

Silicone Breast Implants are recommended only for patient 22 or older

The FDA has only approved silicone implants for use in patients 22 years or older. The studies in the clinical approval trials only included women 22 years old and up, so silicone breast implants are only recommended for the same age range. Silicone breast implant manufacturers stipulate in their warranties that the patient must be 22 years or older, or be considered a reconstructive or deformity patient. The device manufacturer will void the device warranty if the implants are placed prior to the patient turning 22.

MRI scanning is often required to determine if a rupture has occurred

While rupture rates are low, they do happen. Because the body absorbs water, saline ruptures are detected quickly–the affected breast becomes noticeably smaller. Silicone is not absorbed and a rupture may go undetected without the use of MRI scanning. New highly cohesive gel implants do not rupture like silicone gel implants; they stay intact should a tear occur.

The inframammary fold incision and placement is the most common for a good reason

Silicone gel breast implants are filled before placement, so a large incision is required. Under the breast, in the inframammary fold, this incision is well-hidden.

Are Silicone Breast Implants Right for You? Consult with Dr. Gerstle.

To feel the difference for yourself and speak with Dr. Gerstle about the options for your body, schedule a consultation today with our Lexington Surgeons.

New Gel Implant Options for Breast Augmentation

Medical device manufacturer Allergen recently received FDA clearance for a variety of new breast implants for use in breast augmentation and breast reconstruction. The newly approved breast implants, called Natrelle Inspira, offer a high fill ratio that allows for more shaping options. These gel-filled implants are round style implants and come in both smooth and textured versions.

If you are interested in knowing more about the differences between the styles, and the style that may be right for you, consult with Dr. Theo Gerstle, a Lexington plastic Surgery, who is experienced with Allergan breast implants.

High-cohesive gel implants for breast augmentation also approved

Allergen also recently received approval for an expansion of their Natrelle 410 line of highly cohesive gel breast implants from the FDA. The new styles offer low height styles and additional lower projection. Both low height and low projection give the breast a natural-looking slope, or tear-drop shape. The cohesive gel allows the breast implant to hold shape while still allowing for natural movement and feel. Highly cohesive gel implants are often called shaped implants. “Gummy bear implants” are also a term used by the media and in catchy marketing materials.

Another benefit to highly cohesive gel implants is its inability to rupture and leak like older styles of implants. As the nickname “gummy bear implant” implies, these gel implants are not liquid gel.

Highly-cohesive gel implants vs. round gel implants

One of the main differences between the two types of gel implants is purely a matter of aesthetics–what shape do you want your breasts to have? Round gel implants offer a fuller shape, especially at the top of the breast. The highly-cohesive gel implants are designed to offer a fuller shape in the bottom portion of the breast.

The Natrelle 410 implants are inspired by the style popular in European, where the women prefer a natural sloping look to their breasts. American women have traditionally preferred fullness higher in the chest. These Allergen breast implants offer women in Lexington their choice of style.