Silicone Or Saline? Why Implant Selection Matters for Breast Augmentation

by | Aug 28, 2019

For patients in Baton Rouge, LA considering breast implants, board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Erick Sanchez and the expert team at our Baton Rouge plastic surgery office are here to help you navigate through the sometimes overwhelming sea of literature and options when it comes to breast augmentation. Perhaps the first and most commonly asked question by patients contemplating having breast implants placed is, “What is the difference between saline and silicone implants?” Though both options have their respective advantages and ideal uses, it is important that patients, with the assistance of their experienced plastic surgeon, thoroughly consider which option will best help them achieve their ultimate goals.

Whether you are looking to enhance your natural breasts, restore lost volume after breastfeeding or aging, or replace breasts lost due to disease or trauma, breast augmentation can be incredibly useful. While the first step in determining whether silicone or saline implants are best for you is to be evaluated by a qualified provider like board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Erick Sanchez MD, Plastic Surgery performs breast augmentation, it is also valuable to do some initial research on your available options. To help you prepare for your initial consultation at Sanchez Plastic Surgery in Baton Rouge, LA, let’s explore some of the main features of each type of implant:

Silicone Breast Implants

Wildly popular in the early days of breast augmentation, silicone implants were the preference of the majority of patients up until the 1980s – 1990s, when now-disproven studies claimed that silicone implants were dangerous and damaging to a patient’s health. Through additional research and the astounding advancements in modern medicine, silicone implants are now known to be not only safe, but also the most sought-after of all of the implant options.

Arguably the most oft-referenced benefit of silicone implants is their natural look and feel. Silicone – a thick gel-like substance – closely mimics the weight and movement of natural breast tissue. Because of this, many women elect to have silicone implants placed.

Another important advantage of silicone implants – particularly relevant to more petite women with thinner skin and less natural breast tissue – is the lower risk of visible rippling in the breasts versus when a saline implant is used.

Though rare, if a silicone implant ruptures, the patient may not notice for days, months, years, or ever. The leaked silicone may be trapped around the implant, but it is not known to cause any adverse health effects for the patient.

Saline Breast Implants

While saline implants are somewhat less popular than silicone among patients seeking breast augmentation in Baton Rouge, LA, they certainly have their advantages. Many of the differences are related to the way in which saline implants are placed versus silicone. When a patient elects to receive saline implants, the surgeon will insert an “empty” shell through an incision either on top of or underneath the chest/pectoral muscle. After placement, the implant is filled with sterile saltwater, or saline. Unlike a silicone implant, the saline implant is filled after placement, often requiring a slightly smaller incision and resulting in slightly less scarring.

Also rare, if a saline implant ruptures, it will be immediately obvious due to the change in breast size and shape. Saline is not known to cause adverse health effects and will ultimately be absorbed by the body.

What Else Do I Need To Know About Breast Augmentation?

Regardless of which type of implant you choose, when looking for breast augmentation Baton Rouge patients should recognize it is important to have realistic expectations for your results. While breast augmentation is incredibly effective at increasing the volume and shape of the breasts, it will not correct sagging or drooping breasts. Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Sanchez is highly skilled in employing complementary procedures during a breast augmentation, such as breast lift, to help patients achieve their ideal result.

Another noteworthy aspect of breast implants is that, whether silicone or saline, the implant will likely need to be replaced at some point in a patient’s lifetime. Baton Rouge, LA breast augmentation patients can expect to have their implants replaced within 8 – 10 years, but Dr. Sanchez and the team at Sanchez Plastic Surgery will evaluate your implants routinely and advise you accordingly.

Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind in terms of the longevity of your breast augmentation results is that the breasts will continue to change with time. As we age, gain weight and lose weight, the remaining natural breast tissue and skin will continue to stretch and change. The presence of implants will preserve your breast volume but will not combat these natural consequences of time and circumstance. Fortunately, additional procedures such as a breast lift and revisions of your breast augmentation can be performed by Dr. Sanchez to help address these issues.

What Is The First Step In Deciding Between Silicone and Saline?

Ultimately, the decision to pursue silicone or saline implants is up to your personal preference. However, the first and most important step in making the decision is to have a full consultation and evaluation with Dr. Erick Sanchez, a highly-qualified, experienced, knowledgeable, and board-certified plastic surgeon at Sanchez Plastic Surgery in Baton Rouge, LA. Call our office to schedule your breast augmentation consultation today to learn more about silicone and saline breast implants and which option is the best fit for your optimal aesthetic goals.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.