What type of breast implant is best for me?
Article by Stephen A. Goldstein, MD
Englewood Plastic Surgeon
What type of implants will be used?
Approximately 400,000 women in the United States underwent breast augmentation in 2007. Each woman has her own personal reasons for considering breast augmentation surgery. For some, they desire fuller breasts with a more pronounced profile. For others, it may be to improve the shape of the breast due to the gradual changes to the body that come with childbirth or the effects of age and gravity.
The availability of both saline-filled implants, which consist of a silicone shell filled with sterile saltwater, and silicone gel-filled breast implants creates new options for women considering breast enhancement surgery. All women over 22 years old seeking cosmetic breast augmentation surgery have the option of selecting FDA-approved silicone breast implants.
- Advantages of Silicone Implants
Until November 2006, saline-filled breast implants were the only commercially available option for women in the United States who were considering breast implant surgery. Many surgeons and patients with breast implants have the opinion that silicone implants have a more natural look and feel than saline implants due to the fact that silicone gel has a texture similar to breast tissue. When silicone implants rupture, the breast often looks and feels the same because the silicone cohesive gel will not leak beyond the implant into surrounding areas of the breast without a visible difference. Over the past two years, it has been my experience that over 96% of my patients have chosen silicone implants.
- Advantages of Saline Implants
Saline implants have some advantages over silicone implants. Silicone implant ruptures are harder to detect. When saline implants rupture, they deflate and the results are usually seen almost immediately. Saline implants have a long history of use in the United States with a safe track record. Saline implants are almost 50% cheaper than silicone implants. About 55 of my patients choose saline implants.
There are two companies that manufacture and produce breast implants in the United States, Mentor Corporation and Allergan, Inc. Both companies are reputable and sound and make state-of-the-art breast implant devices. Each plastic surgeon has his/her preference, and it is imperative that a lengthy discussion ensue between you and your plastic surgeon talking about what is best for you and why.
Personally, I have been using Mentor breast implants successfully for over twenty years and have been extremely pleased with the product.