Can I Change my Saline Implants to Silicone Six Months After the Initial Procedure?

I had saline implants three months ago , Im planning to get them changed to silicone since I believe they look more natural and there is much less degree risk of rupture, and also Ive been told by a plastic surgeon that once you get silicone gel implants you dont have to get that surgery ever again , (unlike saline which you have to change every 10 years), is all this true?? Is it okay to have this kind of procedure 6 months after my first surgery?

Doctor Answers 18

Saline To Silicone

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You can change your saline implants to silicone implants at 6 months. I personally believe that silicone implants look and feel better in most women. Breast implants(saline and silicone)are medical devices and not designed nor should they be reported to last forever. They may and will break down over time. If that happens you will have to talk to your surgeon about options that are available to you.

Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 178 reviews

Risk of Saline vs. Silicone Breast Implant Deflation

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The risk of breast implant deflation for saline and silicone implants is the same as reported by most breast implant manufacturers. The lifespan of saline and silicone breast implants are also the same. Saline and silicone breast implants can feel different and look different depending on the amount of native breast tissue present.

Sean Younai, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Change silicone to saline filled implants

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the quick answer is yes.  it is my understanding that silicone gel filled are more popular currently. my approach is to inform the client of the differences( including costs) and let them make the choice.  one advantage of saline filled is that if it leaks ( usually due to materiel fatigue ) they usually deflate rapidly. the saline absorbs, and voila , one side is smaller.  But at least you know it and can deal with it.  If the gelfilled is disrupted or bleeds gel through the silicone shell, there may not be a noticable loss of volume, so the leakage may be missed by clinical examination or mammagram.  It is my understanding that even the MRI has a large number of false positive readings as the radiologist will call any surface irregularity suspicious for leakage in order to avoid missing a true disrupted gel-filled implant.  In very thin clients with minimal breast tissue silcone gel filled may be a better choice esthetically speaking to avoid the " waterbaloon" effect and " rippling " potential of the saline filled implants.  It is important to know of manufacturers'  warranties which vary for how much they cover for the expense of the surgery or anesthesia charges ( these warranties for expenses are limited in that they expire after " x" number of years; and whether they offer both sides to be replaced ( providing the client with no cost implant for the non-leaking side as well as the leaking side ). I believe that the implants, one or both, are covered for lifetime replacement for leakage. the warranties are explained online. the manufacturers do change the coverage from time to time but what is published at the time you use their product should stay the same.

William Jervis, Jr., MD
Walnut Creek Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

When Can I Change my Implants

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It is very common for women to want to switch their breast implants from saline to silicone. In fact the majority of breast augmentations performed in my practice are silicone implants at this point because they give a much more natural soft feel.

Many women who are very thin and go with larger implants can have rippling or a firm feel and look to their implants. Many of my patients have been switched from saline to silicone to have a more natural appearance or decrease their rippling.

The surgery is very straightforward in comparison to the original breast augmentation. The muscle has already been stretched so patients do not feel the same pressure after their surgery. Patients are typically surprised how easy the recovery is for an implant exchange.

At six months you could do your implant exchange, that give your body enough time to heal after your first surgery.

Implant Exchange from Saline to Silicone Safe

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Yes, you can change your implants safely after 6 months from Saline to silicone Breast Implants. However, few if any board certified plastic surgeons will tell you that your breast implants will last forever. I would recommend seeking a consultation from a board certified plastic surgeon by the American Board of Plastic surgery and ask the pros and cons of Saline versus Silicone gel implants.

Breast surgery revision

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It should be no problem to undergo the revisionary surgery at this point. However, you should be aware that all the risks associated with saline breast implants are the same with silicone gel implants (with the possible exception of rippling potential).

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 seen almost immediately. When silicone implants rupture, the breast often looks and feels the same because the silicone gel may leak into surrounding areas of the breast without a visible difference.  Patients may need an MRI to diagnose a silicone gel rupture.   Saline implants are also less expensive than the silicone gel implants.
Some surgeons feel that silicone implants have a more natural look and feel than saline implants because silicone gel has a texture that is similar to breast tissue. Each patient differs in the amount of breast tissue that they have.  If a patient has enough breast tissue to cover the implant, the final result will be similar when comparing saline implants versus silicone gel implants.  If a patient has very low body fat and/or very little breast tissue, the silicone gel implants may provide a more natural result.
Other differences involve how the breast implants are filled. Saline implants are filled after they’re implanted, so saline implants require a smaller incision than prefilled silicone breast implants. Also, many saline implants can be adjusted after surgery. The doctor can use a syringe to put in more liquid or take it out. The size of standard pre-filled silicone implants cannot be changed.
On May 10, 2000, the FDA granted approval of saline-filled breast implants manufactured by Mentor Corporation and McGhan Medical. To date, all other manufacturers’ saline-filled breast implants are considered investigational.
As of 2006, the FDA has approved the use of silicone gel implants manufactured by the Mentor Corporation and Allergan (formerly McGhan) for breast augmentation surgery for patients over the age of 22.
I hope this helps.

Breast Implants

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At 6 months you could have the surgery. I always caution my patients that just because you can, does not mean you should. If you have excessive rippling, or are unhappy with the appearance of your implants, or you are unhappy with the feel, you should seek the face-to-face advice of a board certified plastic surgeon. Make certain that you discuss all of the risks, as well as the benefits of any procedure with your surgeon. As stated before, nothing lasts forever and you will eventually have to replace implants no matter what the style, type, or manufacturer. Best of luck!

Christine Sullivan, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Breast augmentation silicone

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I would say that most of the information you have posted is incorrect. Visually there isn't much difference between saline and silicone unless you have visible rippling with salines. Smooth silicone implants have less rippling than saline implants. The leak rate is about the same and there is no guarantee that you won't need another surgery with silicone or saline sometime in the future. But you can switch them to silicone after six months if you like. I think the main reason to switch is if you have visible rippling or if you can feel the saline bag through your breast tissue and you want to have a more natural feel.

David E. Kim, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 106 reviews

Silicone implants

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While you certainly can have saline exchanged for silicone implants ( as long as you are at least 22 years old) there is still a risk with silicone implants that they will need to be changed just like the risks with saline.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Replacement of saline implants with silicone implants

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It is possible to change from saline to silicone implants, but silicone implants do not guarantee you will not need any additional surgery in the future. Silicone implants may feel more natural but with any type of breast augmentation there is a risk of complications such as capsular contracture or rupture which require revisional surgery.

Olivia Hutchinson, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.