Saline Breast Implants
As the name implies, this type of implant is filled with saline (sterile salt water). What is interesting about them is that it must be inserted first before it is filled with the solution. This means that minimal incisions are needed, hence smaller scars.
Incision type appropriate for this implant include the, periareolar (around the edge of the areola), inframmary (under the breast), transaxillary (through the axilla or armpit), and transumbilical (through the belly button) route.
Saline implants have two placement options, the sub-glandular or sub-muscular placement. The first approach is when the implant is placed over the muscle. While the latter means placed it under the muscle. Some surgeons also use a partial submuscular placement where only two-thirds of the implant is covered with muscle.
This type of implant gives a harder feel with a greater chance of rippling. The typical longevity period that is expected of them is 7-10 years. But if you passed the 10-year mark without any problems, experts find no reason to replace them, unless the patient wants to upgrade or opt for a reduction. Aside from that, saline breast implants only need to be replaced if they leak or rupture.
Saline breast implants provide uniformity since the volume can be easily manipulated, since the surgeon can add or reduce the amount of solution. Adding to that, it also provides an even firmness and feel. It is FDA-approved for augmentation in women who are 18 and older.
When a saline implant leaks or ruptures, it can easily be detected because the implant will collapse. The saline solution has the same osmolarity as our own body, so you don’t have to worry about the material because it will be absorbed and naturally expelled by your system. However, should this happen, you should promptly inform your surgeon.
A common reason why an implant gives away is because it develops a fold in one spot. Over time this fold might tend to move back and forth, weaken, and eventually breaks.
In terms of its touch and feel, most women find this type of implant to have an artificial texture. However, this can be avoided by placing it behind the breast tissue. Furthermore, this implant is more likely to show some rippling and wrinkling which can be more pronounced in women who have thin skin and very little breast tissue.
The cost for a breast augmentation procedure involving saline implants is approximately $1,000 less than silicone implants. There are several reasons for the variation in price, and on these is the cost of the implant-filling material.
Silicone Breast Implants
In an effort to improve breast augmentation results, silicone breast implants were created. These are pre-filled with silicone gel to create a more natural looking breast tissue with either smooth or textured shells.
Due to the fact that these are pre-filled, the incisions would have to be made longer. A periareolar, inframmary, or transaxillary incision would have to be used in this case. A transumbilical approach would be inappropriate for this type of implant because it comes prefilled already, and the site is far too distal from the breasts.
Just like saline, silicone implants can be placed subglandularly or submuscularly. Aside from the texture of its surface, silicone implants also vary in shape (round or shaped), profile (the manner in which it sticks out), volume and shell thickness. All these factor in the actual outcome, either it was placed over the muscle or below it.
Silicone implants provide a more natural feel with a lower chance of rippling. These implants are expected to last around 18-20 years, or even longer. Many women prefer this kind because it gives a softer feel, much closer to that of a natural breast tissue.
Aside from giving a more natural feel, silicone implants are also more malleable in comparison to its saline counterparts. It is approved for women age 22 or older, and it is also appropriate for breast reconstruction in women of any age.
As of this writing, there are 5 silicone gel-filled implants that have been approved by the FDA. These are under the brands, Allergan, Mentor, and Sientra. These have been designed to mold into the breast pocket better, and with better resilience. However, this still requires regular screening.
Having this type of implants also means that you need to visit your plastic surgeon regularly to ensure whether they are still intact or leaky. The tricky part is that any leak is not easily detectable, and only an ultrasound or MRI can effectively point out any silent rupture.
Made out of a cohesive gel, this type of breast implant is form-stable or they keep their shape even if they are cut in half, hence the catchy nickname. Gummy bear implants are considered the future of breast augmentation surgery because they are able to give a more natural look and texture.
Just like silicone implants appropriate incision options include the periareolar, inframmary and transaxillary route.
The same with the other two that preceded it, gummy bear implants can be placed subglandularly or submuscularly. As it takes in a more natural-looking shape, it better mimics natural breast tissue regardless of what position the patient assumes. The placement of a gummy bear implant requires a slightly longer incision.
Overall, gummy bear implants give a more natural breast shape with a lower chance of wrinkling or folding. They have more projection at the bottom and are tapered towards the top. Upon palpation, gummy bear implants tend to be firmer than traditional implants, where prefer it over its silicone counterparts.
Another major advantage is that it does not leak when ruptured. However, it does not mean that it doesn’t need monitoring and prompt action should anything go awry.
Like silicone implants, a woman must be at least 22 to be allowed to have this option. It can last for 15-20 years, or longer.
Longer incisions mean more scarring, although any adverse results can be minimized with the right techniques. It is also worth noting that even though they are described to be similar to the popular candy, this type of implant not solid, but rather, it is highly cohesive. Hence, regular monitoring remains to be essential to ensure your safety over the years.
Aside from these three, there are other differences that would dictate your decision. There may be several options available to you nowadays, but the bottom line is to look for the one that suits you best. So, how do you know which among these would be perfect for your physique and your beauty goals? Book your appointment with Dr. Daood today and let’s get into details.