Is There Any Role for Saline Breast Implants in Breast Augmentation? Only a few.

Is There Any Role for Saline Breast Implants in Breast Augmentation? Only a few.

In breast augmentation women over the age of 22 do have a choice of breast implant types: saline or silicone. In the advent of cohesive gel silicone breast implants, or “gummy bear” breast implants, women have more choices than ever for silicone breast implants. Women are choosing silicone breast implants more frequently over saline breast implants because they feel more natural, and have less palpability and rippling.

Why would you choose saline implants for breast augmentation?

  • Age: if you are under the age of 22, silicone breast implants are not an option for primary cosmetic breast augmentation. This is based off of the research trial for the new silicone implants where not enough patients under the age of 22 were evaluated, so the 22 year age cut-off was set.
  • Cost: saline breast implants are half the price of silicone breast implants and about a third of the cost of the cohesive gel breast implants, or “gummy bear” breast implants.
  • Choice: women do have a choice of breast implants, and for some women are just more comfortable choosing saline breast implants. Their decision is sometimes based on the fact that if there is a rupture saline is just resorbed by the body and silicone stays in the breast which may lead to scarring. If a saline implant ruptures, the patient will experience a deflation of the breast, but if a silicone implant ruptures, it may be silent and could be picked up on an MRI or it may cause scarring around the breast implant called a capsular contracture.
  • Incision: the incision length is smaller with a saline breast implant because it is inflated in the breast versus a silicone breast implant which is pre-filled. The difference in the length of incision is about a centimeter and a half for the soft gel implants, but for the gummy bear breast implants a longer incision is needed. In an endoscopic transaxillary breast augmentation, placing a silicone breast implant through an armpit incision is difficult and may traumatize the breast implant. This can be minimized with a smaller silicone breast implant and/or using an implant funnel.

Sometimes, women who have had implant complications with older silicone breast implants, may be anxious about placing another silicone breast implant, but now they may choose a silicone cohesive gel implant, or “gummy bear” breast implants, which has little to no liquid phase of silicone.

Breast augmentation is a very individual decision that should fit your goals and your body. Find a plastic surgeon who offers multiple approaches and multiple types of breast augmentation so that this cosmetic surgical procedure fits you. Dr. Trussler in his Austin, Texas plastic surgery practice offers a multitude of breast augmentation choices and his experience will help guide you to the breast implant that is right for you.

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Posted in: Breast Augmentation

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Andrew Trussler, MD
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Phone: (512) 450-1077 | Fax: (512) 450-1817

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