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Choosing the correct type of breast implants

The right choice of breast implants for breast augmentation is really a personal decision. Both types of implants are excellent and do achieve a natural look. There are, however, advantages and disadvantages to both implants that may influence your decision.

Silicone Gel Implants

Advantages

  • Natural feel – whether the implants are placed under the muscle or the breast tissue, these implants tend to have a more natural breast feel
  • Minimal rippling – due to the cohesive nature of the silicone gel, the outside of the implant ripples or wrinkles less which generally means that during movement, there is less visible wrinkling in the skin, especially in thin women or women with a small amount of breast tissue, this therefore gives a more natural appearance

Disadvantages

  • More expensive – generally the cost of the implant is more expensive to buy than saline implants likely due to manufacturing costs
  • Quicker onset of capsule formation – regardless of the position of the implant, silicone implants do cause capsular contracture at a faster rate than saline implants, especially when put under the breast gland compared to under the muscle
  • Longer scar – because the implants come pre-filled to the desired size, the length of incision will increase the larger the implant

Saline Implants

Advantages

  • Capsule formation is delayed – this is compared to similar silicone gel implants placed in the same pocket, meaning fewer touch-up surgeries like capsulotomy (surgery to fix capsular contracture)
  • Shorter scar – the implant is introduced into the pocket as an empty shell and then filled with saline so the incision used can be very short
  • Lower cost – saline implants are cheaper than silicone gel implants
  • Saline is absorbed by the body during rupture – some women still feel uneasy about having silicone in their body despite a large amount of research in literature showing that silicone is safe, so if this is the case, then saline implants might be more suitable

Disadvantages

  • Rippling – this implant is essentially a bag of water and even though it can be over-inflated, in thin women, rippling or wrinkling during movement or even at rest may be seen giving an unnatural look
  • Artificial feel – again this is essentially water in a silicone shell so it can feel unnatural compared to a normal breast
  • Rupture rate – saline implants do rupture more often than silicone implants with a rate of approximately 1% per year

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