Common Breast Augmentation Questions

What is the Difference Between Saline and Silicone Implants?

While breast implant devices have a silicone plastic outer shell, they may be filled with either saline or silicone depending on patient preference, anatomy and your surgeon’s expert recommendation. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), silicone gel breast implants tend to be the most popular option for women. However, each type of breast implant has its own set of pros and cons for you to consider.

During your consultation at Umansky Plastic Surgery, Dr. Umansky will thoroughly explain the benefits and risks associated with each style of implant so that you may make an informed decision regarding your body. Saline and silicone breast implants tend to differ the most in their aesthetic results, how they respond to ruptures, and in the reaction of the surrounding tissue to the implant after insertion.

Saline Implants

Saline breast implants are filled with a harmless sterile saltwater solution. Unlike with pre-filled silicone gel implants, saline implants are inserted into the breast pocket empty so that they may be filled to your unique size specifications in regards to volume and symmetry after implantation—which often means shorter incisions than those needed for pre-filled silicone implants. Saline implants are generally considered to be firmer to the touch than natural breast tissue and are more likely to produce visible rippling or wrinkling post-operatively.

However, in the unlikely event of an implant rupture or leak, saline implants will show a noticeable amount of deflation almost instantaneously. Many women consider this to be a benefit, as they’ll know immediately when an implant will need to be removed or replaced. As the saline solution is quickly and safely absorbed by the body, this aspect provides peace of mind to many patients.

Silicone Gel Implants

Silicone implants are composed of varying consistencies of soft, silicone gel that many women believe to best mimic the look and feel of natural breast tissue. Silicone gel implants are pre-filled and may require larger incisions than those required for saline implants. However, they are by far the most-requested implant type for women due to their natural-feeling results. Silicone is also less likely to produce visible contour deformities like wrinkling or rippling due to the thicker consistency of the gel. There are different degrees of gel cohesiveness – the most cohesive types of gel are sometimes called “gummy bear” implants.

Silicone gel implants may rupture silently, meaning that leaks are not always immediately apparent or easy to detect. In fact, it may be necessary to have an ultrasound or MRI study to identify a silicone implant rupture. In addition, some studies have shown that silicone implants are more likely than saline to lead to capsular contracture—a complication in which the breast implant becomes distorted as a result of hardened scar tissue.

Are Silicone Breast Implants Safe?

In November of 2006, after finding no connection between silicone implants and disease or illness, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) re-approved silicone breast implants for use in patients 22 years of age and older. They are also approved for use in breast reconstruction patients who are 18 years of age or older. Recognized for their excellence in performing breast augmentation procedures, our San Diego breast specialists were among a select few plastic surgeons chosen to participate in clinical studies to test the safety of silicone implants before their re-release.

We are proud to offer our patients silicone breast implants from trusted and FDA-cleared brands such as Allergan®, Sientra®, and Mentor® for breast augmentation and reconstructive procedures. If you would like more information about the safety of silicone implants today, please contact us for a consultation.

Are There Different Types of Breast Implants?

Both saline and silicone breast implants are offered in several different sizes, shapes and textures from which to select. The implant device you choose may be round or anatomically shaped, as well as smooth or textured to the touch depending on your personal preferences and goals. However, over 90 percent of our breast augmentation patients at Umansky Plastic Surgery will select round and smooth implants for their procedure.

Our office also strives to provide the latest advancements in implant devices on the market today to help you to safely and effectively achieve your aesthetic goals. In addition to traditional silicone and saline implant options, we also offer the newest types of implants that are revolutionizing breast augmentation procedures, such as:

Gummy Bear Implants

Gummy bear breast implants, also known as highly cohesive gel implants, fall into the category of silicone gel implants. However, unlike traditional silicone implants, the consistency of the gel within these devices is similar to that of the inside of a gummy bear candy—which is how they got their name. These implants are firmer to the touch than other gel-filled implants. The thicker consistency of “gummy bear” implants allows them to better keep their shape, which can be helpful in breast reconstruction procedures. The cohesive filling also helps to prevent the silicone from migrating outside of the breast pocket in the event of a rupture, which is comforting to many patients.

Ideal Implant

The Ideal Implant is the latest development in implant technology that combines some of the best features of silicone and saline implants to give women comfort and peace of mind. The Ideal Implant is a uniquely structured implant that is with filled with saline solution. Unlike traditional saline implants, however, the internal design of the Ideal Implant helps it keep its shape and reduces rippling issues. Should a deflation occur, the body will safely absorb the saline, offering the safety of saline. The Ideal Implant is currently available through a limited network of board-certified plastic surgeons, and Umansky Plastic Surgery is proud to be the first practice in San Diego to offer this innovation to our patients.

How Long Does it Take to Recover From Breast Augmentation Surgery?

Recovery following breast augmentation surgery will vary from patient to patient depending on several factors such as the extent of the operation and the implants selected. Most patients, however, are comfortable enough to drive a car in as little as three to five days after their procedure. To maximize the final results of your procedure and prevent complications from arising, it is crucial that breast augmentation patients strictly adhere to all post-operative instructions provided by our surgeons.

During recovery, most patients will wear a compression bra to support the breasts as they heal and help to reduce swelling. Normal day-to-day to activities such as work are commonly resumed after about one week of recovery, though it may be several more weeks before your doctor clears you for more strenuous activities. While your breasts will immediately appear larger after surgery, it may take several weeks or months for the implants’ to “settle” into their pockets and to become soft.

What are the Risks Associated with Breast Augmentation?

As with all types of surgery, breast augmentation procedures do come with certain risks. The potential complications that can arise with breast augmentation surgery with breast implants can include:

  • Capsular contracture
  • Rippling or wrinkling
  • Implant rupture
  • Infection
  • Changes in breast sensation
  • Breast implant malposition

While no surgery is without risks, the complications associated with breast augmentation surgery can be greatly reduced by choosing a highly skilled and experienced board-certified plastic surgeon to perform the procedure.

How Long Will My Breast Implants Last?

While breast implants are designed to be incredibly durable and long-lasting, they are not lifetime devices. Over time, implants can deflate or rupture leading to the need for replacement. Saline and silicone implants vary from each other with respect to longevity and the ease of determining problems with implant integrity.

The results of your breast augmentation will be long lasting. However, your breasts will still be vulnerable to the effects of gravity, weight fluctuations, pregnancy and time. All of these factors can lead to a desire for future implant replacement or revisionary surgery. For these reasons, it is essential to maintain a good relationship with your plastic surgeon if any future complications or aesthetic concerns arise after your surgery to maintain your enhanced breasts.

Breast Augmentation with Natrelle®

Breast Augmentation Planner

Allergan has prepared this information to help you better understand the breast implant procedure and assist you in making an informed decision about breast augmentation or revision-augmentation surgery. It will also provide you with specific information about the risks and benefits of Allergan’s NATRELLE ® Silicone-Filled Breast Implants.

Important Factors to Consider

This brochure provides you a high level overview of the facts about breast implant surgery with Allergan’s FDA-Approved NATRELLE® Silicone-Filled Breast Implants. This brochure is not intended to replace consultation with your surgeon.

First practice in San Diego to offer the Ideal Implant

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