Implant Type: Saline vs. Silicone
Many women who want to enhance the size and shape of their breasts consider getting breast implants. Women can choose between saline and silicone implants for their breast augmentation or breast revision procedure. Whether you desire to enhance the size, shape, projection, or symmetry of your breasts, the type of implant you choose can play a significant role when it comes to achieving your aesthetic goals. Each implant type has its advantages but can also come with certain disadvantages. Dr. Burnett uses Natrelle® breast implants made by Allergan and works closely with each of his patients to determine the proper implant type for their unique needs.
Both saline and silicone implants are made of an outer silicone shell that is either smooth or textured, and both implant types can achieve a natural look and feel with the right placement in the right patient. The smooth-surface implants can provide a more comfortable feel and move naturally inside the body. Textured implants provide a soft tissue ingrowth that keeps the implant firmly in place to prevent it from shifting in the breast pocket. Both implant types can be inserted either above or below the chest muscle. The ideal implant size, shape, texture, and placement will depend on the patient’s natural breast anatomy and specific goals. Dr. Burnett will measure your breast size and have you try on a bra with implants to determine what feels most comfortable to you under your clothing. You will make the final decision about your implant size, type, and position as well as the location of the incision.
What Is the Difference?
Saline implants are FDA approved for women 18 years of age or older and are filled with a sterile saltwater solution. Saline implants cost less than silicone, but they may make your breasts look and feel more firm than silicone implants if you have naturally thin breast tissue. However, patients with adequate breast tissue may not notice a big difference between saline and silicone implants, so if cost is an important factor, you may want to consider saline implants. They also offer the benefit of a smaller incision because they are inserted into the breasts empty and then filled during surgery, which allows for more precise sizing and symmetry. A saline rupture is more easily detected than a silicone rupture because the implant will deflate quickly, and the body will naturally absorb the harmless saline solution.
Silicone implants are FDA approved for women 22 years of age or older. These are highly cohesive, form-stable implants filled with a silicone gel that effectively holds its shape in the event of a rupture. They tend to look and feel more natural than saline implants and are less likely to show visible rippling or surface wrinkles. Because a longer incision may be required, this can increase the likelihood of visible scarring. They also come with the risk of silent rupture but have a lower rate of rupture than saline implants, and they may carry a higher risk of capsular contracture. Dr. Burnett offers different levels of silicone implants that come in round and anatomical shapes, and they are available in three different gel consistencies (known as how “gummy,” or cohesive, they are).
Implant Placement: Over vs. Under the Muscle
When looking into breast augmentation, many women do not realize that the placement of their implants is just as important as deciding what size and shape they should be. While there are several placement options, not all of them may be suited for you. Dr. Burnett will help you decide the best placement option to help you achieve your aesthetic goals.
Submuscular (Under the Muscle)
This is the most commonly recommended implant placement, and one benefit is that it can be used with all breast implant types. With submuscular placement, the implants are placed under the pectoral muscle to provide patients with natural-looking breasts. This method is especially beneficial for women who have little breast tissue, as it will provide them with additional coverage of the implant. There is also a minimal chance of capsular contracture occurring if this placement option is chosen. However, submuscular placement is more invasive than a subglandular approach and will require a more extended recovery period.
Subglandular (Over the Muscle)
Subglandular placement is when breast implants are placed over the muscle and covered by the breast tissue. This option is usually performed with silicone implants and is best suited for women who desire more cleavage and larger breasts. Although recovery is slightly faster, there may be an increased risk of implant visibility and complications such as capsular contracture or rippling. Subglandular placement is also not as natural-looking as submuscular, as it can make the breasts look rounder.
Whichever implant placement you choose, Dr. Burnett’s expertise in performing breast augmentation will provide you with the best results possible.
For more information regarding breasts implants, implant placement, and which options would best suit your aesthetic goals, call our practice at (559) 432-5156.