What’s the Difference Between Saline, Silicone, and Structured Breast Implants?

breast augmentation, Lubbock

Aside from size, implant type may be the most important decision regarding breast augmentation. For years, patients had to choose between saline and silicone. Saline is often perceived as safer yet may not feel as natural. Silicone is better known for a realistic feel but puts some patients at risk of silent ruptures. Now there’s a third option – structured implants, also known as Ideal Implants. These offer natural feel of silicone with the peace of mind of saline.

Here’s a closer look at all three implant options for Lubbock patients seeking breast augmentation.

Saline

Typically cited benefits of saline implants in breast augmentation are safety and lower age restrictions. Saline implants are approved for patients 18 and older, and if a rupture does occur, the sterile saltwater solution simply absorbs into the body safely. The downside is that a saline implant is much like a water balloon. It lacks structure, and therefore can lack a natural look and feel.

Silicone

Silicone implants look and feel much more like natural breasts when used for breast augmentation. They are limited to patients 22 and older, however, and silicone is a sticky substance that the body can’t absorb. Instead, ruptured silicone can become trapped near the rupture site and eventually cause breast pain or a change in breast shape. This is called a silent rupture because it’s only detectable on an MRI. Because of this, the Food and Drug Administration recommends patients who choose silicone implants with their breast augmentation surgery get an MRI every two years, which can add to the overall cost and aftercare of the surgery.

Structured

A newer option available now is structured implants. They combine a structured yet flexible shell with a saline solution filling, giving the look and feel of natural breasts from the structure and the peace of mind of silicone. Additionally, patients can tell if they’ve had a rupture just by looking in a mirror. This saves on the cost, inconvenience, and radiation exposure of MRIs.

Saline, silicone, and structured all have their place in the breast augmentation world.  Since each patient is different, it’s important to discuss the options with a trusted professional like Lubbock’s most experienced surgeon, Dr. Jane Rowley.  Dr. Rowley seeks to understand your preferences, needs, and body type. Together, you can discuss the best option for you. Schedule a no-obligation consultation today.

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