The Peer Group

Plastic Surgery

124 Columbia Turnpike , Florham Park, NJ 07932 | 973-532-5100
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Breast Augmentation: Silicone or Saline? Understanding the real facts.

Every woman that contemplates breast augmentation surgery will ask themselves, do I want saline or silicone breast implants? Aside from what size is best to go with, this is one of the top burning questions New Jersey area women want answers to when discussing surgery with their surgeon. With advancements in breast augmentation, as well as medical improvements to the implants themselves, it is still the most popular cosmetic surgery according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Our board-certified plastic surgeons, at The Peer Group in Florham Park, NJ, are able to help you decide what type of implant is best for you but let us give some helpful information to get you started. We are going to help take the guesswork out of the saline or silicone question and show the benefits of both so you can make the right choice...for you!

Today’s implants…

Back in the 80’s, silicone was the popular choice for breast augmentation. When some cases of silicone implants rupturing came out causing women to be sick, the implants were briefly taken off the market. But FDA approval was quickly regained and silicone implants were redesigned. A question still commonly asked by patients, in regards to silicone implants, is are they safe? The answer is yes. Today’s implants are methodically engineered with better materials, in turn, offering more sizing options, textures, and shapes to choose from so patients can now safely enjoy their implants whether they be saline or silicone.

Considerations for breast augmentation

Breast augmentation still remains one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries because they offer New Jersey area women the opportunity to have fuller, shapelier breasts with little downtime and minimal to no side effects. They can help a women feel sexier and regain her self-confidence and enjoy a shapelier silhouette that would otherwise not be possible. While some women are born with very limited native breast tissue, the natural process of aging, the toll pregnancy and nursing takes on a woman’s breasts, weight loss and gain, are all factors that over time cause breasts to naturally lose volume or shape. Getting breast implants can change that for patients and give them back their self-confidence with beautiful, natural-looking results.

The filler difference...

Regardless if you choose saline or silicone, the outside or “implant shell” on both types of implants are essentially the same and have been medically improved to decrease incidences of punctures or implants rupturing. In fact, today’s implants are safer than ever before and ruptures of a silicone or saline implant are extremely rare. As for the difference on the inside filler material, it is simple. Saline implants are filled with a saline type solution that is essentially sterile salt water. Silicone implants are filled with a silicone-gel type material. Both types have a great safety record. Even with the “silicone scare” decades ago, silicone implants are regarded as one of the most tested medical devices and quickly becoming the more popular implant choice because of their natural look and feel.

The perks about saline implants...

Patients in the state of New Jersey must be 18 years old to consider saline implants unlike silicone implants which has a state regulation of at least 22 years old. Typically the least expensive of the 2 types, saline implants also require a much smaller incision site than silicone. Saline implants or the “outer shell” are inserted first through a small incision and then filled with the saline solution during surgery. This enables the plastic surgeon to make adjustments during surgery in order to reach the desired size needed as well as allowing for better symmetry. Also with saline implants, it is not needed or recommended to have a follow-up MRI every 2-3 years to check for any possible rupturing. If the saline implant ruptures, it slowly deflates, which is visible to the patient. If this occurs, the saline is absorbed into the body (which does not create any harm for the patient) therefore showing obvious signs of an issue.

The perks about silicone implants…

The most popular choice today for most women is to choose silicone implants over saline. One of the main reasons is that silicone implants mimic natural-looking breasts. Due to the composition of the silicone type material, they feel very similar to natural breast tissue especially with the latest technology. They can also be offered in a variety of more shapes and sizes, compared to saline, so reaching a desired look for the profile is more achievable. Silicone implants are also lighter in weight which eliminates the “natural sag” that may occur over time. In addition, “rippling” that can occur under the skin rarely occurs with silicone implants.

Which one goes the distance?

It is a known fact, whether saline or silicone, breast implants are not medical devices that typically last forever. Individuals that had breast augmentation at a younger age may have to consider having one or both replaced over time. While it is reported that most implants can last up to 10 years, this is generally no longer the case. Women can enjoy their implants for many years beyond that number. After breast augmentation surgery, it is important to have your plastic surgeon assess your breasts throughout the years to ensure they still look, feel and function normally and healthy. So as to the question which one lasts longer? Research studies show both saline and silicone have the same longevity.

Is the recovery different for saline or silicone?

The recovery time for both types of implants is about the same. You could return to work in a few short days. And resume more vigorous activities, if cleared by your surgeon, in a few weeks. Full recovery and optimal aesthetic outcome is usually seen within 3-4 months.

If you are considering breast augmentation surgery, discuss all of your options with your plastic surgeon and allow them to help you determine which implant type is the best fit for you. Our board-certified plastic surgeons at The Peer Group in Florham Park, NJ are one of the leading cosmetic practices in the New Jersey area. With their advice, they can help guide you on choosing the right implant type in order to give you the best end result! Call or schedule your breast augmentation consultation with The Peer Group today.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.