Breast augmentation surgery is the most popular cosmetic surgery today, as women seek larger and fuller breasts for cosmetic reasons or for reconstructive purposes, such as after mastectomy for breast cancer. There are two types of breast implants used in breast augmentation. Read on to learn the differences.

Silicone breast implants

Silicone implants have a silicone outer shell that is pre-filled with silicone gel material. It’s the most popular option as patients believe the gel feels most like natural breast tissue. As these implants are pre-filled, they will require slightly larger incisions than saline. If there is a leak or rupture, silicone implants may not deflate and require imaging such as an MRI to detect the rupture.

Silicone implants are FDA-approved for women who are at least age 22 or any age for breast reconstruction. These are a good choice for women who have very little breast tissue, are thin or want to minimize rippling.

When it comes to silicone breast implants, you can choose more highly cohesive implants called “gummy bear” implants. These retain their shape better and are slightly firmer than silicone gel implants. They hold together if the shell is ruptured.

Saline breast implants

Saline implants also have a silicone outer shell, but these implants aren’t filled with the sterile saltwater solution until after placement. The advantage to this is that the volume can be adjusted and the incisions are smaller than with silicone gel implants. These implants are FDA-approved for women age 18 or older or for any woman age for reconstruction. Saline breast implants are ideal for women who want smaller incisions or have sufficient breast tissue to cover the implant for a more natural look. If there is a leak or rupture, the saline implant deflates quickly and the saline solution is absorbed and expelled by the body naturally.

If you are in good health and have realistic expectations for breast augmentation surgery, you may be an ideal candidate for the procedure. If you live in Washington, D.C., or surrounding areas, call our office at (202) 750-5189 to schedule a consultation.

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