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Chicago Plastic Surgeon Explains Silicone vs Saline

Article courtesy of Otto J. Placik, M.D.
January 10, 2013

Choosing Between Saline and Silicone Breast Implants

Many women in Chicago, Illinois have considered getting a breast augmentation procedure done. Whether they desire larger breasts, fuller breasts, or to change the overall shape of the breasts, augmentation surgeries are extremely common. But while many women may believe that all breast enhancement procedures are alike, there are many different choices, especially between what kind of material the patient desires. Patients have two choices when it comes to implants: saline and silicone. But what exactly are the differences between these two materials and how should patients choose which material is best for them?

There are many pros to each type of material. Saline breast implants are filled with a salt water solution. They are filled during the augmentation procedure, which makes it easier for them to be placed inside the breast. In addition, they are convenient in the fact that they can be filled to the patient’s specifications, so their size is controlled. Since saline breast implants are made of salt and water, they are safer than silicone. If the implants were ever to rupture, the solution will be absorbed by the body. Saline implants also have less side effects when it comes to scar tissue around the actual implant if placed under the muscle, when compared to silicone implants. The size of the incision will also be smaller for saline implants because they are filled after they have been inserted into the breast.

Silicone breast implants are considered to be aesthetically superior to saline implants, but they also come with greater risks. While silicone implants are more durable, feel more natural and are less likely to show rippling, these implants are pre-filled and leaves less room for the patient or the physician to adjust their size. However, at the same time, there is no worry when it comes to fill-related defects in the implants because patients will see and feel them before the surgery. If a silicone breast implant were to rupture, the patient needs to act quickly in order to have the implant removed. Women with silicone breast implants can minimize the likelihood of rupture by having regular MRI tests done to make sure the implant is secure and intact.

Chicago plastic surgeon, Dr. Otto Placik, offers patients both options and will discuss which treatment is best for each patient’s body and aesthetic goals. There are many factors to consider before settling on one implant material or another. If a patient doesn’t mind traditional implant surgery, with an incision under the breast or around the areola, then silicone might be the preferred material. However, for patients that prefer a transumbilical incision, saline solutions will be used.

Regardless of which material the patient chooses, it is important to remember that both types of implants are very safe, but neither is meant to be a permanent solution. Chicago breast augmentation patients should expect to have their implants replaced anywhere from 12 to 15 years after the original surgery, regardless of whether the implants are saline or silicone.

To schedule your breast augmentation consultation, contact Chicago plastic surgeon, Dr. Otto Placik today at 312-574-3168 (Chicago Office) or 847-305-1532 (Arlington Heights Office).


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