Questions about Breast Augmentation
Saline or Silicone?
Both saline and silicone implants are popular choices among surgeons and patients. In general, patients with a decent amount of breast tissue are good candidates for saline implants, while those with limited tissue and thin chest walls will benefit from silicone.
Is Silicone Safe?
Patients sometimes have concerns about the safety of silicone breast implants because of the attention they received in the media years ago. However, the FDA did approve their safety. In addition, no evidence has ever been found to link silicone breast implants to cancer, auto-immune deficiency disease, or any other illness. Ultimately, 62% of today’s breast augmentation patients choose silicone over saline. For reconstruction cases, they choose them 3 times more often.
Breast Aug or Lift?
Breast augmentation will help with size, but it will not correct sagging. If you are happy with the shape and laxity of your breasts, then implants alone may meet your cosmetic goals. If sagging is what is most bothersome to you, then you may be considered for a breast lift. During your consult, we will determine if you are better suited for breast augmentation, a lift, or a combination of the two.
Risk of Rupture?
Modern engineering creates strong and durable implants. With proper care and regular check-ups, the risks for rupture are rare. If a saline implant does rupture, the solution will be absorbed by the body and the implant will deflate, becoming visibly noticeable. If a silicone implant ruptures, the cohesive gel will stay intact and will not leak into the body. An MRI will be necessary to detect a silicone defect.
How Long do They Last?
Most implants will last about 10 to 15 years. Some can last even longer. If there is no rupture, leakage, deflation, or any other visible defects (such as rippling), then there is no need to change the implant or have any type of secondary surgery.
How Long Do Implants Last?
So basically, there’s been this discussion or concern that implants only last about ten years. Actually, when the implants are made – whether they are silicone based or saline based or anatomical or gel – they basically are not made to be a lifetime type of device; however, they may still be able to last a lifetime. Mostly what happens after the implants are placed is how well they are maintained and how well the breast tissue around the area and the body kind of heals to the site. The long term adverse effects are about 1% a year in whether an implant needs to be replaced. Normally, that’s where the discussion after about ten years comes into play. Normally the situation that can occur that requires the implant to be replaced is something such as a rupture or capsular contracture where the scar around the implant becomes hardened to the point where it’s uncomfortable or actually deforming.
Other situations require removal potentially for an infection, but those are pretty much early on that those become identified. So, the normal maintenance and following – if there isn’t a concern in the way the breast looks, feels, and presents itself with any changes of any breast volume due to weight change, pregnancy, or any other changes, the implants really don’t have to be removed. The FDA does recommend every 3 years for an MRI to evaluate the integrity of the shell because sometimes with silicone implants, you can’t tell if there is any leakage around the implant because of the cohesiveness of it. So as long as those situations have been looked at and evaluated, and there are no glaring issues or symptoms, the implants can be maintained. Saline, on the other hand, if they deflate, it’s pretty obvious that there’s a deflation that occurs and the implant would need to be removed. So the majority of the time, the risk for adverse reaction is about 1% per year over the lifetime of the implant. So although they are not made to be lifetime, they can be a lifetime.