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 links 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 Augmentation or Lift?
Breast augmentation helps 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. However, if sagging is what is most bothersome to you, then you may consider 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 likely stay intact and not leak into the body. An MRI will be necessary to detect a silicone defect.
How Long do They Last?
Most implants last about 10 to 15 years. Some 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?
In short, there’s been 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 are not made as a lifetime type of device; however, they may still last a lifetime. The most important factors in the longevity of breast implants is how well you maintain them and how well the breast tissue and the body heals to the site. The long term adverse effects are about 1% a year.
Normally, that’s where the discussion after about ten years comes into play. Typically, the situation that occurs that requires implant replacement 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 deforming.
Other Removal Situations
Other situations require removal due to potential infection, but are usually identified early. With normal maintenance and no concerns 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, implant removal is not necessary. The FDA recommends an MRI every 3 years 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. If a doctor monitors a patient for these conditions, a patient can maintain their implants.
Saline, on the other hand, if they deflate, it’s pretty obvious that there’s a deflation that occurs and requires removal of the implant. The majority of the time the risk for adverse reaction is about 1% per year over the lifetime of the implant. While not made to last a lifetime, your breast implants often will.