Breast Augmentation - Know Two types of Implants

Breast augmentation surgery is the most commonly performed cosmetic procedure in the United States, with more than 300,000 of them having been performed in 2010, about 39 percent more than in 2000. It may be chosen by those with self-esteem issues related to small breast size, or by those who have experienced diminished size after childbirth or weight loss. Other common reasons are to correct asymmetry and as part of reconstructive surgery after mastectomy.

The surgery involves the placement of an implant to increase the cup size and fullness of the breasts. A small incision is made in an area that will minimize the visibility of scarring. Two types of implant are available: silicone and saline.

Saline implants are comprised of a solid silicone shell which is filled with sterile saline. Only a small incision is required, because the implants are filled after they are already in place, which also gives a finer control over the final size. Silicone implants have a solid silicone shell filled with silicone gel. Silicone is used because there don't tend to be any issues with rejection by the body and because it is easy to sterilize.
Breast Augmentation

Silicone implants were reintroduced to the market in 2006, after having been banned for a time due to safety risks. Studies performed to assess these concerns found that the risk was lower than believed, and the FDA allowed the implants to be sold again, with the manufacturers gathering data over a ten-year period. Patients must be 22 or older, and an MRI three years after surgery - and every two years thereafter - is strongly recommended. This is to look for signs of rupture.

Saline implants are available in different shapes and are frequently textured so that they maintain their orientation. Silicone implants are round smooth. They do move about, which some believe lends a more natural appearance and feel.

In consultation, the surgeon and patient will come to an agreement about what type of implants will be used and where they will be placed. The patient's body type and the characteristics of the existing breast tissue may be considerations, as well as the patient's reasons for seeking an enlargement.

If you choose to get breast augmentation surgery, be sure to select a plastic surgeon with lots of experience. In your consultation, ask questions about how the procedure will be performed, what you can expect in recovery, and what payment plans are available to you. The best surgeon will listen to you patiently, help you to understand your options, and will explain everything to you clearly.


  1. At the beginning of this year, the most used breast implants were silicone, at least for the breast augmentation surgeries performed in Toronto.
    From what I heard, this type of implants feel more natural than saline implants. But I think the surgeon is the only one that can determine if you can have one or another type of implants, because it depends on your breasts size and shape and other details.

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