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Choosing the Best Type of Breast Implant

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

implantsChoosing to undergo breast augmentation is an important decision. However, this is just the first of many decisions that will need to be made regarding breast augmentation surgery. One important decision will be choosing which type of breast implant you’d like to use for your breast enlargement. This can be a difficult decision for a patient to make. Allan Kalus has been performing successful breast augmentation surgery for over 20 years, so he relies on those years of experience to help his patients choose the best type of breast implant to be used during breast augmentation at his Melbourne plastic surgery practice.

Types of Breast Implants

It is important to understand that, just as with any foreign object that is surgically implanted in the body, breast implants do have a limited lifespan and can be expected to fail eventually. How long will a breast implant last, how easily can a failure be detected, and what are the consequences of breast implant failure are all important considerations. For our patients in Melbourne, breast implants filled with Saline solution have been found to last in excess of 20 years. On the other hand, up to 40% of Silicone breast implants are found to have ruptured after 8 years when an MRI is performed. When deciding whether to have Silicone or Saline Breast  Implants the following should be taken into consideration

  • Silicone
    If a silicone implant leaks or ruptures, it will need to be cleaned out of the breast pocket. Silicone is a sticky substance that can be difficult to clean out and may require the removal of some breast tissue. In addition, silicone granulomata can form which are difficult to remove.The Silicone can spread to the lymph nodes and the chest cavity and be impossible to remove completely. Silicone leakage is difficult to detect clinically and you will need to have an MRI examination every 2 years.
  • Saline
    If a saline breast  implant ruptures the saline solution is absorbed by the body. It is easy to detect a leaking saline breast implant as the breast will have less volume and become smaller. It is relatively simple to remove the leaking shell and replace the implant with a new one. in fact it is somewhat like changing a tube in a tyre!
  • Which is softer?
    Some people say thay silicone is softer but the reality is that it is hard to tell the difference- especially when the implants are placed under the muscle. When the breast implant is placed under the muscle it is covered by the muscle and your own breast. It acts to push your breast forward and this is what you see and feel. Also, high cohesive gel implants can be very firm while underfilled saline implants can be very soft. So it is not correct to say that silicone breast implants are softer than saline breast implants as it depends more on the amount of fill, where the implant is placed and the condition of your own tissues.
  • Follow-up
    It is recommended that women with silicone breast implants have an MRI every 2 years to check for leakage. This is not required for saline breast implants as any leakage is immediately obvious and harmless.
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