Today we use two major types of breast implants: saline implants and silicone implants. These are named depending on what we place inside of a rubberized silicone balloon called the shell.
A saline implant is filled with saline at the time of the surgery. The inside of a silicone implant is a semi-solid silicone gel. Today silicone implants are what we refer to as third generation implants, which means that they have a more cohesive nature to the gel. I explain to patients that the initial [silicone] implants were sosoft and thin and that the silicone gel was more like honey. When these implants wore out or broke, the silicone could leak.
Today's [silicone] implants are what we refer to as cohesive gel implants and they are more like jello, They have a very soft and natural feel and behave more like breast tissue than saline breast implants. That is the chief advantage to silicone breast implants. They have a softer more natural look and feel and tend to be lighter than saline breast implants.
Saline breast implants are excellent for patients with thick young skin and no problems with sagging. Patients who have had children and complain that their breasts are deflated with sagging tend to have tissue and skin that's thinner and so a saline implant may be more visable and therefore not give as natural a result as a silicone breast implant which is much more tissue like.
Of course the major concern over the past 15 years has been safety. The question is, are silicone breast implants safe? Its very important to know that the FDA at the end of 2006 decided that they were safe and allowed them for general use in patients. They have placed a restriction that you must be 22 years or older to qualify for silicone breast implants.
Personally I believe that silicone is safe. Of all the research I have read and studied, I believe silicone is inert and does not cause illnesses. There are however some things to be concerned about and that is true of both silicone and saline breast implants. Breast implants will eventually wear out and need to be replaced. Its very important that every patient know that. Typically they last ten to fifteen years before they need to be replaced.
When a breast implant wears out, the rubberized silicone balloon called the shell cracks. Like any elastic substance such as a rubber band for instance, with age it would get less elastic and crack or snap. When that happens with a saline implant the body absorbs the saline.
Cosmetic Surgery Breast Implants
Results in breast augmentation mainly depend on the quality of the implant. That is why Dr. Rehnke has participated in studies, conducted by the FDA, to evaluate silicone gel implants. Dr. Rehnke is also involved in a project which seeks to design an improved implant based on the breast's true anatomic characteristics. To view more photo's, please click here and view our gallery.
Breast Augmentation, Lift, Reconstruction and Reduction Consultation
If you are interested Cosmetic Plastic Surgery procedures such as a Breast Augmentation, Breast lift, Breast Reduction or Breast Reconstruction or just have questions about Breast Implants please contact the Center for Surgical Excellence for a personal and confidential cosmetic surgery consultation with our convenient on-line form or call 1-727-341-0337.