Since the FDA approved the use of silicone breast implants in 2006, women have enjoyed greater freedom of choice when undergoing breast augmentation or breast reconstruction. It is important, however, that women fully understand their options before deciding between silicone and saline breast implants. During a consultation at our Dallas / Fort Worth-area practice with Dr. Alfred Antonetti, women can learn about the differences between saline and silicone breast implants. Although Dr. Antonetti may recommend a particular type of implant depending on a woman’s body type and aesthetic desires, the ultimate decision lies with the patient.
Whether for a breast augmentation, lift, or reconstruction, if you are interested in breast implants, contact our Dallas cosmetic surgery center today to schedule an appointment with a board-certified plastic surgeon.
Saline vs. Silicone Breast Implants
There are several differences of which women should be aware when deciding between saline and silicone breast implants. Dr. Alfred Antonetti is always happy to help patients make educated decisions.
Saline Breast Implants
Composed of a silicone shell filled with a sterile salt-water solution, saline breast implants allow more options for placement than their silicone-filled counterparts. Because saline implants are initially empty, only being filled after insertion, they may be placed through the armpit, belly button, the breast crease, or the areola. They also require a smaller incision than silicone breast implants. However, some women, especially very slender women with a minimal amount of soft tissue, believe that saline implants feel less natural than those filled with silicone.
Silicone Breast Implants
Since silicone breast implants come pre-filled, there are fewer options regarding their placement. Incisions for breast surgery with silicone implants are also typically larger than those used with saline implants. However, many women note that breast implants made with silicone look and feel more natural than those filled with saline.
History of Breast Implants
- 1800s – In the late 1800s, paraffin injections were used by some women who were interested in augmenting their bust lines. Unfortunately, this early attempt resulted in infections and hardening of the breasts.
- 1920s – Introduced as a more natural method of breast augmentation, fat transplants involved the removal of fat from the abdomen or buttocks to be placed in the breasts. This technique, too, failed because of the body’s tendency to reabsorb the fat, leaving the breasts lumpy and misshapen.
- 1950s – Polyvinyl sponges enjoyed a brief period of success until it was realized that after about a year, the sponges would start to shrivel and harden.
- 1960s – Silicone shots were used in the early 1960s with disastrous consequences. Women experienced infections, lumps, and organ failure.
- 1963 – The first silicone gel-filled implants were marketed. They would be further developed during the 1970s. Three years later, the saline implant was introduced.
- 1992 – Due to the possibility that silicone implants could rupture and leak, leading to health complications, the FDA issued a ban on the use of silicone breast implants in breast augmentation patients. Silicone implants, however, remained in use in other countries.
- 2000 – The new millennium witnessed the growing popularity of saline-filled breast implants, which were approved by the FDA in May.
- 2006 – After over a decade of extensive research, the FDA allowed the reintroduction of silicone breast implants, approving them for use in the United States in women 22 years of age and older.
Contact Our Cosmetic Surgery Practice to Learn More
The decision between saline and silicone implants is an important one, and it is beneficial to seek the advice of a highly educated and experienced cosmetic surgeon. Women considering breast surgery with implants are invited to contact our Dallas / Fort Worth-area practice to schedule an appointment with Dr. Antonetti.