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Breast Augmentation Silicone or Saline?

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Another choice that has to be made with anyone wanting to have breast implants is silicone or saline? Which is the better choice? Each has advantages as well as disadvantages.

Silicone has been around since the 1960’s and was the original breast implant. It has gone through many different incarnations over the years, from moderately firm to squishy back to firm and gummy bear firm to come. The advantage of silicone is that it feels more natural, is softer, and has less potential for wrinkling and rippling. It also moves better when you do. Silicone also feels lighter and doesn’t have the water effect which can cause implants to drift and stretch the skin. In addition, when there is a breakdown of the implant the breast does not go completely flat.

Silicone implants can be put in through the armpit, breast fold and nipple, but not umbilical incisions.

Silicone implants also have a history. This involves the “expose” by Connie Chung many years ago. There were many years of lawsuits which were eventually thrown out because the courts ruled that they were based on junk science. Since then there have been many legitimate scientific studies which show the breast implants don’t cause cancer, lupus, or any of the other accusations that were made. Nevertheless they still have this stigma attached to them even though it is not based in fact.

Saline implants are a response to some of the problems with silicone implants. When they deflated there wasn’t as much material to clean and they seemed to cause less contracture. They are easier to put into smaller incisions. And when there was sufficient soft tissue they don’t have wrinkling issues. And of course when the FDA took silicone implants of the market, they were the only game in town. They also don’t have all the stigma attached to silicone implants. Many allegations were made prior to the ban. These included a list of symptoms which covered just about anything that could go wrong with the human body. This in turn spurred millions of dollars of lawsuits which eventually bankrupted Dow Corning. Eventually a federal judge threw out the lawsuits and ruled in favor of the implants and against junk science.

So which is better? That depends. On the plus side silicone is softer, more natural, feels subjectively lighter and has less rippling and wrinkling. Even though debunked it has a history of allegations. Saline implants are cheaper, have more issues with wrinkling and rippling, but in the right person can give a good result. For women who are worried about potential risks of silicon they are a good choice.


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