Breast Implant Types: Saline, Silicone or Cohesive Gel?Learn about the factors that affect the cost of surgery
When it comes to breast augmentation surgery, its important to consider which implant is right for you. They come in two major varieties: saline and silicone, as well as an additional new type known as cohesive gel. Which type of breast implant you choose to go with is entirely up to you, although your plastic surgeon may recommend that you go with one particular type as opposed to the other depending on your situation. While they are all very similar, there are a few fundamental differences between these implants.
What’s the Difference?
Many women with breast implants feel that silicone feels more natural than saline. This is due to the fact that silicone gel more closely resembles human fat tissue in terms of density while saline implants make the breasts feel firmer. Also, older variations of saline implants were more prone to wrinkling or positioning issues, leading to criticism that they provide an unnatural look and feel too hard. However, modern advances in surgical techniques, such as by placing the implants behind the muscles of the chest, have made both saline and silicone implants provide a more natural and realistic look.
Both types of implants consist of a silicone outer shell, however, saline implants are filled with a saline solution and silicone with a silicone gel. There is a potential for rupture with both types of implants. Saline implants have been proven to be extremely safe as compared to silicone. If a saline implant should leak or rupture, the saline (salt water) can be safely absorbed by the body. On the other hand, a leakage of silicone can be impossible to detect without an MRI to diagnose it. While the gel is safe when contained within the implant, silicone can be a health hazard once released into the body. Learn about the other risks of breast implants surgery.
The procedure to insert each type of implant also varies slightly. In the case of saline implants, an empty silicone shell is placed into the breasts, and then filled with saline. Saline implants require a smaller surgical incision than do silicone, since they are filled up after insertion as opposed to being inserted into the body pre-filled. The benefits are that this decreases the likelihood of a lengthy scar after surgery.
Another Option: Cohesive Gel “Gummy Bear”
In addition to saline and silicone, there is now a third options when it comes to breast implants. These are known as cohesive gel or “gummy bear” implants. Cohesive gel implants consist of a silicone shell which encases a firmer composition of silicone. While technically made of silicone, these implants are considered distinct from the older form of silicone implants. If you were to cut a cohesive gel implant in half, the gel would not leak. Unlike their silicone and saline counterparts, these implants are not as susceptible to the force of gravity due to their strength. Rather, their shape directly dictates how the breasts will be shaped after the surgery is completed. Unlike other types of implants, cohesive gel implants are less likely to develop folds and ripples.
While cohesive gel is considered the next generation of breast implants, there are some downsides to consider. For example, if your surgeon chooses an unnatural shape for your implant then your breasts may not look as natural after the surgery. Furthermore, because the gel is dense some patients have complained that the implants are too firm. Also cohesive gel implants cannot be squeezed the way other implants are and require an incision 3 to 4 inches long to accommodate them. Finally, the breast implant cost will differ depending on which type you choose.