When it comes to breast augmentation surgery, your concerns likely focused around the size of your implants and the final outcome. However, the hardest decision you’ll have to make is also one of the first: do you want silicone or saline implants? To help ensure you make an informed decision, we’ve created a guide that covers both—including the new Gummy Bear breast implant.
Choose Wisely. Whether you’re leaning towards silicone or saline, there are a few facts about breast implants that are simply universal. Keep these points in mind while you’re deciding between silicone and saline:
- They aren’t meant for a lifetime. Breast implants, regardless of what type you choose, aren’t meant to last forever. You’ll likely need to either replace or remove them at some point in your life. However, some implants do last longer than others, so be sure to ask your doctor.
- Surgery is still surgery, which means you’re at risk for infection either way. Proper after-care is essential to ensuring your breast implants stay their best. In addition to infection, your implants may become uneven, deflate, rupture, wrinkle, or any other number of possible complications. Be sure to discuss these with your doctor.
- Speaking of aftercare, you’ll likely need MRI screening for silent ruptures. Just as a precaution for your health, MRI screenings every two years following the initial surgery can help protect you against rupture.
Now that you have a better idea of what you can expect from the breast implantation surgery as a whole, you have a better basis for choosing between silicone and saline. Let us help:
Saline breast implants consist of a silicone shell filled with sterile saline water. These typically take on more of a round shape, than the tear-drop shape of some silicone implants. Because the surgeon fills the implant during the surgery, the initial incision is usually smaller than it would be for silicone implants. This also allows your doctor to change the size of your implants over time without needing an additional surgery due to a valve which your doctor can access with a small needle. Due to lower repercussions of an implant rupture, the FDA has approved saline implants for patients 18 years of age and older, compared to silicone implants’ minimum age of 22.
While complaints against saline implants are relatively low, the one common complaint has been that they don’t feel as natural as silicone implants. Variation in surgery technique and modified training has lessened these complaints, although the feel of saline is still different from that of silicone.
Silicone breast implants consist of silicone shells filled with silicone-gel, and can encompass a variety of breast implant types—including the new Gummy Bear implant. In previous years, silicone implants have been hailed as being more “natural-looking” than saline implants, but also present more health risks if they begin to leak. In fact, from 1992 to 2006, the use of silicone implants was halted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) pending further research because they didn’t feel that the implants were safe enough for public use.
Now, silicone implants have undergone a major overhaul: in addition to being perfectly safe, they have become widely popular. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) claims that the amount of silicone implants used is equal to that of saline; in previous years, saline widely out-ranked silicone due to poor reviews. There are five types of silicone implants approved by the FDA, including the new Gummy Bear implant. Each is manufactured slightly different, but the Gummy Bear is by far the most modern.
Gummy Bear Implants
The Gummy Bear implant is the newest kid on the block—only having been approved by the FDA last spring. Even then, it’s only approved for adults over 22 years of age, or women of any age who are undergoing breast reconstruction following cancer. The Gummy Bear breast implant has been making waves due to its brand-new take on silicone implants: it’s a silicone shell filled with silicone-gel, but its “tear-drop” shape helps contribute to its stability. The additional cross-linking within the shell has given it more stability, resulting in a firmer shell that holds its shape, even when cut in half—much like a gummy bear candy.
Although the FDA is keen to continue studying this type of breast implant, they’re safe and available for the public. While they add a more natural look to breast implants, they also require a larger incision during surgery. Like other implants, they may require additional surgeries in the future, and may become infected if not care for properly. Finally, the FDA insists that the Gummy Bear implant is not necessarily better than the previous types of implants, just different to fit different needs: for women undergoing breast reconstruction, the Gummy Bear is ideal because it doesn’t require fitting around existing breast tissue.
How do I choose my new boobs?
While the differences in types of breast implants are not drastically different, it is something that needs to be considered. If you aren’t sure what type of implant is going to best suit you, talk with us! We’re here to help ensure you go home happy!