Saline Breast Implants

1. Breast Implant Fill - Saline breast implants or silicone breast implants?

Saline Filled Breast Implants

saline breast implant is a sac (implant shell) made of silicone elastomer (rubber), which is surgically implanted under your chest tissues and/or muscle, and then filled with saline, a saltwater solution, through a valve.

Breast implants have been used for breast augmentation for more than 40 years. Saline breast implants were long considered an inferior alternative to silicone gel-filled implants, which may look and feel more like a real breast than saline breast implants. Silicone breast implants were removed from the market by the FDA from 1992 to 2006 and saline (salt water) filled shells became an accepted alternative to silicone. Saline implants were approved by the FDA in 2000 and have always been available to women in the U.S. and worldwide.

Because of the FDA's ban on silicone breast implants for approximately 15 years, women had to be enrolled in clinical trials to get silicone breast implants. Read more about silicone gel-filled breast implants here. As a result, saline breast implants have been the most frequently used breast implants in the U.S. for cosmetic breast augmentation. With the availability of silicone as of November of 2006, those statistics may change.

Saline breast implants vary in shell surface (smooth or textured)volume / size (number of cc), shell thickness, profile and shape (round or anatomical), and are even available as expandable implants. Most saline implants are single lumen (only one chamber), and are filled during breast augmentation surgeryPre-filled saline implants were available for a short time but are no longer on the market.

Pros and Cons:

Saline implants are more likely than silicone to cause visible rippling and are generally firmer to the touch and less natural in appearance than silicone gel breast implantsSaline implants are filled during surgery and allow the surgeon to make adjustments in the fill during surgery. Overfilling past recommended manufacturer's guidelines can cause too much firmness. Not filling the implants sufficiently can cause the implant to have a fold which could lead to a failure of the implant know as crease fold failure. In the event of a rupture of a saline breast implant, saline is released and the empty implant can be removed and/or replaced.

Read about silicone gel breast implants or move on to choose size . . .

Breast Implants: The Full Roadmap

1. Breast Implant Fill - Saline or silicone?

  • Saline
  • Silicone
  • History & Controversy
  • Studies about Silicone Gel Breast Implants
  • Who Qualifies for Silicone Breast Implants
  • Cohesive Gel and Gummy Bear Silicone Breast Implants

2. Breast Implant Size - How do I choose the right size?

  • Methods of determining ideal breast implant size choice
  • Using Nicole's photo gallery to help choose size
  • Choosing from breast implant manufacturer specifications

3. Breast Implant Shape

  • Choosing Breast Implant Shape and Profile
  • Breast Implant Shapes: Round vs. Anatomical (teardrop/contoured/shaped)
  • Breast Implant Profile: Low, Moderate, High

4. Breast Implant Surface

  • Textured Surface Breast Implants
  • Smooth Surface Breast Implants

5. Breast Implant Profile

  • Moderate profile breast implants (regular/standard)
  • High profile breast implants
  • Low profile breast implants
  • Moderate "PLUS" profile breast implants

6. Breast Implant Manufacturers

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