According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the breast augmentation procedure was the most sought after procedure in 2011, with over 307,000 procedures performed during the course of that year. With breast augmentations showing no signs of slowing down in popularity- the amount of breast augmentations performed rose by 4% from 2010 to 2011- more and more women are sure to be presented with this decision: should they get silicone implants or should they get saline implants?
Both silicone implants and saline implants are actually formed using silicone implant shells, the difference between the two types of breast implants is what is used to fill each shell. The silicone implant is filled with a silicone gel while the saline implant is filled with a sterile salt water solution known as saline, titularly giving the implant its name.
In the past, it was a widely-held notion that silicone implants were not quite as safe as saline implants. However, the problem with saline implants was that silicone implants looked and felt more like real breast tissue than saline implants. Today, the problems of the two implants have been made virtually negligible.
Modern medical technology has allowed silicone implants to be engineered in such a way that they are now have very similar rates of complications and potential ruptures as saline implants. Also, no study has shown than silicone has detrimental effects on health in the long-run. As for saline implants, cosmetic surgeons have re-optimized saline implant breast augmentation techniques to make saline implants look and feel more like real breast tissue- by placing the saline implant behind the breast muscle, it can be rendered to bring about more similar results to that of the silicone implant.
Nowadays, the decision between getting the silicone implant or getting the saline implant is a matter of personal choice. There are, however, age restrictions to both types of implants: in order to get a saline implant, women need to be at least 18 years of age and in order to get a silicone implant, women need to be at least 21 years of age.
While cosmetic surgeons will be best able to advise each individual patient who is considering a breast implant procedure as to which type of implant would suit the patient best, the pros and cons between the two will likely be inconsequential. The best way the patient can personally decide as to which implant would look best is to go over breast augmentation pictures of patients who have had breast augmentation procedures using the same type and size of breast implant that they are considering. Patients should keep in mind that breast augmentation pictures of patients who have similar body types as the patients themselves will best represent what the results of a breast augmentation would look like.