What Type of Implant is the Right Choice for Me?

Posted on August 10, 2022 in blog by Lewisburg Team

What different types of breast implants do you offer?
Hi, I’m Jordan Thomas. Our goal, as with everything we do here at Lewisburg plastic surgery, is to provide you with the educational resources you need to make the best decision and allow you to feel beautiful, confident, and safe. Today we will be discussing breast augmentation with Dr. Normington with this being one of the most popular procedures you do here for patients.
What different types of breast implants do you offer?
“So generally, there are two different types of breast implants,” explains Dr. Normington. “And the difference is what’s inside of the implant. One option is an implant that’s filled with a saltwater solution, and it’s commonly called a saline breast implant. The other option is an implant that’s filled with a silicone gelatin. It’s commonly called a silicone, or a gel implant and there’s some pros and cons to each implant.”

What are the pros and cons of each type of implant?
Would you say, there are certain benefits or risks to choosing a certain type of implant?
“The benefit of a silicone implant is the feel of the implant. It’s filled with the gelatin, and it feels more like real breast tissue. A saline implant is a bit firmer; it’s filled with saltwater and to some extent it feels like a water balloon. So, this implant doesn’t feel as natural feeling. The big issue I think for those with saline implants, is that they tend to form wrinkles. Depending upon how your body might press on the implant, a wrinkle in the covering of the implant can form. It’s common to feel wrinkles and I think any woman who has a saline implant generally feels wrinkles. Occasionally, you might even see a wrinkle in the breast. I tell patients, they need to be prepared if they’re using a saline implant, to possibly be on the beach, bend a certain way, and you might have noticeable wrinkles. That’s a possibility with a saline implant that you have to be somewhat concerned about that.

Silicone implants wrinkle much less because the filling material itself is more viscous. Since wrinkles don’t form as readily it’s really rare for a woman with a silicone implant to notice or feel wrinkling. That’s the big difference between the two. Either implant could potentially leak or deflate. If the saline implant develops a little leak, then saltwater comes out. It’s harmless and the body just absorbs it. It’s also an obvious thing, a woman would wake up one morning and notice that her breast is smaller, and there’s really no question about what happened. You would then make a phone call to the doctor to sort out what’s going on but it’s usually pretty clear that the implant has leaked. Silicone implants are a little different. They’re filled with the gelatin. If you go online and search, there are pictures showing how if you take a modern silicone implant, you can actually cut it and the material stays there. It’s commonly called gummy bear implant or a gummy bear type of implant. If you picture cutting a gummy bear in half the material kind of stays there. If from wear and tear, over many years a tiny little hole were to develop in that type of implant, not much is going to happen. It’s very easy to stay there. As a patient, you probably wouldn’t notice anything, the doctor probably wouldn’t notice much of anything either in an exam. The only way to really see how the implant is doing would be some sort of tests like an ultrasound or potentially a MRI test. So, I tell patients if they’re going to use a silicone implant to be prepared that down the road, there may be the need for the doctor to get some sort of test to sort out how the implant is doing if there’s ever any concern.”

Which implant is the right choice for me?
How do you help patients choose the right type of implant for themselves?
“Well, it’s a personal choice, we show the patient each type of implant. In my experience, I found that once a patient holds a saline implant and then holds a silicone implant and notices the difference in the feel, they often decide for themselves that they want to have the silicone implant for the more natural feel. Both implants are considered to be safe. Some 25 years ago, there was a lot of concern about the safety of a silicone implant. They actually took them off the market for close to 10 years while that was sorted out, but they’ve been improved and back on the market for close to 15 years now. Safety really, in my mind, isn’t much of a concern anymore.”

During the breast augmentation procedure is there a difference in the size of the incision or the placement of the implant based on which is chosen?

“One of the benefits of a saline implant is that it’s inserted deflated. They come with no saline in the implant itself. There’s a little valve and the implant is inserted deflated and then filled up once it’s inside. Because it’s inserted deflated, we’re able to make a smaller incision that might be about an inch in size. The silicone implants come prefilled and premade. As it is a gelatin, there’s no way for the doctor to inject the silicone material. In order to insert the prefilled implant, we have to make a bigger incision. So with a silicone implant incision, depending on the size of the implant, it might be two or three inches long.

What is the price difference between each type of implant?
Is there a difference in the cost of implants when it comes to saline or silicone?
“There’s a slight difference. Silicone implants are slightly more expensive. With saline implants, our cost of the implant to the patient is about $800. The cost for a silicone implant is twice that and is about $1,600 for the actual cost of the implant to the patient, so those are the more expensive option.”

If anyone has any questions, you can always reach out to one of our staff members here. For more information on Lewisburg Plastic Surgery, please visit us online at Lewisburgplastic.com or find us on Facebook at Lewisburg Plastic Surgery and Dermatology or on Instagram @Lewisburgplastic. We’ll see you next time.



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