Saline implants are safer than silicone
In 1991 the FDA made silicone implants unavailable to women seeking cosmetic breast augmentation. This decision was fueled by the media and legal community making unsubstantiated claims that silicone implants were dangerously unhealthy, causing autoimmune diseases, cancer, and other major health concerns. This put the onus on plastic surgeons and the implant companies to present data to counteract these claims. Studies were done evaluating women with silicone implants that demonstrated that these women were less likely or equally likely to develop autoimmune diseases compared to women who did not have silicone gel implants. Silicone was also proven to not spread throughout the body. If a silicone implant wears down, the gel and scar tissue remain local to the breast region which requires removal. For 14 years, saline implants were put in women in the United States desiring breast augmentation, and the results are very good. Silicone tends to match the breast density better and clinically seem to be more durable over time. Conclusion, both are safe; the choice that’s ideal for you is really up to you and your surgeon..
Breast implants need to be replaced in 10 years
The majority of breast implants placed last far longer than 10 years. A study from at least 15 years ago showed that 25% of women who get saline implants seek a change within 10 years, meaning 75% are happy and maintain their saline implants longer than 10 years.
During the FDA scare in the early 90’s, many gel breast implants were removed and studied. Of the thousands of gel implants removed, the average life span was determined to be 15 – 20 years prior to failure. Subtracting 15 years from 1991 means these gel implants were developed in the 70’s, now over 40 years ago! Today the generation of implants has evolved dramatically from decades ago: the outer shell of the implant that holds the gel in is more durable, and the gel inside the implant is more cohesive (cross-linked), reducing the risk of gel oozing through the implant shell.
I often explain to patients that today’s gel implants are technologically more advanced, thus can be assumed to be more durable, and could last up to thirty (30) years. Conclusion, each patient’s situation is unique and there are no guarantees but there’s a wide range of options to choose from and your surgeon should take the time to go over them with you in detail so you understand your choices.
Breast implants look unnatural
I often have women who see me for fat augmentation of the breast because they don’t want the unnatural look of breast implants. However, some of these women have size goals that surpass how much fat enhancement can be achieved in the breast.
In many cases women seek breast augmentation to achieve better proportionality and implants are perfect for this goal. This is where the importance of personalized fit, and attention to detail comes in. I make it a point to offer various options and spend time allowing for a patient to try various sizes in order to ensure to get the best result and most natural fit. Advances in sizing mean that we have access to special implants we can now place in the bra to get an estimate of how certain implant sizes will look.
In discussing the procedure details, I review with patients incision placement, implant placement under or over the chest muscle, and the benefits of silicone vs. saline implants. The new generation of gel implants has more cross-linked, cohesive gel which creates a nicer feel and encourages longer implant life span. I have women from their 20’s to 70’s (yes, really!) seeking augmentation not to look big, but to look proportionate, or so they can feel more confident about their appearance dressed, or un-dressed. Conclusion, breast implants require proper fit consultation to ensure the most natural results. If you’re considering implants, make sure the surgeon you choose takes the adequate time needed to ensure size is what you want and need it to be.
You will always regret not going bigger
Not true! During consultation I learn from discussion what the approximate size goal is. We try on implant sizers to get a good estimation of the ultimate result, which is a great exercise. Women know what they want, and if there is a gray zone, I am here to provide guidance and help you make the right decision. Sizing can always be reviewed right before surgery, particularly if the patient’s significant other could not make it for the original appointment.
Women need to pick a size they are happy with, and if that means a B cup, so be it.
Breast augmentation is actually one of the most popular surgical procedures performed in plastic surgery because satisfaction is so high. However, satisfaction does not correlate with breast size and each person should access to the proper expertise, information and guidance to help her choose what size is going to be ideal for her.