Breast augmentation is one of the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures, with hundreds of thousands being performed every year. When you have a breast augmentation, you have your choice of saline or silicone implants. Saline implants are filled with saline water, and silicone implants are filled with a silicone gel. In general, we recommend silicone over saline implants because silicone has a more natural look and feel (it resembles to texture of natural human fat). The number one concern for many patients getting a breast reduction is: are the implants safe?
Silicone implants first entered the plastic surgery market in the 1960s, and while there were some questions about silicone implant safety during the 1980s, in 2006 the FDA ruled that there was no link between silicone implants and illness and deemed them safe for cosmetic use.
If a silicone implant ruptures, you probably wont notice immediately. Unlike saline (which is absorbed into the body when it ruptures), saline isnt absorbed by the body. If your implant ruptures, it will probably be detected with an MRI and will require surgical removal.
There has also been concern expressed about platinum content of silicone breast implants- the FDA and scientific community hasnt found any evidence that the platinum is in any way harmful. The FDA has approved the use of silicone breast implants in patients age 22 or older for cosmetic reasons, and women of any age for reconstruction after breast cancer.
Silicone implants come with the same safety risks as saline implants: there is a risk of hardening around the implant (capsular contracture), implant rupturing, and wrinkling or other cosmetic issues. The risk of experiencing these complications are lessened by using a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who is trained in the most up-to-date safety procedures and techniques. Following your post-operative instructions very carefully will also reduce the risk of complications.
As with any surgery, there are risks involved with getting silicone implants; however, those risks arent greater than any other type of implant. If you have any questions about the safety of silicone implants, or would like to schedule a consultation for breast augmentation in Northern Virginia, please call our offices at (703) 574-2588.