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Saline Replaces Silicone Implant Patient Blog

January 13th, 2022

Ease of saline replaced implants

Replacing Silicone with Saline Implants Patient Blog

Statistics from The American Society of Plastic Surgery reveal that Breast Augmentation continues to be one of the TOP 5 elective cosmetic surgical procedures among the 15.6 Million cosmetic procedures done in 2020. In fact, it has been since 2006.

Reports show that currently Silicone Implants were used in 84% of patients while Saline Implants in only 16% of all breast augmentations. However, in my practice, I am seeing more women choosing saline implants when they are given a choice, based on safety concerns should a rupture occur and ease of replacement. The FDA requires patients be provided with adequate risk information silicone leak/rupture so that they can make fully informed decisions. Included in the guidelines is telling patients that breast implants are not intended to be lifetime devices. The longer a woman has implants, the more likely it is that she will need to have surgery to remove or replace them. Many plastic surgeons recommend replacing implants at the 10-year mark to avoid the statistical failure rate.

A recent patient decided to have her Silicone Implants replaced with Saline, nearing that 10-year mark. A Silicone leak or rupture is more complicated than having the basic salt water in Saline Implants. Here is her story:

I originally opted for Silicone Implants because of the natural look and feel. But when I consulted with Dr. Bashioum, he took time to explain the new advancements in the Saline version. He also talked about the safety and nature of leaks or rupture with Saline vs Silicone, so my decision was made at this point. The surgery was performed under local anesthesia and I didn’t feel any discomfort during the procedure, making it easier to recover and return home after being discharged. I was surprised that I had no pain with the implant swap. Dr. Bashioum explained that it was kinda like changing a lightbulb. Replacement is quick and efficient, and the Saline Implant slides in uninflated, so the incision is small. I slept well the first night, trying to remain on my back, applying ice bags and continuing to drink water. The next morning, I was careful when moving about, but genuinely shocked that I still had no pain. My main difficulty was just remembering that I had surgery and needed to follow strict recovery instructions, pain or no pain. My breasts appear and feel just the same, having opted to keep the size the same. I look and feel great knowing that my mammograms will be easier to read and generally speaking, saline seems to be a safer choice for me.



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Silicone vs Saline Implants

January 24th, 2013

Am I  the only plastic surgeon offering saline (salt water) as well as silicone breast implants to my patients? Each day prospective patients come into the office asking for silicone gel breast implants. Many patients feel they have been educated as a result of their own Internet research and consultations in other offices. This is no surprise, as many surgeons in my community have reverted back exclusively use these implants. In addition, many websites extol the virtues of silicone breast implants without mentioning possible risks.

I give information on both implants and let my patients decide on what is best for them.   Discussions with patients mainly focus on the differences between each type of  implant and issues of safety should a rupture occur.    Silicone implants can give patients the benefit to feel them less with their hand while doing breast self-exams.  People often say, “They feel more natural.”   This particular aspect is most important for some women.  However, in terms of appearance, when properly placed both types of implants have a natural appearance.  

All implants will break eventually.  When a saline implant breaks, the result is that one of a woman’s breasts    will “deflate”  to a smaller size.  The salt water is naturally absorbed and  passes out of her body.  Silicone implants do not have this advantage and the silicone gel does not pass out of the body, as it cannot be metabolized.  It makes diagnosis of a ruptured silicone implant more difficult.  Ruptures are “silent.”  For this reason, the FDA currently recommends  regular MRI examinations to determine the presence of implant rupture.

As I mentioned in an earlier blog, I am always amazed how quickly women “forget” they have had breast enlargement surgery.  They incorporate their new figure into their new body image quite rapidly.  Silicone gel implants run counter to this mindset and women are often reminded of their surgery by needing the MRI studies and the consideration of a possible implant rupture.

When my patients receive this information, most patients choose  saline implants for  their surgery.    They often mention that the main reason is  they will have peace of mind with their final decision, and it is almost entirely  based on safety.

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