What Type of Breast Implants, Silicone or Saline are Safer? Cheaper?
Which Breast Implant is the better, silicone gel or saline? Is there a cost difference?
Yes, besides the obvious cost of a surgeon, anesthesiologist, and hospital room, silicone breast implants cost $1000 more than the saline type. For many years, saline was the only choice. Now, an increasing number of women are choosing the silicone implants, because feel more like real breasts than saline implants. Let us compare each according to affordability and safety.
Memory gel silicone is not like memory foam, so don’t worry about choosing memory foam slippers to match. The goal of the memory gel, manufactured by Mentor®, is that the implant keeps its shape over several years. Mentor® implants are also made in the USA. So far, so good.
Allergan®, an international company, also produces silicone gel implants, as well as Botox® and a stunning variety of facial fillers. One company, PIP®, based in France, had serious safety problems that were reviewed by the FDA. It is doubtful that any board certified surgeon in the US would choose this brand. If you are considering getting an implant, this is one more question to ask a surgeon.
Doctors may use either a round or teardrop shape with silicone implants. It is thought that a teardrop shape more closely resembles a natural breast. However, if for some reason the implant rotates, your bustline will look very interesting, to say the least.
This problem is never encountered with the round implants. The most commonly reported side effect with either silicone or saline is capsular contraction. What happens is that the scar tissue formed with the surgery gets a bit overgrown, causing the breast area to get hard and painful. This is the most common reason that patients request removal of the implant.
Saline implants have an outer shell that is made of silicone. If you choose this implant, your surgeon will use a small incision, often around the areola, and place the implant. Next, he or she will fill the implant with normal saline to the desired size.
This is the same body fluid present in tears. So, if for some reason the implant ruptures, only normal Saline, or tears, saturate the chest cavity.
According to plastic surgeon Susan Kolb of Atlanta Georgia, even saline implants are problematic because over time, the valves can introduce bacteria and fungus. Dr. Kalb has silicone implants herself. She is also a certified holistic physician and author.
Normal saline were the only implants available for decades. Now, many patients are opting for the silicone filled implants, since the FDA has recently flashed the green light on silicone gel.
Silicone implants resemble natural breasts when touched. Memory gel and gummy bear are popular choices.
A benefit of the gummy bear silicone implant is that if you need to have it taken out, the surgeon will not have to contend with silicone oozing into the far corners of the chest cavity.
The outer shell of either silicone or saline is made of silicone. Another consideration is whether or not the implant has a smooth or rough exterior. In the US, the smooth outer shell is used; in Europe, the other wall of the implant is often rough.
A smooth texture of the shell is actually safer; the rough texture can slough off and end up in the lymph nodes, causing at best an infection; at worst cancer.
Rough textured outer shells adhere better to the chest wall or mammary gland. This type is used more often in Europe.
Micro tears in the silicone implant can bleed into your heart and lungs. Repeat that once for practice: Heart and Lungs.
A rare side effect is a very small percentage of women get a disorder in the lymph nodes called Anaplastic Large Cell lymphoma. The FDA reports that this complication, at less than 3% is quite low. Although the incidence is low, this type of cancer is potentially deadly. By contrast, as many as 20% of patients will get capsular contraction. The signs and symptoms for this side effect are obvious. The breast becomes hard and painful. According to the National Institutes of Health, breast implant derived Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma often is diagnosed late. Therefore, it is a safety issue that you should be aware of.
In certain cases, breast implant surgery is completely contraindicated. If you or anyone in your family has an autoimmune disease, do not get an implant. Repeat DO NOT.
Flip through any Hollywood gossip magazine and you may read about celebrities who have chosen to get their “toxic bags” removed.
Pamela Anderson, and a few other stars began to get illnesses that could not be diagnosed. Of course, Dear Pam was never a flat-chested waif to begin with.
Make no mistake, if yours truly needs a double mastectomy, I will shove Pamela Anderson and everyone else out of the line for implants.
Mastectomy or not, common sense should inform your decision on getting implants. Because this is a foreign body, implants should be removed at least once every ten years. To screen for breast cancer, or any other abnormalities, be prepared to shell out $2000 for each MRI.
According to the National Center For Health Research, a think tank, these MRI checks should be done at least every three years. Health insurance will not cover the MRI, because of the connection to cosmetic surgery. Of course, if the implant was placed after a bout of breast cancer, then both the placement and any subsequent MRI would be covered by medical insurance. center4research.org
However, I must add one other cautionary statement. Although an MRI may show a large leak in a silicone implant, it will not show smaller leaks. Any trauma may cause silicone leaking into the chest cavity. By trauma I mean a car accident, a fall or even a hearty hug.