There are two basic types of breast implants: saline and silicone. Both are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and both have proven effective at bringing patients successful breast augmentation results. The types of breast implants available at our practice come in hundreds of sizes and shapes. More recently, the density of the silicone gel implants is being altered so that now there are several different options, depending on certain patient factors. Dr. Holzman will work with you to find the optimal implant to meet your goals.
Saline breast implants were the most common type used in breast enlargement surgery but now have been replaced by silicone implants. Saline implants are composed of a silicone outer shell and are filled with a sterile salt-water solution. Saline breast implants are not pre-filled before insertion – they are empty when placed into the breast pocket and are filled later during the procedure. This is advantageous in that the incision made for placement is often smaller, which typically results in less scarring. One disadvantage of saline implants is they can cause the appearance of rippling under the breast in some cases. Dr Holzman rarely uses saline implants because he feels that they give a less than satisfactory outcome and have a noticeably shorter life span than silicone implants. Saline implants are less expensive than silicone, but they need to be replaced more frequently, so that over a lifetime they may end up costing more that a silicone implant.
In 2006, the FDA approved silicone breast implants for use in breast augmentation procedures for patients over the age of 22. Silicone implants are made of a silicone outer shell containing a silicone gel. This type of breast implant can often feel more natural than its saline counterpart, and there are fewer instances of rippling with silicone implants. However, silicone implants typically require a larger incision for placement. If a silicone implant ruptures, it is less noticeable than a saline implant, as the silicone ones do not lose volume, so you will remain the same size. Patients can develop capsular contracture after breast augmentation and may experience a change in the shape and firmness of the implant, which can cause symptoms such as pain and asymmetry. Patients who have silicone breast implants should have their breasts checked regularly to make sure they are without problems, and they should not hesitate to call their doctor if they feel something may be wrong with the implant. Women of the appropriate age should still get mammograms regularly to check the breast tissue.
In most cases, there are usually sizes and shapes of breast implants that will almost seamlessly match the diameter of your breasts. They come in round and teardrop shapes, and the size will ultimately depend on your breast augmentation goals. Additionally, silicone implants come with gel of varying firmness, which produce breasts that have a decreased chance of rippling. A good way to achieve a look that appears natural and beautiful is choosing a size of implant that adds volume to the bust line while looking proportionate to the rest of your body. Dr. Holzman will show you a variety of implant types, sizes, and shapes to help you get an idea of your options. It really takes some experience from the surgeon in a personal consultation to help you select the best implant for you. Feel free to bring your vision to Dr Holzman as far as the amount of enhancement that you desire and he will help you achieve that goal.
A note on BIA-ALCL:
The following is a direct quote from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons regarding breast implants associated anaplastic large cell lyphoma (BIA-ALCL).
“Women with saline and silicone gel breast implants may have a very small and possibly increased risk of developing anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) in the scar capsule adjacent to the implant. This is a very rare disease and is currently being investigated as to its relationship to breast implants, and whether this is even a cancer or a Lymphoproliferative Disorder. ALCL is an extremely rare cancer of the immune system which can occur anywhere in the body. The National Cancer Institute estimated 1 in 500,000 women per year in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALCL. ALCL in the breast is even rarer with approximately 3 in 100 million women in U.S diagnosed per year. The relationship between breast implants and ALCL is unclear and is currently under investigation. In most cases, women observed changes in the look or feel of the area surrounding the implant after their initial surgical sites were fully healed. Patients with breast implants should be followed by a surgeon over time and seek professional care for implant-related symptoms such as pain, lumps, swelling, or asymmetry. Patients should monitor their breast implants with routine breast self exams and follow standard medical recommendations for imaging (e.g. Mammography, Ultrasound, MRI). Abnormal screening results or implant-related symptoms may result in additional costs and expenses for tests and/or procedures to properly diagnose and treat your condition. Tests and procedures could include but may not be limited to: obtaining breast fluid or tissue for pathology and laboratory evaluation and surgery to remove the scar capsule around the breast implant, implant removal or implant replacement.”
Please contact us to schedule a consultation. We will be happy to go over the many breast implant options available at our practice.