With over 270,000 breast augmentations done in the US alone in 2016, it’s safe to say that the procedure is gaining more interest among women – you might be one of them.
One of the more common issues among women who are considering breast implants is that they would like reassurance in the form of information and advice.
In our guide today, we’ll cover the things that you need to know if you are considering breast augmentations.
We’ll also cover the pros and cons for you to make an informed decision in the future.
While this guide can provide you with the basics of breast implants, you’ll have to meet your doctor to get the most accurate information for your needs.
What are the different types of breast implants?
One of the major questions among patients is the difference between saline and silicone implants. These are the two types of implants used among surgeons worldwide but they have a difference.
Both of the implants have a silicone shell, but the material in the shell is different.
Saline implants are filled with sterile salt water. Think of it as a balloon; they are inserted empty and filled with saline afterwards. Some procedures may have the implants pre-filled, however.
Advantages of saline implants
- Saline implants are generally cheaper than silicone implants. However, this may vary depending on your location and your doctor.
- There is more flexibility and variation in the size of saline implants; the volume of the implants are based on the level of the saline solution.
- If the implants rupture, the salt water will be reabsorbed by your body. This does not affect your body in a harmful way. This also means that a rupture can be detected easily.
- Saline implants require smaller incisions and cuts on your body compared to silicone implants.
Disadvantages of saline implants
They can cause rippling which are wave-like patterns on your breasts and cleavage. They may look unflattering to some individuals.
- Saline implants don’t feel too natural since they are quite firm.
- Saline implants usually look rounder in shape after the surgery. Once again, this may not feel and look natural to some individuals.
Silicone implants utilise silicone gels instead of a saline solution. Silicone implants had a bad reputation when it was first introduced, however, it has advanced to the point where it is now the preferred choice among surgeons in Australia.
Advantages of silicone implants
- A lot of patients opt for silicone implants as they feel very natural. They also maintain the consistency and texture of natural breasts.
- Unlike saline implants, they don’t cause rippling as the gel in the silicone shells is very compact.
- If a silicone implant ruptures, the implants will not deflate or go out of shape.
Disadvantages of silicone implants
- They cost more than saline implants
- You will require larger incisions as silicone implants are larger than their saline counterparts
- Since the gel stays together, an implant rupture is harder to detect.However, leaking silicone gel is not considered to be a cause of breast cancer or other complications contrary to public belief.
The decision between the two types of implants will be done in your consultations with your doctor.
There are pros and cons to both of the implants but it is a matter of preference at the end of the day.
With that being said, a large number of surgeons in Australia prefer silicone implants due to their advantages.
How safe are breast implants?
Although there are conflicting views on whether breast augmentations are worth it or not, one thing is for sure; the procedure has become extremely safe and effective thanks to technological advances in the cosmetic surgery industry.
A large majority of breast augmentation patients are happy with the results of their surgery; complications are very rare.
They only arise in situations where the surgery is either: a) not suitable for the patient’s body or b) the doctor is inexperienced in performing breast implants.
Here are some of the safety factors to help you make a decision.
Silicone vs. saline implants
While both of them have silicone shells, platinum is contained in silicone implants. It might sound worrying but studies by reputable institutions have found that it does not pose any significant risks to your body.
Ruptures do happen in breast augmentation procedures. With saline implants, your body will absorb the saline solution that leaks out of the implants which is harmless to your body.
In silicone implants, the gel could leak if a rupture happens but studies have shown that they do not increase the risks of contracting diseases and complications.
The risks would slightly increase the older you are but it is still a safe procedure.
However, there are age limits for each type of breast implants. In the US, the minimum age of a patient who wants to perform saline implants is 18 and 22 for silicone implants.
The age limit is there for safety reasons and to minimise the risks of surgery as much as possible.
How the surgery is performed
As we’ve mentioned earlier, saline implants require much smaller incisions compared to silicone implants.
This may be an issue for individuals who are worried about having cuts and scars on their body.
If your doctor is properly trained and qualified, this should not be a cause for concern as they will handle the surgery as safely as possible even in situations where large cuts are needed.
Replacement of implants and future surgeries
Breast implants will wear out after a period of time. Fortunately, implants last for an average of 10-15 years.
However, you will need to get follow-up surgery in the future. This is to ensure that your breast implants fit your breast shape as well as fixing issues such as ruptures and rippling.
Revision surgeries are not as complicated and costly as the initial surgery; you shouldn’t be worried about breaking the bank again to fix your implants.
Aside from ruptured implants and needing to replace it, they may also be rare cases where an infection might occur.
These infections are usually treated with antibiotics and will not cause a major health concern unless you do not take care of it.
You may also experience swelling and bruising but these cases are rare and will not happen if you perform the procedure with a good surgeon as well as having proper post-surgery care.
Cost of breast implants
The cost of the procedure will be different based on factors such as your doctor’s experience, your location, and the type of implant that you opt for.
You can expect the costs to be at least $10,000 for trusted surgeons and clinics. However, the best way to know the costs of breast implants is to consult your doctor and ask for a complete breakdown of what is billed.
Breast implants alternatives
Getting breast implants are not the only way to attain a desirable breast shape and size for women.
Fat transfer is a procedure that enlarges breasts with your own body fat. In this procedure, fat is removed via liposuction from areas such as your thighs and tummy and injected into the breasts.
This procedure is a viable option for patients who are looking for alternatives to breast implants. Some of the advantages of fat transfer include:
- Quicker recovery times
- A more natural breast enlargement procedure
- No allergic reactions as you are using fat from your own body
- Minimal scarring
If you would like to know more about breast enlargements via fat transfer, our resource page has valuable information for you to make a decision in the future.
That wraps up our short guide to getting breast implants. If you’d like to know more about it, we have an excellent guide over at our main page on breast augmentations.
Our information page also contains a ton of valuable knowledge and information on cosmetic surgeries in general.