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A Look at the Different Types of Breast Implants

Not all breast implants are created equal, especially in regards to the substances with which they are filled. However, one common trait is that all breast implants have a solid silicone shell or bag which houses the implant. If you are considering breast augmentation, it is important that you understand the difference between each type of implant.

Honolulu's best plastic surgeon will be able to answer all of your questions regarding breast surgery. The two types of available breast implants include saline breast implants and silicone breast implants, with cohesive gel implants currently still only available in limited clinical testing. Let us take a look at all three types.

Saline Breast Implants Saline implants are the most popular of the three kinds. The implant is composed of an exterior sack that is made of solid silicone. Inside the sack, there is a sterile saline solution that is similar to the salt-water solution that is used for intravenous fluids. Saline is one of the safer forms of breast implants because if an implant leaks, the liquid will be absorbed by the body and will not do any harm. Another positive aspect of saline breast implants is that the risk of infection is very low.

Infection is estimated to be in the area of one to two percent. Saline breast implants are also a good choice because the fluid is placed into the implant after it has been put into the breast, which means a small incision is made, as opposed to a larger one. This also means that the volume of the implants can be adjusted accordingly by the plastic surgeon after they are inserted into the patient's breasts. This makes it less likely for breast asymmetry to be a concern. There are two main disadvantages to saline breast implants.

First, because of the high liquid content, there is a greater potential for rippling to occur. Secondly, saline implants do not always feel natural to touch. However, the ones placed underneath the muscle tissue and breasts are more natural.

Silicone Breast Implants Many women choose to get silicone breast implants because they feel that these implants mimic the look of real breasts more than the other types do. As the name implies, silicone breast implants are filled with a silicone gel. The main disadvantage of these types of implants is that they can rupture easily, and when they do rupture, it is not obvious to the human eye. The silicone gel that makes up the implant remains within the breast tissue if it ruptures, and the breast does not shrink in size. Mammograms and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) need to be used in order to find out if a rupture has taken place. Although no tests have been conclusive, many people fear the use of silicone for implants because of the controversy that surrounds them.

Allegations of a link to cancer have not been confirmed at this point in time. Cohesive Gel Implants Not yet commonly available in the United States, cohesive gel breast implants hold great promise ? but they are still undergoing clinical trials. Cohesive gel implants are a type of silicone implant, but they are filled with a thicker silicone gel than are regular silicone implants. Cohesive gel implants hold their shape very well, and these types of implants are used for a patient who wants a natural full look to her breasts, as opposed to wanting to make them bigger. The gel implants are reminiscent of the candy "gummy bears.

" Often touted as shaped implants or gummy bear implants, these implants retain their original shape when they are placed in an upright position. This decreases the chance that rippling or folding of the implant shell will take place. As well, if the gel implant were to rupture, it would still maintain its natural shape. The major disadvantage of the cohesive gel implants is that a large incision is required to insert them.

The insertion is done by way of the areola, or a fold under the breast. These implants are new to the world of plastic surgery, and they are still considered investigational devices, meaning that they are only available to very select patients who are participating in clinical trials. In addition, the use of these types of implants is limited to patients of a particular age. As well, the clinical trial patients wishing to undergo breast surgery with cohesive gel implants in must have a MRI as a follow up to the surgery in order to guarantee that there has been no silent rupture of the implants. Keep in mind that these gel implants are only available in clinical trials of breast augmentation, but they do hold potential promise for the future. Choosing the best type of breast implant material depends upon what you are looking for in your breast augmentation surgery.

Speak closely with your Honolulu plastic surgeon, who can professionally help you make the best long-term decision for both your appearance and your health.

Learn more about the advanced breast augmentation methodologies utilized by Honolulu's best plastic surgeon, Dr. Rizzo, who has decades of trail-blazing expertise in Hawaii plastic surgery.


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