One of the world's leading breast implant surgeons
Breast implants are available in a wide array of sizes, shapes, and levels of projection. Your options include round, smooth, textured, or “anatomical,” or teardrop-shaped. Silicone implants are filled with silicone gel, and saline implants are a silicone shell filled with saline solution. Silicone implants feel more natural, while saline implants require a shorter incision.
The implant decision – be thorough.
For women undergoing breast augmentation, one of the most important decisions they’ll need to make is which breast implant to use. There are two general types of breast implants: saline breast implants and silicone gel breast implants. Both are made of an outer medical-grade silicone shell, but where they differ is the substance that is inside the implant.
Saline implants have a silicone shell that is filled with a sterile saltwater solution once the implant is placed in the breast, while silicone implants come pre-filled with a thicker silicone gel. Both implants offer options in shapes, sizes and textures, and each has its own benefits.
We take the time to explain your options fully.
Houston breast implant surgeon Dr. Mohan uses both saline and silicone gel implants with great success. Scheduling a consultation with our practice is the best way to determine whether breast augmentation is right for you.
During your consultation, she will evaluate your health history, assess your existing breast tissue, listen to your concerns and consider your breast augmentation goals to help you determine which implant is best for you. The information listed here can also give you a general understanding of the implant options available to you and how implants can transform your breasts into the size and shape you desire.
The history of breast implants: From the 1960’s to now.
Saline and silicone breast implants were both developed in the 1960s. Because of their natural look and feel, silicone soon became the implant of choice for millions of women. However, in 1992 the Food and Drug Administration restricted the use of silicone implants to investigate the safety of these devices. After two decades of intense study and research, the FDA declared silicone gel breast implants safe and approved their use in the United States for patients 22 years of age and older. This is excellent news for patients and plastic surgeons who again have a wider choice of implants. Today, the majority of implants used worldwide are silicone breast implants.
How do different breast implants look and feel?
While both saline and silicone gel breast implants have an exterior made of silicone, the material inside is what gives them a different look and feel.
Saline breast implants are filled with sterile saline (salt water). In comparison, silicone gel breast implants are filled with a silicone gel. Think of how a water balloon feels in comparison to a gummy candy—water is fluid and flows in the balloon, whereas gummy candy sticks together and is springy. Because saline implants are made of water, they can feel less like real breast tissue. They tend to be firmer and more round. Although rare, saline implants can also appear rippled in thin patients or those who have little natural breast tissue.
Silicone gel, on the other hand, is the consistency of fat and therefore silicone gel implants feel and look closer to natural breast tissue. Because they come in a great variety of sizes, shapes, and firmness, the implant selection can be customized to meet patients desired goals. For some patients, this may be a very round, full, augmented look, whereas others may prefer a more natural, sloping breast. How the implants look will depend on each patient’s anatomy, the implant selected, and the surgical technique used. Over the years, Ciaravino Total Beauty has created thousands of beautiful breasts using both saline and silicone implants, and both types continue to be used in his breast augmentation practice today.
Looking for a natural feel, softness and weight for your new breasts?
Silicone gel breast implants look and feel more natural due to silicone gel’s thick, cohesive material that moves and feels like real breast tissue. Silicone implants are lighter and give the breast a more natural-looking slope. They are preferred over saline implants if you decide to have them placed on top of the pectoral muscle instead of underneath. In addition, Dr. Mohan often recommends silicone implants to women who are seeking the softest, most realistic breasts, especially if the patient is very thin.
Will I have scars after breast augmentation?
Scarring is a concern for most of our patients. Rest assured that you are in great hands under the care of Dr. Mohan. She will determine the optimal incision site to correctly place the implant, as well as to limit scarring.
Should I choose saline implants?
Saline breast implants are placed into the body empty and then filled to the desired fullness. Because of this, saline breast implants can fit through extremely small incisions (less than one inch in length). In addition, because saline implants are unfilled and therefore smaller before being inserted, there are more incision placement choices. Traditional incision sites near the armpit or on the underside of the breast can be used to place saline implants. But other insertion sites, such as the border of the areola or even the belly button, can be used to hide incisions and decrease scarring.
Should I choose silicone implants?
Because of the size difference of saline and silicone implants, they require different incision sizes and placement. Because the silicone gel implant comes from the manufacturer pre-filled, traditionally a larger incision is required. However, with their many years of experience, our practice has created their own safe and highly effective technique for minimizing the length of the incision needed. They use a Keller Implant Funnel which allows them to place the implants through a smaller incision. Their incisions are much shorter than most surgeons’, and usually measure 1 to 1.5 inches in length for gel implants.
Precision surgical technique means more beautiful breasts.
Dr. Kriti Mohan's breast augmentation technique is extremely gentle and precise. She uses much smaller incisions than you would find elsewhere, and special instruments which allow for accurate implant placement. With this technique, patients can achieve beautiful breasts with an easy, comfortable recovery. Most patients have no bruising and there are no bandages or sutures to remove, drastically minimizing potential scarring. Patients LOVE it.
What’s the difference in cost between saline and silicone implants?
On average, silicone implants cost about $1,000 more than saline implants. Note that many factors determine the price of a procedure, so your surgeon will review the costs associated with saline and silicone implants and help you weigh the cost against the benefits of each.
When implants fail: Thankfully, it’s rare.
The risk of a leak or rupture is low for both saline and silicone breast implants. However, detecting a leak or rupture is different for each implant. A leak in a saline implant is easily detectable because the implant will deflate, making the breast appear smaller. A saline implant leak doesn’t pose a threat to your health because the saline is made of a saltwater solution that is similar to regular body fluid. Your body will easily absorb the saline that is leaked out of the implant. For silicone rupture, the gel is usually contained within the breast implant capsule and is removed at the time of surgery.
Watching over your implants: What do you do?
A leak or rupture in a silicone implant is sometimes called a “silent rupture” because the silicone gel stays in the implant area and doesn’t migrate to other parts of the body.
Because there isn’t a visible deflation of the breast, you often do not have any way of knowing that a rupture has occurred.
Eventually, a rupture in a silicone implant can cause changes in the shape of the implant or breast pain. For patients with silicone gel breast implants, an MRI is recommended every two years to check for ruptures and ensure that your implants are functioning properly.
...Outstanding care and beautiful results...
Healthy breasts: What about implants?
Saline and silicone implants do not increase your risk of breast cancer. Screening with mammography should follow the same guidelines as non-augmented patients although slightly different techniques may be used. Ultrasound or MRI may be recommended to screen for breast cancer or check implant integrity. Often a 3D mammogram is recommended for patients with breast implants because 3D mammography takes one-millimeter slices of the breast, providing smaller and more detailed images of the breast tissue.
Watching over your new breasts.
Saline and silicone breast implants have similar risks that are primarily associated with surgery and not the actual implants. Possible risks include:
Pain in the breast
Infection at the incision site
Temporary loss of feeling in the nipple or breast
The development of scar tissue that can alter the shape and position of the implant (called capsular contracture)
Rupture or leak of the implant
We care about you!
Some patients chose saline implants because they believe the salt water solution is safer than silicone gel. While there has been much debate over the safety of silicone gel implants, extensive research has shown them to be as safe as saline breast implants, although recent reports reveal a slightly higher risk with textured implants. Dr. Mohan uses a new generation of smooth silicone gel implants made by Mentor and Allergan Corporation that are far superior to those used in the past. These implants have a proven track record of safety.
The perfect breasts for you – learn the pros and cons.
Dr. Mohan has used both saline and silicone gel breast implants to provide their patients voluptuous, beautifully proportioned breasts. She will use her experience and expertise to help you evaluate the pros and cons of saline and silicone gel implants and will help you make the right choice to achieve the breasts of your dreams.
If you would like more information on the breast implant options available to you in the Houston, Texas area, please contact Ciaravino Total Beauty at 713.627.1200 to schedule a consultation.
One of the world's leading breast implant surgeons
We feel deeply for the disruption that coronavirus has likely caused to your lives. Amidst the restrictions in place, we realize that virtual consults, follow ups, and booking future surgical dates may not meet all your needs.
If there is more we can do for you as a medical practice, we want to know.
Please reach out and let us know other ways we can help. We have set up points of contact at 415-530-5335 and [email protected] to hear your suggestions.