Silicone Breast Implants
What are silicone breast implants?
Though silicone breast implants were once banned in the United States, their safety has been significantly improved and their popularity is growing as a result. Silicone implants offer a natural look that is hard to achieve with saline implants. The outer layer of the sacs are made of soft, rubbery silicone and the implants themselves come pre-filled. Because the implants are pre-filled, it is easy to determine the proper size for the implant to achieve the desired effects.
Silicone implants may have a smooth or textured exterior, depending on your personal preference. Textured implants may look and feel more natural under certain conditions. Your surgeon will discuss the options with you to help you choose between a smooth or textured outer shell.
Silicone Breast Implant Basics
Silicone implants were banned for a period of time between 1992 and 2006, but today they’re making a come-back with a safer, triple-layer shell that resists rupture. Today’s silicone breast implants have a firmer feel to them than silicone implants of yester-year, but most women agree that they still feel very similar to real breast tissue.
Silicone implants may still pose a risk to women if they rupture inside the body. Long-term studies have yet to definitively prove their safety, but a thicker outer shell to protect the implant from rupture is compelling to many women. Talk with your doctor about safety issues relating to silicone breast implants before making your final decision.
Silicone implant surgery requires larger incisions than saline breast implant surgery because the silicone implants come pre-filled. Larger incisions involve more pain and a longer recovery time. Silicone implants are also more expensive than saline implants because the material used to make the implants costs more and because the surgical procedure is more invasive and takes longer to perform than saline implant surgery.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Silicone Breast Implants
Women today choose silicone because of its similarity to real breast tissue. The triple-layering of today’s silicone implants makes it less likely that they will damage or rupture. The firmness of the material used to make the silicone implants makes them less likely than saline to ripple under the skin. They tend to maintain their shape and are unlikely to shift after they are positioned inside the breast or under the pectoralis muscle.
Silicone implants are still a little risky unfortunately because the research has not been done to learn about the effects of silicone that leaks into the body. Silicone is used successfully to replace heart valves in the body without causing a reactions, but scientists still aren’t sure what happens if silicone leaks into breast tissue.Silicone implants can interfere with mammography exams. Women need to inform the doctor and staff that they have silicone implants even though it will be visible to the technician. Mammography can actually cause the silicone implant to rupture. Special techniques can help the technician work around the implant if you communicate with the technician and staff before the exam.