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Plastic Surgery Center of Tulsa

2107 E 15th St. Tulsa, OK 74104

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Pros and cons of silicone and saline implants?

Okay, let’s talk a little bit about silicone breast implants versus saline implants. The big fear of silicone implants is the rupture. If the silicone implant breaks and silicone goes all over your body and causes all these horrible health things...simply not true.

Silicone breast implants were taken off the market in the United States by the FDA back in ‘92 and that was a second generation type of breast implant that did penetrate out into the breast tissue and cause granulomas but did not cause any of the collagen vascular diseases, connective tissue disorders...all the stuff that was supposed to be happening with silicone.

We are now into the fifth generation of silicone gel breast implants, and the shell around that implant is actually a multi-layered sandwich shell, and the gel is what’s called a cohesive gel, which means it sticks to itself. You can literally take a sharp knife, cut an implant in half, and you will have two halves of an implant...it doesn’t run out all over the place.

For that reason, silicone has made a huge comeback since they were reintroduced in 2006. They now comprise about 98% of the implants that are put in. Two reasons for that. One, they simply feel like real breast tissue so they feel more natural. Two, the rupture rate and the breakage rate on silicone implants is actually less than saline implants, and that’s important because you have to think about the risk of replacement surgery. If you’re having to replace that implant much more frequently, it’s not just the ruptured silicone you’ve got to worry about, it’s the anesthetic and the surgery and infection and all the stuff that goes with it, and you’re gonna do that far more frequently with a saline implant.

The shell is identical. Both have the same shell, but the saline...the water is so mobile that it basically flexes the implant to death and eventually it flexes the shell to death and it cracks and it deflates. If you’re dead set against silicone, you can get saline. They still make them, we still put them in. But the results are inferior to what you’re gonna get with silicone gel. So, most people now choose silicone.