Silicone Breast Implants
Silicone breast implants consist of a silicone pouch filled with a silicone material. This silicone material has a gel-like consistency similar to that of a very soft gummy bear of gummy snake and is not a syrup-like liquid. Silicone breast implants tend to look and feel better than their saline counterparts.
Controversy surrounded silicone breast implants in the USA when a moratorium was placed on “cosmetic” silicone breast implants in 1994 after multiple women and their lawyers brought suit against the manufacturers of silicone breast implants. However, silicone breast implants continued to be approved for uses in specific cases in the USA, such as in cases of breast reconstruction, asymmetry, rippling, etc. The use of silicone breast implants was never disallowed in most other countries outside the USA including Europe and Australia. For a more complete review of the safety of silicone breast implants please see our accompanying webpage.
The moratorium limiting silicone breast implant placement in the USA was lifted in 2006 after extensive study and review by the FDA which concluded that silicone filled implants are essentially no more risky than saline filled breast implants.
Women who continue to have concerns about silicone breast implants should have saline breast implants placed instead.
Saline Breast Implants
Saline breast implants consist of a silicone pouch filled with saline solution and have a consistency similar to that of a water balloon. The pouch used is very similar to that used for silicone filled breast implants. Saline implants may be placed through a slightly smaller incision than the silicone breast implants.
Leaks of breast implants are unusual. Saline that leaks from an implant tends to be reabsorbed by the body, whereas silicone which leaks from an implant will tend to stay within the breast implant capsule. The breast implant capsule is a thin, white shell formed by the body around all implants.