Breast Augmentation: Saline or Silicone?

liposuction south jerseyThe FDA approved silicone implants for use in cosmetic augmentation in 2006.  This has added a great option for many patients but also added some confusion as to which type of implant is best for a particular patient.  The most important difference between silicone gel and saline filled implants is the issue of rupture.  All breast implants, being artificial devices, have to behave in a friendly biological fashion to integrate appropriately in living tissue.  They also must have properties that make them desirable for their intended use.  Softness, pliability, and shape are important properties but these characteristics play a role in the longevity of the device.  Currently, the major manufacturers of breast implants in this country (Mentor and Allergan) list an anticipated longevity of ten years for their implants.  However, there is no guarantee that any implant will last for any specified period of time.  Although we discuss the rupture rate in terms of a percent each year, it stands to reason that the rupture rate for a breast implant is 100% – eventually.  Rupture is really where the 2 types of implants part ways in a practical sense.  The saline implant, filled with salt water, will simply deflate over a period of days following rupture.  The loss of volume is immediate and usually quite noticeable to the patient.  No special test is necessary to confirm what is obvious. The filler, salt water in this case, is simply absorbed by the body and excreted by the kidneys in the usual fashion.

Silicone gel filled implant rupture is another matter.  The filler in this case, a cohesive silicone gel, is not absorbed by the body.  Therefore, the volume of the breast changes little following rupture.  Although there is a chance of a slight change in the shape and/or feel of the implant following rupture, it is well known that this change is subtle, and will likely be missed by both the patient and her surgeon.  The FDA required labeling consistent with this problem, recommending MRI screening for silicone breast implants beginning at three years post implantation followed by every other year thereafter.  Unfortunately, the MRI is not without its own problems.  There is a significant false positive rate on screening (it sees a rupture when there isn’t).  It is also expensive, not being covered by health insurance when the implants were placed for cosmetic purposes.  I encourage all of my patients with silicone-gel filled implants to carefully consider the FDA recommendations for MRI screening.  As more information becomes available for these devices, modification of the current recommendation should follow.

So, why would a woman choose one implant over another?

While it is true that both saline filled and silicone-gel filled breast implants are effective in providing larger, more shapely breasts, some women benefit from the better texture and more natural feel of the silicone-gel filled breast implant. For example, smaller breasted women typically benefit most from the silicone-gel filled implant as the presence of any implant is more difficult to conceal. There is less fat and breast tissue to cover the implant, and so problems such as wrinkling can be more severe. In addition, women who have had children can experience involution of the breast gland, leaving a softer, thinner breast which may feel strange over a the typically firmer saline implant.

So how does a patient choose?

Except in the specific circumstances noted above, it is very hard to tell the difference simply by looking.  They are both good at making breasts round and full.  Most of the improvement in result is largely due to texture and feel.  This makes it a personal choice by the patient based on her own goals.  As proof to myself, I have been present at international meetings of plastic surgeons where photographs of patients with breast implants are shown on the screen.  The surgeon audience members are then asked to vote, “Saline or Silicone?”  We plastic surgeons cannot guess any better than chance!  Of course photographs are not the same as the real thing, but it certainly makes a point.  The bottom line is that the decision rests with the patient.  My job is to relate the facts and make recommendations based on sound surgical practice

Dr Franckle

Meet Dr. William Franckle Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

We know that you have many options when choosing a plastic surgeon. Dr. Franckle and his staff are dedicated to providing you with a caring and professional surgical experience. Time and time again our patients credit Dr. Franckle’s expertise and the kindness of our staff as the reason for choosing our practice. Dr. Franckle is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ASPS), the only board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties to certify surgeons in the practice of plastic surgery. Attention to detail, meticulous skill, and an artistic eye make Dr. Franckle an expert in such procedures as rhinoplasty (nose job), breast augmentation (breast implants), abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), facelift, and non-surgical treatments (Botox and injectable fillers).

Dr. William Franckle Testimonials
@wfrancklemd

What to Expect With Liposuction >>⁠

Liposuction will be performed on an outpatient basis, using either general or local anesthesia, so you will need someone to bring you home. Depending on the type of liposuction, Dr. Franckle will use a sterile solution, sound waves, laser, or another method to break down fat cells within the targeted area. He will then remove the broken-down fat cells through a thin tube, called a cannula, which will be inserted into the area through a small incision.⁠

Dr. Franckle provides patients with specific instructions for recovery based on their situation. Most patients experience bruising, swelling, and soreness for a few weeks after liposuction. You may need to take antibiotics to prevent infection and wear a compression garment to control swelling. In most cases, you will be able to return to work within a few days and normal activities within a few weeks. While liposuction should permanently remove these fat cells, you’ll need to maintain a stable weight to prevent the formation of new fat cells.⁠



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Tummy tuck or Body Contouring or Both? >>⁠

Many patients choose to undergo abdominoplasty (Tummy Tuck) in conjunction with other body contouring procedures to help reduce the downtime associated with recovery. One popular option is liposuction to help remove stubborn fat pockets that are resistant to diet and exercise alone.⁠

Other Body Procedures:⁠

- Body Jet Liposuction⁠

- Butt Enhancement⁠

- Mommy Makeover⁠

- Labiaplasty⁠

Call to schedule a consultation >> 856.452.4168⁠

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What Happens During a Rhinoplasty Consultation?⁠

The first step in the consultation is to review your medical history. During the medical review, it is important that you share any history of breathing issues or allergies, which could impact the nasal passage and results of the surgery.⁠

Dr. Franckle will also use Vectra 3D Imaging during the consultation, which allows patients to view a preview of the results before they commit to rhinoplasty.... how great is that!?⁠

Once Dr. Franckle understands your unique aesthetic goals, he can decide the best type of surgical procedure to meet those goals. #hereforyou⁠

Contact us today to schedule your consultation >> 856.452.4168⁠

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What is a Mommy Makeover? ⁠

The three commonly paired procedures for a mommy makeover include: Breasts, Tummy Tuck, and Liposuction⁠

Each pregnancy is 100% unique, as is each mother’s body. As such, each procedure plan designed by Dr. Franckle is entirely different from one patient to the next.⁠

Additional Mommy Makeover procedures are listed on our website >> https://wfrancklemd.com/body/mommy-makeover/⁠


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Who is an Ideal Candidate for Breast Augmentation?⁠

- Flat chest or lack of volume⁠

- Asymmetry between breasts with one noticeably smaller than the other⁠

- Sagging or flat breasts due to weight loss, aging, or pregnancy⁠

- Tubular breasts resulting in uneven, constricted, or deformed breast shape⁠

If you have fully developed breasts and are unhappy with their size or shape, you may be a good candidate for breast augmentation. Candidates should also be non-smoking adults in good physical health and should not be pregnant or currently be breastfeeding.⁠

Read more: https://wfrancklemd.com/breast/breast-augmentation/⁠



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As a pregnant women, there are likely so many thoughts running through your mind before delivery. Will the baby be healthy? Will I be okay? And then there’s the eventual joy of the birth and the bonding that comes with the first breastfeed. ⁠

But will your implants interfere with breastfeeding>?⁠

Should Implants Be Removed Before Pregnancy?⁠ ⁠
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Learn More on the blog: https://wfrancklemd.com/blog/should-implants-be-removed-before-pregnancy/⁠
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What’s the secret to always looking refreshed and rejuvenated? Consistency. ⁠
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Maintain your beauty regimen with a regular treatment schedule, personalized plan and access to the BEST pricing we offer on non-surgical treatments. ⁠
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Learn More about our REFRESH VIP program on our website >> https://wfrancklemd.com/refresh/⁠
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#hereforyou ⁠

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William Franckle, MD., FACS

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