Breast implants enable women to have bigger and fuller breasts. The two main reasons why women go for breast implants are reconstruction purposes, for instance, after mastectomy for breast cancer and the purposes of cosmetics.
This article discusses the two different types of breast implants, which include saline and silicone, and their possible complications. The similarity between saline and silicone breast implants is the outer silicone shell. However, the consistency and the material differ in these breast implants.
In saline implants, sterile salt water is used to fill the implants. The implants are inserted empty and then filled immediately they are in place. For breast augmentation, saline breast implants are available for women aged 18 years and above while no age bracket applies to breast reconstruction.
On the other hand, silicone gel is used in silicone implants. Silicone gel, a thick and sticky fluid that nearly resembles the feel of human fat, is pre-filled in this type of breast implant. Studies indicate that most women prefer silicone breast implants because they closely resemble the tissues of natural breasts. Silicone breast implants are available for women aged 22 years and older, and for any age of women for breast reconstruction.
If a rupture occurs in the implant, the approach varies depending on the type of the breast implant: Whether it is silicone or saline. In case, a saline implant ruptures, the implant deflates making the affected breast change its shape and size. Although, your body will absorb the leaking solution, there is no health risk. Consequently, a surgery is needed to eliminate the silicone shell. You may have a new implant inserted during this time if you wish.
On the contrary, a rupture of the silicone breast implant may take time before being noticed. A free silicone has a tendency of remaining trapped in the fibrous tissue or the capsule, which imprints around the implants. This kind of rupture is known as the silent rupture. Although, research indicates that leaking silicone gel do not cause long-term health complications such as reproductive problems, breast cancer and connective tissue diseases, pain in the breast and, or changes in the shape or contour of breast may be felt and seen respectively. Doctors are likely to recommend surgical removal in such cases, and a new implant can often be inserted depending on your opinion.
Saline and silicone breast implants both pose similar risks such as breast infections, breast pain, implant leakage/rupture and changes in the sensation of breasts and nipples; though this condition is temporary. Saline and silicone breast implants can also lead to capsular contracture where the scar tissue changes the shape of the breast implants. Therefore, it is highly commendable to seek comprehensive medical care before and after any breast implants.