Breast augmentation is a surgical procedure using breast implants to increase the size of the chest. The two most common implants used during this procedure are silicone and saline. Silicone breast implants consist of a silicone outer shell filled with silicone gel. When compared with saline implants, silicone is known for providing a more realistic look and feel due to the consistency of the gel.
Look and feel of silicone implants
These implants come in many different shapes and sizes. Your surgeon can help you determine the right silicone implants to achieve the desired post-surgery results. The size of silicone implants is measured by CCs of silicone gel contained in the implant. The most popular shapes for breast implants are round and teardrop. The surface of the implant may be smooth or textured; textured implants are believed to reduce the occurrence of some undesirable aesthetic results.
During breast augmentation surgery, the surgeon inserts the implants through incisions in the chest. Usually, silicone breast implants are placed underneath the pectoral muscle, rather than above it. If placed above the muscle, these implants tend to result in a rounder and slightly less lifelike appearance. The surgery to place silicone breast implants usually takes between one and three hours.
Pros and cons of silicone implants
Many women choose silicone implants because they are more lifelike than saline ones. New types of silicone implants, sometimes referred to as “gummy bear” implants, provide an even more realistic feel. However, there are a couple of disadvantages. Because the silicone implants are pre-filled, rather then filled once inserted into the body as with saline implants, they tend to require longer incisions, with the resulting risk of longer scars.
Safety of silicone implants
In the past, there have been concerns over the safety of silicone breast implants, although recent studies have shown these implants to be safe. Still, if the implant leaks or ruptures, it may not be apparent except with MRI screening. The leaked silicone is more dangerous because the body cannot safely absorb it. Because of this risk, the FDA recommends that women who choose silicone breast implants receive MRI exams every two years to identify possible leaks. A leaking silicone implant requires breast augmentation revision surgery.
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