Breast Implant Revision: Why Upgrade from Saline to Silicone?

Posted on January 15, 2016 by: Dr. Ronald DeMars

Between 1990 and 2007 the FDA restricted the use of silicone implants, allowing surgeons to use silicone implants only for breast cancer reconstruction or for cosmetic breast enlargementonly in tightly controlled studies. After these extensive studies, the silicone implants were released for cosmetic use, but over that period about 2 million women had breast enlargement done with the saline implants. 

Today, many women today are exchanging their saline breast implants for silicone ones. 

Both types of breast implant give an attractive shape and contour, but the saline devices, being filled with salt water, have a less than natural feel in many patients, especially thinner women with little soft tissue cover over the implants. A common complaint, aside from the water balloon feel was a waviness or rippling that could be felt, and was even visible in some patients.

Because the modern silicone implants use a highly cohesive type of silicone, meaning they are more of a soft solid than a liquid, much more like body fat, they have become the implant of choice for new patients almost exclusively. Women prefer the more natural feel and lack of rippling.

Now, when patients with the saline implants have a leak or deflation and need to have their implants replaced, the majority of women opt for the silicone implants in order to get the more natural feel, and as word has gotten out about this improvement, a significant number of patients with intact saline implants are being seen requesting the implant exchange.

Replacing the implants still requires surgery, but for most patients who undergo the procedure they find the pain of surgery and the postoperative recovery to be much more limited than the initial surgery.

Get a Consultation for Breast Augmentation Revision

If you are considering upgrading your saline breast implants, consider contacting Portland Plastic Surgeon Dr. DeMars’ office for a consultation by calling (503) 253-3458 or contacting us online.