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Breast enhancement without silicone and fewer scars (saline implants)

saline implants

Breast enhancement is an effective way to not only increase the size of breasts, but also to contour the breasts to make them shapely and voluminous. Women with small or badly contoured breasts can use this plastic surgery procedure to get perky, well-shaped breasts. Breast enhancement can also be used to overcome aesthetic issues with your breasts caused by breastfeeding, aging and pregnancy. Furthermore, women with irregular breasts can use this procedure to resolve this condition.

There are two major types of breast enhancement procedures: the use of silicone breast implants and saline breast implants. Choosing the type of implant should not only depend on your aesthetic goals, but also on whether it is safe or not for your body type. Consequently, many patients are unable to decide between silicone and saline implants, and the goal of this article is to help you make a better decision in this regard.

Saline and silicone implants come with their unique benefits and limitations. One of the major factors patients should consider when choosing between the two types of implants is the level of scarring after the surgery. If you are scared of scarring, go for saline implants because that will leave you with fewer and hardly visible scars. Silicone implants, on the other hand, leave behind large and noticeable scars.

In addition, if you are worried that silicone implants come with the risk of triggering autoimmune diseases, you should go for the saline implant because it has an impressive safety record. It is worth mentioning though that the FDA has rejected speculations that silicone implants trigger autoimmune disorders.

Difference between saline and silicone breast implants

Saline and silicone implants both have silicone shells, but what makes them different from one another is the contents of the shell.

Saline implants are filled with a sterile, salty solution as soon as the implant is positioned inside of the breasts. The shell is first introduced in the breast and positioned in the ideal location, after which it will be filled with the saline solution. For this reason, your doctor will create only tiny incisions in each breast. A leading factor that sets the two implants apart is the fact that saline implants require smaller incisions. Empty saline implants are inserted inside the breasts and filled with saline solution after it is placed properly.

On the other hand, a silicone implant requires bigger incisions for placement into the breast because they come pre-filled with silicone gel, which makes them larger in size. Since the post-surgery scarring depends on the size of the incision, patients who get saline implants will have smaller and almost invisible scars.

According to the FDA, patients must be at least 18 years old to qualify for the saline breast implant surgery, whereas for silicone implant patients, the eligibility age is at least 22 years old. While many patients report that the result of silicone implants appears more natural, the level of scarring tends to offset this benefit. If you have zero tolerance for scarring and want to keep them at the minimum possible, saline breast implants may be more suitable for you.

Another major difference between the two types of breasts implants has to do with the consequences of a breast implant rupture. When a saline breast implant ruptures, the patient will see a decrease in the size of their breasts and change in the breast contour. When this happens, your body will absorb and then excrete the saline solution in a natural way, without any complications because the solution is not toxic.

On the other hand, if a silicone implant ruptures, the patient may not notice any changes in their breast volume, size or composition. This happens because the silicone gel is jammed between the nearby tissues. However, if the patient experiences any symptoms like pain, change in breast size, lumps, etc., they should consult their doctor. The doctor will do an MRI to diagnose a silicone implant rupture and determine if another surgical procedure is necessary.

Preparing for saline breast implants

Before the saline implant surgery, the surgeon will ask the patient to have her blood and urine tested. A pregnancy test and X-Ray may also be required. Moreover, the patient must disclose their complete medical history with the surgeon beforehand. The patient may be required to stop taking certain medications, such as aspirin. This is because blood thinning medications can hinder the healing process, so you will be required to stop taking them a few weeks before the surgery. Also, if you are a smoker, you will have to stop smoking weeks before and after the procedure.

The saline breast implant surgery can be performed in a hospital, surgical facility or a clinic. You should make sure to have someone accompany you on the day of your surgery and drive you home after. In addition, you must have someone accompany you at home for the first 24 to 48 hours after the surgery because this is a crucial period to your recovery.

The saline breast implant procedure

The surgery is normally performed under general anesthesia. However, this can also depend on your surgeon’s preferences and your health condition. IV sedation may be used. You should consult the surgeon and anesthetist on the type of sedation to be used during the surgery and what to expect after the procedure.

Once the anesthesia puts you to asleep, the surgeon will make the incision in the low-profile regions of your breasts, so you can have minimum scarring. With saline implants, the incisions will be tiny. Next, the doctor will place the implants inside the breasts, most likely underneath the breast muscles. The doctor will then fill the implants with the saline solution. Afterwards, the surgeon will close the incisions, and you will be shifted to a recovery area until you wake up.

Recovery

After the surgery, you will be kept in a recovery area where your health will be monitored. When you regain consciousness, you will be allowed to go home so long as your health remains stable. Your surgeon will provide you with detailed instructions for post-operative care. Make sure to strictly follow the instructions because even minor carelessness can trigger major complications.

During the recovery period, you must take enough rest. You may walk around slowly to help avoid blood clotting, but walking quickly, running or engaging in high endurance activities during the first week is strongly discouraged. You can resume your work after the first week, but if your job involves strenuous activities, you should get more days off work.

The first 24-48 hours after the procedure can be painful. While the pain’s intensity depends on your tolerance level, your surgeon will prescribe you pain relief medications to overcome any discomfort. Also, your doctor will prescribe you antibiotics to prevent any potential infections.

You should make sure to keep the surgical area clean. Not doing so can lead to infections, which can trigger additional health issues and negatively affect the aesthetic results of your surgery. It is also important for the patient to be properly hydrated during the recovery period. Drinking enough fluids will help expedite the healing process.

While the outcomes of saline implant surgery are immediately noticeable, the final result will surface only after the body has fully healed and the inflammation has subsided. It may take about one month for the complete results of the saline breast implants to be visible.

Saline implant risks and complications

Like all surgeries, a saline breast implant surgery entails many risks and complications. The patient may experience breast pains and discomfort for a weeks after the surgery. One of the most common complications of saline breast implants is capsular contracture. Other potential complications associated with saline implants include seroma, hematoma, infections, and asymmetrical breasts, implant rupture and excessive bleeding.

Conclusion

Saline breast implants are ideal for patients who want to have minimal scarring or are afraid of scars. Thus, if you want to enhance the size and appearance of your breasts and avoid too much scarring, saline implants are a more suitable option than silicone implants.

With that said, there have been patients who complained that saline implants failed to deliver natural looking breasts, while others are happy with the results. It highly depends on what is more important to you, so it is important to weigh in the pros and cons.

It can be overwhelming to assess the advantages and disadvantages of saline and silicone breast implants, so you should discuss this with your surgeon along with your aesthetic expectations and goals. Your plastic surgeon will recommend the best option.

Nevertheless, there is no denying that silicone implants will leave behind a relatively large, visible scar, while saline implants will produce tiny, imperceptible scars. Furthermore, the saline implant surgery boasts an excellent safety history. Even if the implant ruptures, your body will safely absorb the saline solution, making it unnecessary to remove the implants. In conclusion, silicone implants come with numerous benefits that may be perfect for you.

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