Saline breast implants have been used since the 1960s but rose to prominence in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s when silicone implants were pulled from the U.S. market due to safety concerns.
The return of silicone implants in the mid-’00s has cut into the dominance of saline somewhat, but around half of all breast augmentation surgeries are still saline implants.
Saline breast implants tend to have a rounded shape, rather than the teardrop formation of “gummy bear” implants. Some women say that saline implants don’t look or feel as natural as silicone. Others prefer the look and feel of saline implants. It really is a personal preference.
As part of your consultation, Dr. Schusterman will show you examples of both styles of the implant so that you can make the most informed decision possible before surgery. To read more about why silicone implants might be right for you, bookmark our silicone implant page.
At Texas Center for Breast and Body, we believe that the most important tools we have are our ears. We listen to your concerns and desires and then give you our medical knowledge so you can make informed decisions about your body. That’s why Dr. Mark Schusterman works with multiple styles of implants, including saline implants.
The biggest advantage of saline breast implants is the way they go into the body. Unlike pre-filled silicone implants, saline implants are empty when Dr. Schusterman inserts them into the tissue pocket. Dr. Schusterman then uses a sterile tube and saline solution to fill the implants to a predetermined size, based on what you decide during your consultation. The implant shell is then sealed and the incision site is sutured closed.
Having the ability to insert an empty shell and fill it while it is inside the body is important because it means that the initial surgery can be done with a smaller incision. This means faster healing and less scarring. If for any reason you are unhappy with the shape or size of your saline implants Houston plastic surgeon, Dr. Schusterman can add or subtract saline from the implant to adjust your appearance without another full surgery.
Because of certain innovations made in recent years to silicone implants and fillers, saline breast implants may actually have a slightly higher chance of an implant rupture, depending on the size of the implant and its placement.
However, the risk of a rupture is still low. In the rare event of a rupture, a saline implant would leak sterile saline (essentially saltwater) into the body, which is incredibly safe.
In fact, the risks associated with saline breast implants are so low that the FDA has approved saline implants in women as young as 18, compared with age 22 for silicone implants of any kind.
Saline implants are used in thousands of breast augmentation procedures in the United States each year, with a very low number of complications. The overall risk level of saline is not significantly different than that of other breast implants.
In general, the cost of saline breast implants range from between $5,000 to $7,000. This number is a very broad estimate, and specific procedures vary in price depending on what type of surgery is requested and what materials are used.
Saline breast implants are generally cheaper than silicone or gummy bear implants. In addition to the initial savings, the ability to change the size of saline implants by adding or removing saline as opposed to an additional full implant surgery means that they can be further augmented over time for less money.
However, Dr. Schusterman strongly advises all of his Houston saline implant patients to avoid the temptation to “bargain-hunt” when making determinations about their surgery. The most important thing is your safety, followed closely by your satisfaction. Attempting to cut financial corners on your breast augmentation surgery could wind up costing you much more over time.
If you think saline breast implants are right for you, they may be. But make sure that decision is made based on how you feel about them being in your body for the rest of your life, not numbers on a spreadsheet.
The choice of saline vs. silicone is probably one of the most widely-known in the plastic surgery world, but it is hardly the only one. You will have multiple options available to you as part of your decision whether or not to undergo breast augmentation.
If you’re interested in understanding how a breast augmentation might affect your health, shape, or confidence on a personal level, please schedule a consultation appointment in our Houston office.
Contact us today to schedule your appointment with the renowned plastic surgeon and breast & body specialist Dr. Mark Schusterman. Take your first steps to a more beautiful you.
3355 W Alabama Suite 450 , Houston, TX 77098