When considering breast augmentation surgery, size is not the only thing that matters. The type of breast implant used will also play a critical role in the end result, so understanding the difference is important.

Portrait of a smilling brunette woman

     These days you would be hard pressed to find a person, man or woman, who is unfamiliar with the term breast augmentation, or perhaps the more commonly used, “boob job.” And while most know that this simple procedure is performed to increase fullness and projection of the breast by using a saline or silicone breast implant, many are unaware of the difference between these two most common breast implant options and why one is chosen for a particular patient, over another. Below we discuss the difference between saline breast implants and silicone breasts implants, and if you are considering a breast augmentation, which implant would be the best choice for you.

     Saline Breast Implants: Saline implants were created with the goal for creating a less physically invasive breast augmentation surgical technique. This less invasive technique, called a Transaxillary incision, is performed by creating an opening for the implant at the anterior fold of the armpit. This technique can only before performed when using a saline implant because the implant comes empty and is filled once it is placed in the breast pocket. The incision is used when placing the implant under the muscle, and is used particularly with patients who are smaller breasted that have little breast tissue. The transaxillary incision site is beneficial because the scar is hidden, however, there is a higher incidence of deflation at this site. It can also be more difficult to shape upon implantation due to the position of implantation under the muscle.

     Silicone Breast Implants: Silicone implants work well above or below the muscle. However, if a patient has more breast tissue to start with, it is better to place the implant above the muscle, but behind the breast tissue. Many patients prefer silicone because it offers a more natural feel, however, silicone implants require a larger incision because they only come pre-filled. There are two types of incisions used when implanting silicone breast implants, the inframammary crease incision and the circumareolar incision:

  • Inframammary crease incision takes place at the natural boundary of the breast from below. An incision and placement of the implant here is the safest and most common choice because it offers the lowest risk of complication and is less noticeable once healed.
  • Circumareolar incision is made all the way around the areola. This site is beneficial because it heals well, however, there is a high risk of change in sensation of the nipple after surgery, and the scar is more noticeable.

       If you feel that your breasts are too small due to a natural lack of tissue, are uneven in size, or lack desired perkiness due to pregnancy or weight loss, breast augmentation may be right for you. A critical aspect when deciding on whether or not to proceed with plastic surgery is knowing what your options are, and how best to achieve the optimal result for you. As always, an informed patient is a happy patient. And if you have questions, Dr. Madda is here to give you answers. Contact us today for your free breast surgery consultation.