Breast Implants: Silicone vs. Saline

This question is very similar to asking which is better, a nail or a screw?  Think of breast implants as a tool to accomplish a task.  One may be better than another in certain situations, but they’re both simply means to an end.

www.sientra.com

www.sientra.com

Here are the important things to know:

  1. Both silicone and saline implants are safe.  Although silicone implants were removed from the market for several years, multiple studies since then have shown that they are safe to use.  In 2006, they were approved by the FDA for use in women age 22 or older.
  2. Both types of implants have a silicone shell.  Silicone implants are then filled with malleable silicone, whereas saline implants are filled with sterile saltwater.
  3. Both implants have similar risks, including rupture of the implant, formation of scar tissue around the implant (capsular contracture) and infection.  If a saline implant ruptures, the saline is reabsorbed and the implant deflates.  If a silicone implant ruptures, the silicone stays in place, so further tests such as an ultrasound or MRI may be needed to diagnose the rupture.
  4. The implants do feel different.  I personally think that silicone implants feel softer and a bit more natural, but this is something you should decide for yourself.  If you see a plastic surgeon regarding breast augmentation, he or she will have both types of implant available for you to feel.
  5. Saline implants are placed in the breast empty, then filled with saline after they are in place.  Silicone implants are pre-filled.  So saline implants are more adjustable in terms of size- they can be filled to any amount within a specified range, whereas the silicone implants come in 25-30 ml increments.
  6. Silicone implants cost a few hundred dollars more.  The cost difference is small enough that it likely will not affect your decision-making process, but it is something to be aware of.

Given the above information, how do you choose a type of implant?  If you do not feel strongly one way or another, ask your physician for a recommendation.  I tend to use silicone implants more often for augmentation, because they feel very natural.  I also use them in bilateral breast reconstruction for the same reason.  If there is a significant difference in size between two breasts, or if I am doing a unilateral breast reconstruction, I will recommend saline implants to obtain a better size match.

Do you have any questions about saline or silicone breast implants?

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Disclaimer: This webpage is for general information only. It is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical illness, or give any specific medical advice. Because medical knowlege is constantly evolving, I cannot guarantee the accuracy or timeliness of any information in this blog.

Does Laser Hair Removal Work?

“Does laser hair removal work?”

I am asked this question at least once a week, and for good reason.  Listen to the radio and you will be inundated with ads for laser hair removal.  Never having to shave again sounds wonderful, right?  And here is the good news: laser hair removal does work.  But before you consider trying it, there are a few things to be aware of.

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First, laser hair removal is a bit of a misnomer.  More accurately, laser treatments reduce the thickness of the hair.  The resulting hair is so light and fine that you barely see it; look at the hair on your cheeks for an example of this.  Don’t see any hair on your cheeks?  This is actually the densest hair on your body, but it’s so fine you can’t see it.  Second, laser hair removal requires several treatments, up to 8 or more, for it to be effective.  The treatments only work on hair that is actively growing, and because hair may be in all different phases of the growth cycle, only a portion of the hair is in the correct growth phase at each treatment.  Cost can vary by location, so shop around.  Many facilities (including our office) have prices readily available on their website, so you can easily compare.

Want more information?  Check out my previous post on laser hair removal.

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Disclaimer: This webpage is for general information only. It is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical illness, or give any specific medical advice. Because medical knowlege is constantly evolving, I cannot guarantee the accuracy or timeliness of any information in this blog.