Types of Breast Implants: Part One (Saline Breast Implant)

Breast augmentation and breast reconstruction use breast implants to enhance the aesthetic size, shape, and texture of breasts.  These procedures are offered with the use of three types of breast implant devices. The next three articles will discuss in some depth these three types of devices.

The Saline Breast Implant

Breast Implants

Implants filled with a saline solution that essentially contains a biological-concentration of salt water. This form of implant was first manufactured in France. The saline breast implant was introduced for use as a prosthetic medical device in mid 1960s. Contemporary models of saline breast implants are manufactured with thicker walls of room-temperature vulcanized shells made of a silicone elastomer. Studies report that rates of deflation due to filler leakage of the pre-filled saline breast implant made it a second-choice prosthesis for corrective breast surgery. The saline breast implant was in the past, the prosthesis most used for breast augmentation surgery. This is because of the U.S. FDA’s restrictions against importation of silicone-filled breast implants.

The goal of the saline-implant technology is based on a need for a physically less invasive surgical technique for placing an empty breast-implant device through a smaller surgical incision. After the empty breast implants are inserted into the implant pockets, the surgeon then fills each device with the saline solution. Because required incisions are short and small, the resulting scars are much smaller and shorter than surgical scars required for inserting silicone-gel implants.

The saline implant can yield good-to-excellent results of increased breast-size, smoother hemisphere-contour, and a realistic texture. It can however be a cause of some cosmetic problems, such as rippling and wrinkling of breast-envelope skin however. Some technical issues, such as the presence of the implant being noticeable to the eye and touch may also occur. Such cosmetic problems are more likely the case of woman with very little breast tissue or in the case of post-mastectomy breast reconstruction. The silicone-gel implant is a technically superior prosthetic device for breast augmentation and breast reconstruction in these cases. A patient with more breast tissue, sub-muscular emplacement is the recommended surgical approach and saline breast implants can afford an aesthetic result similar to silicone breast implants. For more information, please call us at 702.410.9800 or click on this link for Part Two of this series called  Silicone Gel Implants.

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