Before FDA approved silicone gel breast implants in 2006, they had been absent from the US market for about 20 years. Much research had been done and no links had been found between silicone gel implants and rheumatoid disease, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and other auto-immune disorders. However, progress had been made in the cohesiveness and the decrease in gel-bleed (the ease of silicone going through the envelope). FDA has limited the use of silicone implants to patients 22 years and older. It also recommend the examination with MRI scan every 2-3 years. As a Albuquerque breast augmentation specialist, I always make it aware for all patients the recommendation of FDA, even though few patients actually get the MRI studies for breast implants subsequently.
When I am asked by the patients what breast implants I would recommend , I generally remind them that these are their choices. They have to be comfortable with their breast augmentation decisions. In general, these are the important points to consider:
1. How do they feel to you? Most people say that the silicone breast implants feel more similar to breast tissue. If you never feel the two different implants before, schedule an appointment with our Albuquerque office. Also keep in mine that, especially in very thin patients, silicone breast implants are less likely to show wrinkling/rippling than saline breast implants.
2. Do you feel comfortable if the implants rupture/leak? Saline implants will deflate very quickly after leaking and will decrease in size. Silicone implant rupture is generally not detectible by examination, and even mammogram and ultrasound. MRI is usually needed for diagnosis. With the current silicone gel technology (memory gel/cohesive gel), the implant gel will most likely stay together as one piece and stay in the implant pocket.
3. Cost difference. The surgery is the same but the cost of silicone breast implants are higher by about $900 for a set of two implants.
No two people are the same and we can not address all the questions here. However, this is something to think about. For more information, set up a personal consultation with me in our Albuquerque plastic surgery office.