How to Choose Breast Implnats, Saline vs. Gel Implant
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Description Meet expert Prima Center for Plastic Surgery Breast Augmentation specialist Dr. Jeff Zwiren view video description of silicone vs. gel filled breast implants


In this video we will explain the differences between a Gel and a Saline-filled Implant. We often get asked which is better, Gel or Saline, the answer is not always so simple. This is an individual decision based upon your existing anatomy, size and shape of your breast, thickness of your skin and breast tissue. There are other reasons that a woman may choose a saline versus a gel implant. This can vary from individual desires or recommendations from a friend or a Plastic Surgeon. Both implants are good, both are effective, they give you excellent results. When compared, many patients feel that a Gel-filled implant feels a bit more natural. The Gel-filled implant has more substitutent, it tends to feel a bit more like breast tissue. From a purely aesthetic standpoint a Gel Implant seems to more accurately mimic the natural breast tissue, especially in a woman with small breast who will not have much soft tissue to cover the implant. Thin skin coupled with thin breast tissue will usually get a better result with Gel. Well, what does the scientific evidence show us? The Gel-filled implants were removed from the market 14 years ago. This was due to potential fears of a relationship between the implants and certain autoimmune and connective tissue diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus. Good follow-up data over the last 14 years has shown no correlation between Gel-filled implants and these diseases. The FDA has deemed the Gel-filled implant safe and effective, that is they do what they are intended to do. The Gel-filled implants have been released for use in the United States without any restrictions for women over the age of 22. This ban was removed in November of 2006. The current FDA concern is that accurate information of patient is given and informed consent about the implants is obtained, for instance, information about the long-term rupture rate. A 10-year study has been completed that shows no problem with the implants. This is a Saline-filled implant. As you can see that it has the look and feel of a water bag. The Saline implants are approved by the FDA, they are filled with a salt water solution similar to fluid that makes up most of the human body. The new generation in Gel implant has even more solid tissue like feel, especially when compared with the Saline type. Next, we are going to compare, examine the Saline implant, the old Gel implant and the new generation of Gel-filled implants. First we are going to discuss the Saline-filled implants. The implant is filled with a tube that locks into a filling valve. Once the tube is removed the valve seals itself. The filling valve is very reliable with a very low filling rate. The filling tube simply clicks into the valve and Saline is placed into the implant much like a basketball is filled with air. Next, we are going to simulate a rupture of the implant. I puncture the implant with a needle. Once a pinhole develops in the implant, the volume is gradually lost. As I squeeze on the implant, the Saline gradually leaks out. The failure rate reported for this type of implant is 2% over 7 years and 3% over 10 years. When a deflation occurs it is not rapid, it occurs over a 3-6 week period of time with increasing wrinkles, ripples with a loss of and size and fullness. Most women recognize relatively early if the implants are getting smaller and softer. For women who have health concerns, one advantage of the Saline-filled implant is that they are filed with salt water, the same as IV fluid. The Saline will be absorbed by the body, therefore there is no concern about being medically harmed. With the old style Gel implants the filling material was more of a liquid gel. This had the consistency of honey. I am not going to puncture this implant but if a pinhole is created in this implant, the gel will begin to leak out. A leak in the implant shell can result in a change of the breast shape or development of hardness or scar tissue. But you know as how all of the irregularities of the old style implant are visible due to the fitness of the implant shell and the inner gel. If the old style gel implant ruptures, the gel can run out and become a sticky amorphous blob, can also be a change in the shape of the breast. This was the nature of these old style gel implants that have been off the market since 1999. Next, we will look at the new generation gel implants. This is the example of that implant, it's cohesive gel, or gummy bear gel implant. The inner contents of the implants are still relatively soft but the gel is thicker than the old style gel. If the shell is cut or if the implant loses its integrity, the gel does not run out, it stays calm together. I can make a deep cut into the implant and it maintains its shape, that's the technology behind this new implant. It does this because of the cohesive gelatin-like substance. It acts more like a solid fatty liquid. Here is a photo of a breast implant cut in half. It plainly shows how the material holds together uniformly while still retaining the natural give of breast tissue. So as the Gel-filled implant comes pre-filled a slightly larger incision size is required. A Saline implant is inserted in a deflated state and the incision can be made smaller. More information about breast augmentation and a practice is available at Thank you!