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What are Different Types of Breast Implants?

Breast implants can be filled with saline or silicone.
Getting breast implants requires having a surgical procedure.
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  • Written By: Diane Goettel
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 23 November 2014
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Although there are numerous versions of breast implants which range in size, texture, and shape, almost all are filled with either a saline solution or silicone gel. Both saline-filled and silicone gel-filled implants are encased in silicone gel. Despite the presence of other types of implants with fillings such as soy oil, these two are by far the most common types.

The first saline-filled implants were manufactured in 1964 in France. The first silicone gel-filled ones were developed in Texas just a few years earlier. Over the years of course, both types have been redesigned and improved upon. Currently, saline breast implants are used more commonly than silicone in the United States. This has to do with federal health restrictions on the silicone type. In other countries, where such restrictions do not exist, silicone implants are often favored over saline versions. The first woman to receive breast implants had hers inserted in 1962.

Cosmetically, silicone gel implants are generally considered to be superior to saline ones. It is believed that silicone gel implants have a more natural look and feel. Women with very little breast tissue and those who have undergone mastectomies sometimes experience a rippling or wrinkling effect with saline implants. However, women with more abundant natural breast tissue may hardly notice the difference between saline and silicone breast implants.

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In the 1990's, a number of medical researchers studied the link between silicone gel breast implants and systemic disease. Many women have claimed to have fallen ill with neurological and rheumatological problems due to their implants. Many different studies on this and similar links have been conducted and are conducted in an ongoing basis. However, there is not yet a consensus in the scientific community on this topic.

In order to err on the side of safety, many plastic surgeons work exclusively with saline-filled breast implants. Until there is conclusive evidence that silicone implants do not cause illness in implanted patients, it is likely that doctors in the United States will continue to use saline. Some women who are dedicated to having the most natural-looking implants possible choose to travel outside of the United States to have breast augmentation surgery with silicone implants.

One of the best ways to choose the right kind of implant for your body is to consult with a plastic surgeon. Once your surgeon has made a few recommendations, research the manufacturers. This way, you will be able to learn a great deal about the design and function of your breast implants before going under the knife.

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naturesgurl3
Post 3

So maybe this is just me, but I have never been a fan of breast augmentation or implants. I mean, I know that some people get them because of a genetic problem or because they have had a mastectomy, but I'm just talking about cosmetic implants.

What on earth is wrong with having normal-sized breasts? When did everybody have to be a triple D or whatever? If your self-worth is so wrapped up in the size of your breasts that you feel bad about them all the time, then that's a whole different problem altogether, and it has nothing to do with the size of your tatas.

Seriously ladies, be happy with who you are, and save yourself the several tens of thousands of dollars that breast implants cost.

galen84basc
Post 2

One thing that women often forget is how important it is to follow the doctor's instructions during the breast implant recovery process.

You really need to follow the instructions to the letter, because if you don't, not only will your implants not look right, you could even end up with an infection. And besides, the healing process is, frankly, painful. It's a surgery, just like an appendectomy.

And just like you wouldn't blow off a surgeon's instructions after they give you knee surgery or something, you shouldn't forget about what your doctor says.

I know, because I work for a plastic surgeon, and he has a whole wall of breast implants photos that went wonky because somebody didn't follow the instructions. And given how much breast implants costs, that's just a waste of an investment.

So remember, follow the instructions. Take your pills on time, don't do too much for the first few days etc. You will definitely thank yourself for it later.

yournamehere
Post 1

There really isn't a lot to the whole silicone versus saline breast implant debate for me. I have heard way too many horror stories about those saline ones bursting and flooding the surrounding area. See, the good thing about the silicone ones is, even if they burst, the gel just disperses into the breast, and it still looks natural. When the saline goes, it's like someone has let the air out of a balloon.

Besides, I can tell you from first-hand experience (so to say) that the silicon breast implants really do feel more natural than the saline ones, especially as you get into the larger breast implants sizes.

Seriously, just look at a few breast implants "before and after" pictures, you can totally tell the difference.

So if anyone were to come to me for advice on breast implants, I'd say, silicone all the way. Go to Europe if you have to to get them, but just avoid the saline.

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