Many different materials have been inserted into women’s breasts to increase their size, such as parafin wax, silastic rubber and polyurethane sponges. But the silicone elastomer breast implant has emerged as the only FDA approved device for breast augmentation. After the breast implant controversy and moratorium in FDA recommends saline breast implants became the primary device for insertions.
Saline breast implants have a shell made of silicone elastomer; the same shell used for silicone implants. These implants are filled with air then shipped sterile for surgery. In the operating room a fill tube is inserted into the implant valve, the air is removed and the implant is able to be rolled up for insertion. It is this ability that permits a 1 inch incision for saline implants versus a 2 inch incision for silicone implants. Once the implants have been placed into the breast pocket it is unrolled then filled with sterile saline through a closed system.
Saline breast implants tend to feel more firm when initially placed. But over the course of several months they do soften and can even be as soft as silicone implants. One of the downsides of saline implants that is often quoted is implant wrinkling. While this may be true when the implants are placed subglandularly I’m not convinced this is much of a concern when the implants are placed under the muscle.
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