Breast surgery is one of my areas of expertise. I have successfully placed many implants over the years so I understand the nuances and differences between the various implant manufacturers, and how each one performs. Typically, I use a round, silicone gel breast implant because I find that it consistently produces the most natural-looking and feeling result. However, there has always been a sub-set of patients who don’t want or should not have silicone implants. These are very thin women and/or very athletic women without enough of their own breast tissue to camouflage the implant’s edges. This allows the implant to be seen or felt with certain movements, or in certain items of clothing. While fat grafting can help reduce this issue, I am excited to offer my patients another option. The Ideal implant is a saline implant that can feel like silicone.
Saline vs. Silicone Breast Implants
One of the first decisions that any potential breast augmentation patient needs to make it what type of breast implant do you want:
Historically, silicone has come out as the leader in terms of delivering a truly natural look and feel to your breasts. But some patients, as mentioned, aren’t the best candidates while others are concerned about silicone. I understand. I do remind my patients that silicone breast implants are one of the most studied medical devices in the world. Their safety is undeniable. This does not mean that something can’t go wrong with your implant. It is a foreign device that we are placing in your body, and in rare cases, some women may have adverse reactions. Breast implant illness (BII) is uncommon, however, and has been known to occur with both saline and silicone implants.
Other than perceived safety, the biggest advantage of saline breast implants is that if they rupture, you know immediately. Some women need this peace of mind, but aesthetically, I have always preferred silicone. Until now.
Advantages of the Ideal Implant
Before the Ideal Implant, my problem with saline implants is that they didn’t always have enough body or structure to deliver the kind of result that I wanted. The innovative design of the Ideal implant, however, allows me to offer my patients a saline breast implant that truly acts, looks and feels similar to silicone implants. Other advantages of this groundbreaking implant include:
- Saline is a naturally occurring substance in the body
- No risk of silent rupture
- Lower rupture rate & higher rupture strength
- No MRI needed to detect a potential leak
What is a Silent Rupture?
The most common reasons for patients to replace their implant in my practice is actually due to soft tissue changes or a changing aesthetic. A lot of women get breast implants in their 20’s, and by 40, their bodies have changed due to pregnancy, weight gain/loss and menopause. They simply want smaller breasts. Occasionally, however, an implant does need to be replaced due to a rupture. This is where some patients feel that saline has an advantage over silicone. If a saline implant develops a rip or tear, the implant deflates so you know immediately that something is wrong. But if it happens with a silicone implant, you typically won’t know without an MRI. This is called a “silent rupture”.
It is important to keep in mind that if your silicone implant develops a leak, your body is not going to be flooded with silicone. Furthermore, the rupture rate for ALL breast implants is quite low. Interestingly, the rupture rate for saline implants is slightly higher than silicone. One of the advantages of Ideal, however, is that they have a lower rupture rate than other saline implants due to their unique design.
What Makes the Ideal Implant Unique?
The makers of the Ideal Implant spent years researching and testing different design options until they landed on the innovative configuration that allowed them to meet the needs of women who wanted the look and feel of a silicone implant, but with a saline fill. The implant is comprised of a series of implant shells that are nested together with multiple chambers to hold the saline. Like a water bed, it’s a container filled with water, but separated into compartments. This unique structure helps:
- Control the movement of the saline
- Gives the implant more structure
- Reduces occurrence of folding or wrinkling
Since the latter is thought to be one of the main risk factors for implant rupture, this is critical. Furthermore, the outside edges of the Ideal Implant have been lowered so that they fit more naturally within the contours of your chest wall.
I am a firm believer in choice so I am happy that, today, my patients have a viable saline option for their breast surgery that will deliver a beautiful look and feel to their breasts.
To find out more about a breast augmentation with the Ideal Implant or any other surgical or non-surgical procedure with Dr. Sean Doherty at his Boston or Brookline office, contact us today or call (617) 450-0070 to schedule a consultation.