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Silicone vs Saline Breast Implants

Both saline and silicone implants are FDA approved for cosmetic breast augmentation in the United States. Clinical trials demonstrate similar infection, failure and re-operation rates. Neither type of implant causes breast cancer. Despite lawsuits, and internet horror stories, medical studies do not link silicone implants to autoimmune disease like lupus, scleroderma or rheumatoid arthritis.

Saline vs. Silicone Implants

The major difference between saline and silicone implants is how the implants look and feel. In general silicone implants are softer, lighter and will feel more "natural." Saline implants are firmer, rounder and gives a more augmented or fake look. These can be positives or negatives depending upon your goals. The main downside to saline is increased scalloping and rippling, meaning a higher likelihood of seeing (visibility) or feeling (palpability) the implant in thin patients. The only two things that control implant visibility and palpability are the device itself and the amount, and quality, of tissue above the implant hiding it. Therefore, the type of implant selected plays a large role in your result in terms of both look and feel. The vast majority of my patients select silicone implants.

Interestingly, when we refer to silicone or saline, we are talking about the inner fill material. Both saline and silicone implants have the same silicone shell, so the body is exposed to the exact same material for the majority of woman who never experience a failure. Only if the shell was to fail would the breast pocket and capsule be exposed to the fill material. Saline is absorbed and urinated out, silicone gel remains inert, and except in extraordinary cases, stays within the breast pocket.

One factor that should not be considered when considering the difference between saline and silicone breast implants is price. A few hundred dollars is a small difference upfront, for a device you may have for decades. Additionally, both implants carry a lifetime warranty against device failure, but the silicone implant includes a 10-year warranty to help pay some of the surgery fees (up to $3500) should the device fail. To put it simply, both have a lifetime “parts” warranty and silicone includes a 10 year “labor” warranty while that “labor” portion of the warranty is an additional $200 for saline, thereby negating most of the price savings.


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THE ALLERGAN RECALL OF BIOCELL TEXTURED IMPLANTS AND TISSUE EXPANDERS

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This July Allergan announced that it was recalling BIOCELL® Textured Breast Implants and Tissue Expanders. With the recent coverage of breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) in the news, some of our patients are searching for more information about the safety of breast implants. Learn more about the Allergan recall, Bancroft Feldman's policy on using textured implants, and what our patients' options are.

What Our Patients Are Saying

BV, Houston TX

“I absolutely love Bancroft Feldman surgery. I have received so many compliments from people, and they are always amazed at Dr. Feldman’s work. I’ve had several people ask me for his contact information so that they can schedule a consultation. Dr. Feldman asked me what my goals were and reassured me that he would do everything possible to meet my goals. Courtney and Jeannette were also very helpful throughout the process. They provided great support, were always smiling and friendly, and responded to emails in a very timely manner. Throughout my surgery, I felt like everyone involved truly cared about me.

The price for breast augmentation was very reasonable, and I had read good reviews online. Furthermore, Dr. Feldman’s background provided me with confidence that he knew what he was doing, and the atmosphere of the office during my consultation was very warm and friendly. The staff is absolutely amazing . I have nothing but good things to say about Dr. Feldman and the staff at Bancroft Feldman Surgery!”

CT, Pearland, TX

"I want to thank Dr. Feldman and the rest of the staff for the excellent care you gave my wife before, during and after her breast augmentation surgery. I am a healthcare provider and the professionalism and excellence your staff displayed is among the highest I have seen.

When my wife told me she wanted to undergo breast augmentation surgery a year ago, I was a little hesitant because of some of the horror stories you see on tv and having friends whose wives were unhappy with their breast enhancements.  After speaking with Dr. Feldman during my wife's initial consultation, I felt completely at ease. Dr. Feldman took the time to explain the procedure in detail and I was extremely confident he would do a superior job...and he did. Dr. Feldman was very thorough in his post-surgical instructions to assure the best possible results. I was also impressed with the ease of making appointments and the convenience of having the procedure done in the same office instead of some distant surgical site. The surgery was relatively short and my wife's recovery was much easier than we had anticipated.

This was an incredibly positive experience for both of us.  My wife's breasts look perfect in every way, her confidence is sky high and we are both very pleased. I have already referred a couple of friends and would highly recommend Dr. Feldman as a plastic surgeon for anyone."

KP, Houston, TX

"You guys made everything feel so relaxed and comfortable as if I had known you forever, I loved the experience from beginning to end. I chose Dr. Feldman (for my breast augmentation) because after my consultation I knew he was the one, he was very honest with what he liked and disliked and I could tell he truly cared about my results, he was very informative and very professional, I am so happy with my decision!"