Summary: In most cases, surgeons will recommend that patients invest in silicone breast implants when trying to select an implant type. This might surprise some people, but silicone breast implants are by far the most popular among surgeons. Why is that? Why is silicone the best breast implant? We do some research to find out.
Is Silicone the Best Breast Implant?
So, you’ve decided you want a breast augmentation procedure performed. The next question is: what type of implant do you want? If you’re like most Americans that ask this question, your surgeon will likely present you with the possibility of a silicone breast implant.
And for good reason. The silicone breast implant is the most popular and most effective implant type on the market today. Surgeons tend to prefer it. Yet, there was a time when that wasn’t the case. So why is silicone the best breast implant now? Well, a few things have changed since the old days of the first silicone breast implants.
To be sure, though, silicone has been around since the very first breast implant procedures were performed. But the reasons why it’s such a great choice today have more to do with what the modern silicone breast implant can really do.
Saline as a Replacement
During the 1980s and 1990s, there was a temporary—and as it turns out unjustified—scare that silicone breast implants were somehow causing cancer. Out of an excess of caution, the FDA removed silicone implants from the marketplace until it could effectively research the issue.
That issue ended up finding no link between the silicone breast implants and breast cancer. However, during this time, most surgeons used saline breast implants as a kind of replacement. Saline is, essentially, salt water. So there was no threat of adverse side effect from the material of the implant.
There are, however, several drawbacks to a saline breast implant. First and foremost, saline implants do not look quite as natural as other implant types. Second, if a saline implant fails it will deflate. That can make for an awkward waiting period before a required corrective surgery.
Silicone Comes Back
In the early 2000s, silicone-gel-filled implants were re-approved by the FDA, and since then they’ve become enormously popular. Silicone implants are so popular for several reasons:
- They look incredibly natural
- If silicone implants rupture, they will likely retain their shape
- If silicone implants rupture, no medical attention is necessary unless some discomfort is apparent
- Silicone gel-filled implants come in a wide variety of sizes and with different shapes and textures
- Silicone implants have been proven to last up to 15 years or so—and often quite a bit longer
It’s obvious, then, that these implants have significant benefits. They’re safe, effective, and popular—which helps explain why silicone implants are generally noted as being the top choice of surgeons today, from breast surgeons in New Jersey to Los Angeles.
Fat Graft Implants Making Headway
One of the primary competitors to silicone implants today is not from saline but rather from fat. Fat graft procedures—made exceptionally popular by procedures such as Brazilian Butt Lift—have grown from trend into a technique. It used to be that a fat graft was something of a niche procedure.
But today, fat graft breast augmentation procedures are making real headway and competing with silicone implants. During a fat graft procedure, liposuction is used to remove fat from one part of the body (usually the belly). The fat is then purified and injected into the target area (in this case the breasts).
There are some definite advantages to this procedure. First and foremost, nothing will look more natural than fat from your own body. This procedure is also somewhat less invasive than a traditional breast augmentation (but don’t necessarily count on a shorter recovery period).
However, the fat itself is somewhat unreliable. In any fat graft procedure, a certain amount of the fat will not survive the transfer process. However, the percentage of fat that does not “take” to its new home changes. This means that the results from this procedure are not quite as reliable as more traditional breast augmentation techniques.
Finding What’s Right For Your Body
That said, patients today have more options for breast implant types than at any point in history, and that’s a good thing. An option that’s popular for everyone else might not be the right choice for you.
That’s why it’s great that there are so many options out there. Whether a silicone, saline, or fat graft breast augmentation is the way you want to go, you’ll be able to achieve it thanks to the availability of all three.
So, while silicone breast implants are the best breast implants in most instances, that doesn’t always mean that they’ll be the best for you.