There are many decisions patients will need to make when they’re getting breast implants from our Portland-based practice, including which implant filling type, shape, and texture will be most suitable for them. One of the questions patients often ask us when they’re considering breast augmentation surgery is: “Which types of breast implants are safest?”

When performed by an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon, all saline and silicone breast implants that are FDA-approved are considered safe for breast enhancement surgery. Although the devices do need to be monitored and maintained over time, the FDA has extensively studied them and determined that they are safe in the majority of cases. Both filling types have a good safety record and performance, however some patients do consider saline to be a more low-risk option.

Silicone implants are made with a synthetic material that has a similar feeling to body fat. Some patients prefer these implants because they think the devices look and feel the most realistic. Saline implants, on the other hand, have an outer shell made from silicone but are filled with sterile saltwater and are more prone to rippling. The reason why some patients consider saline to be a slightly “safer” option is because the saltwater is safely reabsorbed into the body if a rupture were to occur.

Furthermore, it will be obvious if a leak occurs because a saline implant visibly deflates, changing in size and structure, alerting a patient to the problem, which can be quickly addressed. Silicone implant ruptures are less obvious and often go undetected because the thicker silicone gel remains trapped in the surrounding tissues. The leaked gel may cause discomfort and hardening of the breasts, but it is not linked to any major health problems. Regular MRI scans are recommended for women with silicone implants.

The best implant type for you depends on your goals and preferences. During your consultation, we will discuss your options, as well as any risks or potential complications with you.

Want to learn more about breast implants? Contact the Waldorf Center for Plastic Surgery for more information if you’re thinking about having this procedure. Call us at 503-646-0101 or fill out a contact form to request a consultation.