There are many options in choosing breast implants for breast augmentation. A new option has recently been added to the mix: the IDEAL Implant®. This structured saline implant offers the peace of mind of saline with the more natural feel that you would normally get with a silicone implant.
Breast Implant Options
Breast implants can be filled with saline (saltwater) or silicone gel:
- Saline implants are inserted in the breast pocket empty and filled at the time of surgery.
- Silicone gel implants come prefilled, so they usually require a slightly longer incision.
The outside can be smooth or have varying degrees of roughness or texture. The implants can be partially filled, completely filled, or overfilled. They can have different width-to-height ratios or different types and degrees of projection. The gel can be very soft, medium, or firm. The implants can be completely round or have a shape with various dimensions of height, width and projection.
What Happens If You Have a Ruptured Breast Implant?
The two largest general categories for implants are saline-filled and silicone gel-filled. Each type differs in how it reveals a rupture.
Silicone gel implants tend to be softer and more natural-looking but can have silent ruptures. A silent rupture is when the implant breaks, but you really can’t tell that it is broken just by looking at or feeling the implant. This has led the FDA to recommend MRI scans 5 to 6 years after placing the implants and every 2 to 3 years thereafter.
The MRI scan is the best noninvasive way to determine if the implant is broken. These scans are usually not covered by insurance. It is also recommended that a ruptured implant be replaced. Replacement of a ruptured silicone gel implant requires the removal of the scar tissue around the implant at the same time. This is done to remove as much of the free silicone gel as possible.
If a saline implant breaks it will deflate. It is very evident when that has occurred. No MRI scans are needed. If they do have to be replaced, it is a much less invasive and simpler procedure compared to silicone gel implants. Most saline implants do have the downside of being less natural in the way they look and feel, appearing rounder and feeling firmer than natural breast tissue. There may also be more rippling of the saline implant when compared to the silicone gel implant.
The IDEAL Implant: The Look and Feel of Silicone, The Safety of Saline
There is now an implant that combines some of the pros of silicone implants and eliminates some of the negatives of saline implants. It is called the IDEAL implant. It is a saline implant that looks, feels, and acts like a silicone gel implant but does not require MRI follow-up. The IDEAL implant:
- Deflates visibly if ruptured and is easily replaced
- Is adjustable when initially placed
- Feels softer and looks more natural, just like silicone gel implants
- Is priced about the same as a silicone gel implant and carries similar warranties
- Usually requires smaller incisions than silicone
- Enjoys a high satisfaction rate with both patients and surgeons
- Has a lower rate of rupture and capsular contracture
Is the IDEAL Implant the Best Option for You?
This new type of implant was developed by plastic surgeons and appears to offer a suitable alternative to the old-style saline implants and silicone gel-filled implants. A complete discussion with a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery with extensive experience in breast augmentation can help you decide what type of implant is right for you.
If you’re considering breast augmentation and have questions about the procedure, read our related blog post for helpful information. You can also visit our photo gallery to see real patient breast augmentation before and after pictures to see what the results really look like. And when you’re ready to discuss your breast implant options with Dr. Stratis, use our online form to request a consultation or call us at (717) 728-1700 to schedule an appointment.