What are the common types of breast implant, and do they expire?
By Kath Wong | May 12th, 2021
When it comes to breast augmentation, we know there are various options out there to choose what actually suits us the most. Many of us prefer something long-lasting and permanent, in which this article sees the purpose of sharing some details about breast implants.
Breast implants are known to be the best in having the long-lasting effect among the other methods available to enhance your breast shape and size with its solid substance that does not get absorbed into the body over time. It is true that these implants can last at least 10 years, except under some circumstances where the rupture occurs.
Types of Breast Implant
There are 2 main types of breast implants, popularly known as Saline Implants and Silicone Implants. At this point, you may get the idea that saline means saltwater while silicone is the synthetic material in the form of a gel. Both the implants give the ideal breast shape and size just fine, do you wonder what are the real differences then?
To start off with, saline implants have existed longer than silicone implants, since the 1960s. Unlike the silicone implants, saline implants, with an outer shell made of silicone, are inserted empty and filled with sterile salt water after. This gives an advantage as the incision site would be smaller and less noticeable than inserting the whole finished silicone implant into the breast; also, they are typically less expensive. However, it has been reported that saline implants are more easily seen under the skin as they ripple along with the movements and you may feel water sloshing.
On the other hand, silicone implants are made of silicone cases filled with silicone gel, which give the feel similar to human fat and usually come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Also known as “gummy bear” implants, they are firmer and remain in shape without the ripple effect.
Do Breast Implants Have An Expiry Date?
Breast implants do not have exact expiry dates but rather the chance of failing that would lead to leakage or rupture caused by the normal wear or strain on the materials over time.
Although implants can rupture any time after the insertion procedure, the statistics have been reported that the modern type of silicone gel implant has less than 3% possibility to fail. Depending on the cases, some may need a replacement sooner, some will last far longer, and many can last for a lifetime. Hence on average, the implants actually last between 10 to 25 years. An MRI is recommended every few years to keep an update on your implants.
What Happens When Breast Implants Fail?
Saline breast implants have a higher chance of experiencing rupture than silicone breast implants. When they do, you will be able to feel the leakage as the water solution will be released from the silicone shell and the changes in breast size and shape can be noticed immediately. It is safe as saline will get absorbed by the body and the silicone shell remains within the scar tissue which requires surgery to extract it.
On the other hand, it is less likely to notice the rupture on silicone breast implants and this is often known as ‘silent ruptures’ or ‘silent leak’. This may sound scary but worry not, today’s “gummy bear” implant developed with cohesive silicone gel makes sure the implant stays put together in a one-piece structure, preventing further complications.
Which Type Of Implant Should I Go For?
Both types of breast implant are generally considered safe, it depends on your preference of shape, size, and finish. Many find that silicone breast implants look and feel just like natural breasts, but the fact that saline implants result in smaller scars is another major factor to compare and consider between the two. What’s more important is to always look for a professional, reputable board-certified surgeon for safe and reliable results.
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