All About Implants
What are breast implants?
Breast implants are long-lasting, manufactured devices that are designed to increase breast size, either for cosmetic or reconstructive reasons. Breast implants are the most studied medical device in existence. Although implant construction varies depending on patient goals and purpose, all implants share in common a covering (or “shell”) and at least one type of filling material.
What implants are used by Dr. McDaniel?
Dr. McDaniel is proud to use Allergan silicone and saline implants. These implants are of the highest quality, and include Natrelle Inspira silicone gel implants and 410 shaped, anatomic form-stable implants, as well as soft-touch and cohesive gel devices.
For breast reconstruction patients, Dr. McDaniel utilizes Aeroform tissue expanders. These devices represent a significant leap forward in expander technology, featuring a wireless interface to allow self-expansion without weekly office-based fills requiring needle-based saline delivery.
Silicone Vs. Saline
Silicone and saline implants are both safe methods to increase breast size. Since both types of implants have advantages, and since there has been some controversy surrounding these implants, here is a brief discussion about their differences.
Silicone implants have been around since 1963, longer than saline implants, and have undergone several improvements over the years. Both silicone and saline implants have a silicone “shell” to contain the filling material– in saline implants, the implant is filled with sterile saline, similar to the fluid given in hospital IVs. With silicone implants, the inner material is a silicone gel polymer.
Silicone implants were removed from the market for cosmetic use by the FDA because of “insufficient data to support approval” from 1992-2007. In response, many well-designed research studies were done which unanimously showed no increase in any disease in patients with silicone implants compared with women with saline implants and women without implants. Silicone implants have been available for cosmetic use again for 11 years, and a recent 10 year follow-up study with 50,000 patients was consistent in demonstrating silicone implant safety.
The choice of which type of implant to use is based on patient preference. Silicone gel implants are preferred by most patients because of a more natural feel, longer lifespan (25 – 35 years for silicone, versus 7 – 15 years for saline), and less artificial appearance compared to saline implants.
Specialized types of silicone implants are available, which may be the best choice for certain patients. Dr. McDaniel will discuss additional information specific to relevant implant subtypes and FDA recommendations for implant monitoring and replacement at your individualized consultation.