Silicone Gel breast implants have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to be used in breast augmentation and breast reconstructive surgery, in the general population.

The controversy, which was raised so long ago, has finally been put to rest: silicone breast implants are safe. Silicone breast implants were approved here in the USA after the European and Canadian authorities had done the same much earlier.

The general consumer now has a choice of not just one type of breast implant, but a wide variety of implants. All implants distributed in this country will be manufactured either by Mentor Corporation or Allergen (formerly known as Inamed).

All patients interested in silicone breast implant surgery will be required to be informed of the possible risks associated with the procedure.

What are the advantages of the silicone gel over the saline filled implants one might ask?

First of all, silicone gel implants reportedly feel more natural or softer in some patients. Second, even if there is a break in the shell of an implant, it will maintain the same shape and it may not become obvious there is break for a long time. Thirdly, a patient who is very thin and of a small frame may benefit from a gel filled implant, because it conforms to the natural shape of the breast slightly better than the saline filled implant, making the breast augmentation look less conspicuous.

The disadvantages of silicone gel implants starts with the fact that the implant comes already pre-filled and therefore requires a generous incision either on the breast or the in the arm pit. Another disadvantage is that silicone gel implants are more likely to harden with time (form a capsular contracture) making the breasts unattractive and painful, necessitating breast revision surgery.

Lets review the advantages of saline filled implants:

First they can be introduced through very short incisions since an empty implant is only as thick as a cigar. The fact that an empty implant is so small, it allows doctors to introduce the implants under the breast through distant places such as the belly button, this procedure is called: trans umbillical breast augmentation, where the scar is frequently invisible. Saline implants that are over-filled have fewer ripples than silicone implants.

Disadvantages of saline filled implants include instant or rapid deflations and the feel that may not be as soft as that of gel implants.

All implant types can form heavy scarring known as capsular contractures, which may require reparations. Patients must follow their doctor’s instructions in order to avoid these complications.

All breast implant patients must realize they will need additional surgery on their breasts some time in the future.

The choice of having fuller, beautiful breasts comes with a responsible decision making.

To all those who decided to go through with the breast enhancement procedure good luck and enjoy the new you.