Silicone Gel and Saline

Every woman wants to feel that her breasts fit her body. For some women, that perfect picture may be of small, firm breasts. For others, it might be a look of voluptuousness that fills out their natural curves. No matter what look you would like see, there is a type of breast implant that can transform your shape.

The art and science of breast implant surgery has improved dramatically over the last fifty years. Implants have been around since 1960, and those earlier styles of implants are now a thing of the past. There are now fourth generation and fifth generation FDA approved cohesive silicone gel implants, with the fourth generation implants being approved since 2006. Saline implants have been approved since 2000.

After years of research leading up to 2006, the FDA determined that both silicone and saline breast implants are both safe and effective. Most recently, the FDA has approved the fifth generation highly cohesive silicone gel implants, or “gummy bear” implants. These form stable gel implants by Sientra® Silimed, Allergan 410, and Mentor have been highly anticipated in the United States by patients and plastic surgeons alike. In 2012, the FDA approved the fifth-generation Sientra® Silimed brand implants, the original period “gummy bear implants” These latest form stable implants are available in both shaped (tear dropped shaped) and round styles and offer even better choices for our patients interested in breast augmentation in Charlotte, NC.

How do you know which is right for you? Well, chances are that more than one style is right for you and our staff and surgeons at Criswell & Criswell are experts in helping you make the best choice for your body, your goals, and your budget. If you’re thinking about having a breast augmentation in Charlotte, call or email us to make a complimentary consultation to discuss this further. You can also read on to get more information about the different types of implants available to you.

Silicone Breast Implants

In the 1960’s, plastic surgeons started offering silicone breast implants to their patients interested in breast augmentation. At that time, these first generation implants had a different shell than the newer ones today, and they were filled with a silicone filling that was closer to a honey Consistency. These first generation implants were outstanding in the way the felt and behaved, and they provided a natural looking result. Silicone was a great choice of filler due the fact that is inert (the body does not react to it and it is highly compatible with the body) and it is used in many medical devices such as artificial joints and heart valves.

Despite the silicone implant’s success, the older first generation implant shells tended to rupture more, and the more liquid silicone could migrate easily in tissue. The FDA stepped in and years of scientific research and clinical trials helped produce future generations of implants, up to the fourth generation gel implant. From 1992 until 2006, the FDA allowed the use of silicone implants for reconstruction and for clinical trials.

Then, in 1999, the NIH Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences demonstrated that there was no link between silicone and cancer, or any systemic, autoimmune disease. When enough data had been gathered by 2006, the FDA declared that the new fourth generation silicone gel implants were safe and effective and available to all women ages 22 and older.

Both Dr. Kara Criswell and Dr. Bryan Criswell have been using fourth generation implants as part of investigational studies and clinically since 2003, and they feel confident in the safety of our current implant choices.

“Never in the history of medicine has any medical device been studied as thoroughly as the current generations of breast implants”, says Dr. Bryan Criswell. “The cohesive gel implant is a great, and safe, option for my patients.”

Silicone Implants Today

Cohesive Silicone Gel Implants

Silicone-Breast-ImplantOur current fourth generation gel implants are made with a silicone outer shell that is filled with a silence gel filling. The shell has a very low rupture rate and the gel inside is very similar to the consistency of firm Jell-o, or a warm gummy bear. It looks and feels very much like real breast tissue and moves very naturally with your body. And while the first generation implants could actually leak if the shell developed a rupture, the new generation gel is solid enough that should a rupture happen, it is not likely to migrate out of the breast pocket. Even with their safety, currently the FDA advocates women have periodic MRI tests to ensure their implants remain intact, although this recommendation has been questioned by scientists and surgeons alike.

At Criswell & Criswell Plastic Surgery, we offer the two types of fourth generation silicone gel implants Allergan and Mentor. These implants are available in many sizes, shapes and profiles allowing you a wide variety of choices to best suit your needs. Our surgeons will help you through this process to give you the look and feel you desire.

Highly Cohesive Gel Implants

Gummy-Bear-ImplantOur surgeons are now able to offer you additional options in breast implant surgery. The fifth generation silicone breast implant, or the “gummy bear” implant is available to our patients and they love them. The FDA approved Sientra form stable implants, Allergan 410 implants, and the Mentor Memory Gel implants are filled with a firm, form stable silicone gel that is more cohesive than ever. The manufacturer reports that these fifth generation implants have a 3 year rupture rate of 2% to 2.5%. Since the gummy bear implants don’t wrinkle or fold as much as fourth generation implants, and since wrinkles and folds can contribute to implant rupture, these implants may prove to have a better longevity.

Of our patients that have chosen the “gummy bear”, they tell us that they like the way they feel and they like the way the implants move with their own body. The also like the less round appearance with their form stable shaped implants.

The highly cohesive breast implants come in a multitude of sizes, shapes and profiles. The implant height and projection can be low, moderate full or extra full. And within each profile and projection there are many different volumes. This extremely wide range of choices allows great flexibility for our patients and Dr. Criswell will help you choose the best implant to fit your body and personal goals.

If you’re interested in a consultation for shaped implants, form stable implants, highly cohesive gel implants, or “gummy bear” implants in Charlotte NC, contact us at Criswell & Criswell Plastic Surgery to see either Dr. Bryan Criswell or Dr. Kara Criswell in one of our Charlotte Plastic Surgery offices.

Saline Breast Implants

Saline-Breast-ImplantSaline implants have been around since the 1960’s, and they current style has been FDA approved for saline breast augmentation since 2000. For a few years, this was the implant of choice when the silicone implants were restricted before 2006.

The saline implant is a great implant and can give exceptional results for the right woman. It is currently the only FDA approved breast implant for women ages 18 to 22, and is generally less expensive then cohesive silicone gel implants. The saline implant is a shell filled with salt water, similar to the body’s natural water. In the event of the implant leaking, the implant deflates and the body harmlessly absorbs the salt water.

When our surgeons use saline implants, they fill them after they are placed into the breast pocket. This gives you a slightly smaller incision and scar compared with pre-filled silicone implants. In addition, because the implants can be filled with different amounts of saline once placed, our surgeons are able to precisely tailor the size of each implant in an effort to avoid breast asymmetry.

The saline implants are generally less expensive than silicone, but do have some disadvantages. Our patients tell us that they don’t think they feel quite as real as gel implants, and that over time, they tend to see more rippling and wrinkling. For thinner patients, they may show more than gel implants, and for that reason gel may be a better option for these patients. Over time, these effects may worsen, and there is a concern over increased saline implant deflation rates over time. Deflation requires surgical correction, either with replacement of the implant or removal, although if deflation occurs, saline is harmlessly absorbed by the body.

Silicone or Saline, Cohesive Gel or Highly Cohesive Gel
We will help you make the best choice for you

If you’ve come this far, call or email Darla or Patty today to make a complimentary consultation. Once we talk with you and hear your personal goals and desires, choosing the right implant is easy. Our surgeons at Criswell & Criswell Plastic Surgery have the experience, knowledge, and expertise to help you decide which is right for you.