Anatomy of a Saline Breast Implant
Saline-filled breast implants can be placed in any of the various implant placement positions. These positions include subglandular (over the muscle), partial submuscular (the top two-thirds is covered by the muscle) and complete submuscular (under the muscle). Another part of the equation is incision type and location. There are several options, including inframammary (crease where the breast and chest come together), periareolar (nipple), transaxillary (armpit) or TUBA (belly button).
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The main disadvantage of saline-filled implants is their feel. Many women prefer the more natural-feeling silicone gel to the water balloon-like feel of saline-filled implants. That said, newer surgical techniques, such as placing the saline implant behind the chest muscle and slightly overfilling it, may make the implant feel more like real breast tissue.
Saline implants also are more likely to show rippling and wrinkling than silicone gel-filled implants. Rippling occurs when the saline fill and the elastic silicone polymer shell interact. This effect may be more pronounced in women with thin skin and very little breast tissue because the small ripples in the implant may be more visible through their crepe-like skin.
The main advantage of the saline-filled breast implant is that if it ruptures, the saline (saltwater solution) is harmlessly and seamlessly absorbed by the body. Another rupture-related advantage of saline breast implants is that it is obvious if a saline implant ruptures because it deflates immediately.
As long as a woman has adequate breast tissue to cover the implant, saline implants are an excellent choice. The saline implant is also adjustable and is a good choice for women with different size breasts (asymmetry).
Breast augmentation with saline implants costs approximately $1,000 less than with silicone gel-filled implants. There are many reasons for the difference in price, including the cost of the implant-filling material.