The Future Breast Implants Might Finally Be Here: Saline/Silicone Hybrids
If you have breast implants, 10 years is a often a number drilled into your head, because that’s how long you can go before you may need to have those babies changed out.
“There’s literally no way I’ll have to do that,” sniffed my sorority sister when someone pointed out that her brand new boobs may need a tune-up every ten years. “What, so I’m supposed to get, like, seven more boob jobs before I die?”
Maybe. According to a 2011 study by the FDA, one in five women with implants need some sort of revision procedure thanks to encapsulation, where scar tissue surrounds the implants and makes them feel hard) or worse, “silent rupture,” where sticky silicone gel comes in contact with their tissue. Despite successful surgeries, it’s estimated that over 150,000 women are living with silent rupture. Um, yikes.
But let’s go back to basics first. There are two types of implants: silicone gel — aka “gummy bear” implants — and saline.
Saline-filled implants are filled with sterile salt water and look kind of like jellyfish. Silicone gel implants (aka “gummy bear” implants) are filled with a more solid gel — like, yep, gummy bears — and usually look and feel more like natural breasts. That’s the common belief, at least. However, they pose more of a risk if they leak, whereas the saline option is simply absorbed into your body if there’s a pop. So, women seem to be left with an impossible choice: silicone gel implants that look more natural but can be way more harmful, or saline, which look worse but are less risky. Sounds kind of like a no-win situation.
Well, now there’s a company out there trying to give you another option with a new product called the “structured” implant, also known as the “Ideal Implant.”
FDA cleared, the Ideal Implant aims to be the best of both worlds by layering a silicone shell around a saline sack. The result? The natural feel of a silicone gel implant and the safety of saline. Best of all, the rupture risk is just 1.8% compared to 7.4% of Allergan’s silicone gel implants.
And should something go awry, an MRI isn’t needed to diagnose it (as is the case for most silicone implant bursts); a visual exam by a plastic surgeon is all you need to tell if the implant has ruptured, and the removal procedure is far simpler than with a silicone gel implant.
As always, when considering any kind of plastic surgery, from a nose job to implants and even lip fillers, consult a board certified plastic surgeon, and remember: you get what you pay for. Bargain hunting is great at Marshall’s, not so much when it comes to body modifications!