Breast augmentation is the number one plastic surgery thanks in part due to the resurgence of silicone breast implants since their re-approval by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA). Silicone implants were used in only 19% of breast enhancements in 2006, but jumped to 72% in 2012.
To date, the FDA has approved five silicone-gel filled breast implants for breast augmentation and breast reconstruction. These include Allergan Natrelle, Allergan Natrelle 410 Highly Cohesive Anatomically Shaped Silicone-Gel Filled Implants, Mentor MemoryGel, Mentor MemoryShape, and Sientra’s Silicone Gel Breast Implants. Each implant is manufactured slightly differently in their dimensions to provide patients a particular look they’d like to achieve. The FDA requires all manufacturers to monitor and evaluate long term results, health and safety of the implants.
The enormous comeback in silicone can be attributed to its natural look and feel, and some of the approved silicone implants have a tear dropped shaped, which may be a good option in some patients. Silicone also is more firm and stable than saline option, and although saline implants control a smaller portion of the market (28%), they do have the advantage of easy absorption of the implant fill (saline) by the body if ruptured.
In our practice, most patients choose silicone implants, and Dr. Salemy recommends that patients review the advantages and disadvantages of both silicone and saline options with their surgeon. He also stresses the importance of going to a board certified surgeon who is able to help patients make an informed decision.
Sources: Federal Drug Administration, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Medical News Today