For years now, women looking to get breast implants have been faced with two basic options: silicone or saline. Since both implant types offer benefits and drawbacks, the choice largely comes down to personal preference. Recently, however, the FDA in both the United States and Canada has approved a third implant option. This new option is called the Ideal Implant, but is it really better than its traditional competitors?
Both saline and silicone implants have been in use for years. In basic terms, saline implants are rubber-like shells filled with sterilized salt water, or saline. Silicone implants, on the other hand, are filled with silicone gel. Although saline implants were more popular back in the ‘90s, in recent years silicone implants have dominated the market. In fact, according to recent statistics, roughly 80% of the implants installed in the United States last year were silicone.
When it comes to saline implants, the biggest knock against them is that they can feel unnatural. Because they’re only filled with salt water, saline implants often don’t hold their shape very well. Conversely, silicone implants tend to be firmer and have a more natural feel, but they also carry a greater risk. In the event that a silicone implant ruptures and the gel leaks out, it can cause scarring, deflation and potentially malignant nodules can form. Because of this risk, it’s recommended that women who have silicone implants get an MRI scan every two to three years.
The Ideal Implant combines elements from both of its predecessors. Like silicone implants, the Ideal Implant retains its shape and has a natural feel, but rather than being filled with a potentially toxic gel, Ideal Implants are filled with saline, which is harmless to the body. Unlike traditional implants, which are basically round sacs, Ideal Implants have a more complex internal structure, wherein a series of shells is nestled together, and the saline is house in two separate chambers. This unique design allows for a feel and shape that can accurately mimic natural breasts.
So is the Ideal Implant the best option on the market? Only time will tell. Currently, only a select number of cosmetic surgeons are offering this new implant. As more women start to use Ideal Implants, we’ll see if there is a shift in popularity between the three breast implant options.
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