Breast implants: saline to cohesive gel much has changed since implants were introduced  in 1961 to the aesthetic marketplace. Through advancement and modifications, five generations of implants have evolved over a 60 year span.


The initial fill was with saline which served the purpose of increasing the size of the breast or reconstruct it. Saline implants are not pre-filled not as dense as natural breast tissue the final volume could be adjusted. This versatility provided a certain level of precision. When a saline implant develops a leak it will normally deflate in three days. Absorbing the saline is safe as it is sterile and a natural fluid in our tissues.


Attempting to improve breast implants the next frontier was silicone. A safe filler substance this was chosen because it mimicked the density of natural breast tissue. The FDA approved its use twice; in the 1960’s and again in 2006. A moratorium was placed on the use of silicone implants in 1993 for cosmetic purposes. Following a ten year study from 1996-2006 it was determined that silicone implants were safe. Fortunately, this resulted in an improvement in the construct of the outer shell. 


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Silicone implants are under-filled to provide a softer touch.



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Cohesive gel is often referred to as the “gummie bear” implant. This material is used in anatomical shaped implants also known as  “tear drop”  https://sientra.com/feelgood/gummy-bear-implants.  The photo below shows that a cut cohesive gel implant does not result in spillage of its content. 


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Texturing evolved to hold implants in position. Consequently a significant reduction in the incidence of capsular contracture was discovered when textured implants were placed in the sub-glandular position.


It’s worthy to remember that test standards by a manufacturer are not recognized nationally or internationally. Important to know that each type of breast implant: Saline to Cohesive Gel has its pros and cons. There is no perfect breast implant. Women considering having an augmentation mammoplasty; its best to discuss the procedure and implant selection that is best for you with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Consultations are complimentary for Cosmetic Surgery, call my office at 989-893-9393 to make an appointment