The two types of breast implants have different material and consistency. In the case of saline filled breast implant, a silicone shell is inserted and put in place and then filled with saline during the surgery. On the other hand, silicone implant comes with a silicone shell that is pre-filled with gel.
Silicone gel has a viscosity, it is thick and sticky and more like human fat. This makes it look and feel natural. Saline implant at the same time is not compressible and gives a firm impression. There is something unnatural about it. Hence, a person touching it gets a feel that it is not real. Saline filled implants have been criticized for feeling hard and unnatural.
Silicone implant ruptures are difficult to detect. When the silicone implant ruptures, immediately nothing is noticeable. The breast continues to look and feel the same because the silicone gel may leak into surrounding areas of the breast without making any visible difference. When the saline implant ruptures, it deflates and the result is seen immediately.
Replacing a silicone gel implant is more difficult than replacing a saline implant. Silicone implant has variation in shell surface, shape, profile, volume, shell thickness, and number of shell lumens. The silicone implants are not adjustable. Saline filled implant comes in two types. There is a fixed volume implant which is filled with the entire volume of saline at the time of implantation. There is also an adjustable volume implant which is partly filled at the time of implantation and there is further room for post operative adjustment.
The use of silicone gel implant was restricted in 1992 based on complaints but it has been approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) again in 2006 after a ban of 14 years.
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