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Silicone or Saline Implants: It’s Your Choice

Since the FDA approval of silicone gel breast implants, your options with breast enlargement, breast lift with implant procedures, and breast implant revision have expanded considerably. Plastic surgeons in the U.S. have three main choices of manufacturers for silicone and saline breast implants that are FDA approved. These three companies—Mentor (a Johnson & Johnson company), Allergan, and Silimed all make excellent products.

Your Implant Options: Saline, Silicone Gel, or “Gummy Bears”

At LJCSC, we use MENTOR’s saline-filled and Memory Gel silicone implants. We also now offer patients the Silimed shaped implants by Sientra (a.k.a. “gummy bear” implants). While the online chatter may give the impression that one implant type is “best,” the truth is that your body geometry, your desired look, your personal preferences, and even your age are what really matter when choosing implants. Our board certified plastic surgeons each have over 25 years of experience performing breast augmentations, and we’ll help you choose the implant that’ll get you the look you want during an individual implant sizing & shaping session.

Mentor Breast Implants – Saline & Silicone Gel

Mentor implants in san diego caFor years, our board certified plastic surgeons have used Mentor breast implants. In fact, we’re the largest private practice user of Mentor breast implants in the country! If you prefer saline implants, our board certified plastic surgeons recommend Mentor implants exclusively for the following important reasons:

  • Mentor’s implants have a lower deflation rate, which reduces the need for secondary surgery due to deflation.
  • We prefer the shell (the outer edge) of the Mentor implants.
  • They are less likely to wrinkle and show under your skin when implanted.
  • We’ve found that you are less likely to be able to feel the edges of Mentor implants once they are implanted (i.e, they are less palpable).
  • Mentor’s breast implants are BPA free.
  • They are made in the U.S.A.

Despite the fact that we believe Mentor implants are better, you must understand that all saline implants can occasionally leak, wrinkle, or be palpable.

New at LJCSC! High-Strength Cohesive Silicone Implants from Sientra (a.k.a Gummy Bear Implants)

SientraBadge-250 (1)While the silicone gel in all FDA-approved implants is stable, durable, and cohesive (in other words, it will not flow out of the implant shell, even if cut), it is soft enough to have some “give.” This helps the implant feel and look very natural in your body, but it’s not optimal in a shaped implant. The desire for a contoured silicone implant led to the development of high-strength cohesive silicone gel implants—what we all know as “gummy bear implants.” The first of these new implants from Sientra received FDA approval in March of 2012. The difference between these and the standard silicone gel implants (such as MENTOR’s Memory Gel), lies in the higher rate of cross-linking of the silicone structure. Cross-linking is the process that determines how soft or firm silicone gel becomes. The more cross-linking between particles of silicone, the firmer the gel.

See How a Gummy Bear Implant Moves!

This short video demonstrates how Sientra’s highly cohesive silicone keeps it together under pressure, but still has plenty of give:

Want to feel a gummy bear implant for yourself? Contact us today for a free breast augmentation consultation!

Compare Your Choices

The following chart outlines the differences between the silicone and saline breast implants we offer at LJCSC. Please contact us if you have questions.

MENTOR

MemoryGel®

MENTOR

Saline-Filled

Sientra®

Silicone Gel

Silicone Gel Breast Implant Saline Breast Implant silimed-gummibear-implant

√ FDA Approved

(for patients 22 & up)

√ FDA Approved

(for patients 18 & up)

√ FDA Approved

(for patients 22 & up)

Implant Filling

Filled with Silicone Gel. Mentor’s MemoryGel® holds together uniformly while retaining the natural feel of breast tissue.

Implant Filling

Filled with a Saltwater Solution. Like the fluid that makes up most of the human body, saline has a slightly firmer feel than silicone gel.

Implant Filling

Filled with High Strength Cohesive Silicone Gel. A tighter cross-linking in the silicone results in a denser structure that better holds its shape in a contoured implant.

Fill Volume

Set fill volume, so implant size is determined before surgery.

Fill Volume

Flexible fill volume, so the surgeon can adjust the volume during the procedure.

Fill Volume

Set fill volume, so implant size is determined before surgery.

Projection Options

Three options: Moderate, Moderate Plus, High Profile (see images below)

Projection Options

Three options: Moderate, Moderate Plus, High Profile

Projection Options

Three options: Low, Moderate, High Profile Sientra’s shaped implants also come in classic or oval base shapes

Shell Surfaces

There are two surfaces available: Smooth or textured

Shell Surfaces

There are two surfaces available: Smooth or textured

Shell Surfaces

There are two surfaces available: Smooth or textured

Incision Size

Slightly larger incision size

Incision Size

Smaller incision size

Incision Size

Slightly larger incision size

Warranty

Covered by Mentor’s Standard or Enhanced Advantage Limited Warranty and lifetime replacement policy.

Warranty

Covered by Mentor’s Standard or Enhanced Advantage Limited Warranty and lifetime replacement policy.

Warranty

Covered by Sientra’s Limited Warranty and lifetime replacement policy.

Profile & Shape Choices to Fit Your Body Type

Both saline and silicone gel breast implants come in three profiles: moderate, moderate plus, and high profile (low, moderate, and high for Sientra implants). Your plastic surgeon will examine and talk to you at your implant sizing and shaping appointment to recommend the breast implant profile that will best help you achieve your goals.

Low/ Moderate

Moderate Plus

High Profile

MemoryGel Moderate Profile MemoryGel Moderate Plus Profile MemoryGel High Profile

Your Sientra Breast Implant Shape Options

With a firmer gel, Sientra’s implants are designed to hold their shape in any position, making them a great option for patients who desire contoured implant. In addition to three profile options, the Sientra implants come in a “classic” anatomically contoured shape as well as an oval-based shape, giving you additional options to achieve a breast shape that looks natural not only with your body, but also for your age.