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Silicone Breast Implants

The pros and cons

On this page, Dr. Loftus will take you into greater detail regarding the advantages and disadvantages of silicone implants.

The advantages of Silicone Breast Implants are…..

  • Silicone implants simply look and feel more natural than saline (provided that they do not get a capsular contracture – in which case, they will probably look and feel worse). The degree of difference between silicone and saline depends to a very large extent on the amount of breast tissue you begin with and the firmness of your breast tissue (explained here). In general, the larger and firmer your breasts, the less of an advantage silicone will offer in terms of natural look and feel over saline breast implants, because saline implants can feel pretty natural in some women with generous breast tissue. Conversely, the smaller your breasts, the greater the difference there will be between saline and silicone implants. (Speaking of which, size and firmness are not related, as some women with small breasts have firm beasts, and some women with large breasts have flaccid floppy breasts – and vice versa.)

  • Large silicone implants are less likely to displace downward due to gravity than the same-sized saline implants. This is because silicone weighs less than saline. As downward displacement can sometimes be difficult to fix, this is not a minor consideration in those who choose larger implants.

  • Silicone implants have been shown to be just as safe as saline in that they do not cause medical problems such as Lupus and other immune problems.

The disadvantages of silicone breast implants are …

  • Silicone breast implants have a greater risk of capsular contracture than saline. The difference may be as small as 1% per implant per year, but it is a difference.

  • Silicone implants cost more by about $1000 per pair.

  • Silicone implants often require a longer scar – unless they are small implants, in which case, they can often be placed through a shorter incision.

  • Silicone implants may rupture silently. This means that they may rupture, but you may not know it. If a silicone implant ruptures, it will either trigger a capsular contracture, or it wont. If it does not trigger a capsular contracture, you may not know that it has ruptured – this is called a silent rupture. In order to monitor women for silent ruptures with silicone breast implants, the FDA has recommended that women get MRI scans of their breasts every other year beginning after the implants have been in place for 3 years. There are a few problems with this recommendation. The cost of an MRI scan can range from about $2000-3000, and insurance may decline coverage for such scans if related to previous implant surgery. Next MRI's can give false results. A False Positive is a medical test which indicates you have a problem or condition when in fact you do not have it. So, a False Positive MRI scan may show a ruptured implant when in fact the implant was intact. This can create unnecessary surgery and distress. As a result of these issues, many plastic surgeons (including myself) do not recommend routine MRI scans unless the patient is having problems or unless the patient requests an MRI scan. Perhaps most importantly, however is that silicone implants have never been shown to cause medical problems.

Aside and apart from these issues, one issue to think a bout is whether you are comfortable with the concept of silent ruptures. Many plastic surgeons feel that ruptured silicone implants do not impose any actual or potential general medical problems and that the main drawback of a ruptured implant is potential capsular contracture. Most women are therefore comfortable with the possibility of silent ruptures. However, there are some women who are not comfortable with the concept of silent ruptures and who would be distressed over this possibility. I do not recommend that these women have silicone implants, as the purpose of implants is to make your life better – not more stressful.

Dr. Loftus

About Dr. Loftus

Dr. Loftus is a female plastic surgeon who is considered a national authority on plastic surgery, having appeared on numerous talk shows as an expert. Her book has become a best-selling book on plastic surgery and has earned her the reputation as a vocal advocate of patient safety, satisfaction, and education in plastic surgery. No wonder her patients have such great things to say about her…
Dr. Loftus standing by staff
My results are amazing - Dr. Loftus is amazing!
My friends can't believe how natural I look!
I had no pain after surgery and recovery was so easy.
The entire experience was fabulous!
I am a nurse who has worked with many doctors, Dr. Loftus is the best!
The care was exceptional and results are incredible!
My results are better than I ever imagined!
Dr. Loftus is a rare surgeon: highly skilled, personable and compassionate!
My experience from start to finish was completely extraordinary!
Awesome results from a skilled and caring doctor.
I love love love Dr. Loftus and everyone in the office!
I've never felt so comfortable and understood in a doctor's office.
I felt so comfortable and barely had any pain at all.
I never knew I could look this good! Thank you Dr. Loftus!!!
Never met such a warm and caring staff anywhere else.
If only every doctor could be like Dr. Loftus, how very fortunate we would be.

Dr. Loftus
on The View

Dr. Loftus
on The Today Show

Dr. Loftus

Dr. Loftus
on Later Today

Dr. Loftus
on Later Today

Dr. Loftus
on CNN

Cincinnati: The Christ Hospital 2139 Auburn Avenue, Suite 201
Cincinnati, OH 45219
(513) 793-4000
5 minutes from downtown Cincinnati,
At the Christ Medical Office Building

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Northern Kentucky 1881 Dixie Highway, Suite 300
Fort Wright, KY 41011
3 minutes from downtown Cincinnati &
visible from I-71/75

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