It’s been about three years since we have had more or less unrestricted access to silicone breast implants. And over this time, more and more women are choosing them. When the FDA did allow them back into everyday usage, the implant manufacturers thought, or at least hoped, that they would become the implants of choice and surpass saline in terms of their usage. I thought that this was optimistic at best. And they really did not become the “go-to” implant right away.
However, as the past several years have evolved, I am seeing more and more women choosing them, and more and more women being accepting of them. And this is a very good thing. Because I like silicone cohesive gel implants. Don’t get me wrong, I like saline implants, too. But I think that silicone frequently has the edge over saline.
The controversy over silicone came to a head in 1992. Without the support of good scientific evidence, they were pulled from the market by the FDA (more specifically the then FDA head, David Kessler – a pediatrician, no less) due to safety concerns. And, to make a long story (14-year long story) short, these claims, on a scientific basis, were disproven. To wit, silicone implants are safe. In fact, silicone gel implants have always been safe. So, in essence, they got a bad rap.
So it’s nice to see them overcoming this bad rap. Now, there are still a lot of women who have concerns about the safety of silicone. And for them, saline is a great option. But more and more women whom I am talking to are considering and choosing silicone. But the really great thing about all this, is women now have a choice. (Seems very American, doesn’t it? Free will, freedom of choice…..) This has not happened over night. There is an abundance of information – both good and bad – out there about breast implants. But to me what is gratifying is the ability to discuss the options with my patients and have them be open to different alternatives.
Now I could go on and on about why I like silicone. But, I don’t want saline to get a bad rap either! Because both are good implants. So, if you are thinking about implants, understand that you have two great options, and my job is to help you understand which implant is the better option for you.
Below is a photo with a silicone breast implant cut in half to plainly show how the material holds together uniformly (no leaking) while still retaining the natural give of breast tissue. It does this because of a cohesive, gelatin-like substance that acts as a solid rather than a liquid. Check out the brief video of this on the silicone implant page under “Surgical Procedures” on our site.
Here’s looking at you,