Silicone or Saline Breast Implants?

A recent safety advisory notification from the Australian Department of Health  has informed all surgeons that health regulators in Europe have suspended approval for all devices manufactured by the Brazilian company, Silimed, following inspection of their manufacturing site. This includes the Silimed silicone breast implant commonly known as the “furry Brazilian”.

As a result, the Australian distributor has suspended supply of these implants. Patients who have received these “furry Brazilian” implants are advised to contact their surgeon for individual assessment and advice.

Interestingly, the “furry Brazilian” implants had been embraced by surgeons and patients alike.  It was felt that somehow this new technology would produce a softer breast with fewer complications.

It is a reminder to all women that, when it comes to surgical procedures involving implants, it is best to stick with a tried and tested product!

It has long been established that saline breast implants are far safer than silicone breast implants.

At Avenue Aesthetic Surgery, we have been using Mentor implants for over 20 years without any implant related problems. Our formula for success is simple:

1. The implant should be placed behind the muscle as this is where it will be least detectable, have an extremely low incidence of capsular contracture, allow breast feeding and allow mammography to be performed without interference.

2. The implant should be smooth-walled to allow it to move naturally within its pocket without adhering to the overlying tissues.

3. The implant should be round as the breasts will be naturally tear-drop shaped with the implant under the muscle.

4. Saline implants are preferred over silicone because of their exemplary safety record and as they are much longer lasting.  When silicone implants leak, the silicone can spread to lymph glands before leakage is detected.  If saline implants leak, they simply deflate with the saline being absorbed by the body.  Removing the silicone bag and replacing the implant is then a relatively straight forward procedure.

Over 4000 implants have been inserted at Avenue Aesthetic Surgery over the last 20 years and only 4 have leaked.  This compares to 40% of silicone implants showing signs of leakage after only 8 years when an MRI is performed.

It is almost impossible to tell the difference between the look or feel of silicone and saline implants when placed under the muscle in a woman with a reasonable amount of subcutaneous tissue.