Patients are often torn between the choice of silicone vs. saline implants. On one hand, silicone implants feel so much better and have a lower risk of rippling. On the other hand, saline implants don’t have risks of silent ruptures. Now there is an FDA approved implant choice that has some of the properties of both saline and silicone. The Ideal® implant is a saline implant that looks and feels a lot like silicone but because the fill material is saline, they deflate when ruptured.
There is exhaustive evidence that in the face of rupture, silicone implants don’t cause illness and that the problems with silicone rupture are confined to cosmetic problems of the breast. However, for many patients the pervasive concerns of silicone still exist in their minds and I would consider this implant a “peace of mind” option for them.
How does the ideal implant work?
The internal structure of the ideal implant is what makes it behave like silicone. There are shells within the outer shell that allow saline to flow through slits within the inner shells. The flow of saline is disrupted in a way that creates fluid dynamics similar to a silicone gel. I have felt these implants both in and out of the body and they are pretty great. Not quite as soft as silicone but close. MUCH better feeling than saline and much less “bouncy”. There are no head to head studies regarding rippling but in my observation of these implants they seem to ripple at least as infrequently as silicone if not less.
What are the disadvantages of the ideal implant?
Cost for one. They are currently priced as the most expensive round implant. It makes sense as there is a lot that goes into the design and creation of one of these implants. Options and choices are another issue as there are only a few size options available. Being a saline implant there is a fill volume range for each implant but there aren’t a lot of options for patients who desire very small or very large sizes. Access is a problem as there are currently few plastic surgeons offices who are allowed to offer the ideal implant.
Are there any other advantages of the ideal implant?
As opposed to silicone implants, plastic surgeons fill the ideal implants. This means they can be placed through a slightly smaller scar and there is ability to “even up” small differences in size. I also like the tapered edge of the implants as opposed to the rounded edges of standard saline implants. This allows the implant to be less noticeable at the top and on the sides.
If you are interested in finding out more about the ideal implant, please call the office or make an appointment at (801) 525-8741.