Silicone breast implant or silicon breast implant?

This is commonly confused.  Many patients email me with questions about siliconimplants.  A little gentle education is in order.

At the risk of sounding too geeky.  Silicone is the combination of inorganic silicon with oxygen and organic side groups that attach to the silicon atoms. The amount of cross-linking or attachments between the organic and inorganic components is what determines the final consistency of the silicone product.  This can range from oily to solid.  There are multiple household, industrial and of course medical uses of silicone.

Silicon is an abundant element ([Si], think back to high school science) and is the second most common element, exceeded only by oxygen.  Silicon is used in computer chips (Silicon valley) as well as other applications.

Silicone is partially made of Silicon.  Silicon is not made of Silicone.

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