The last I knew, saline breast implants were my only option since silicone breast implants were banned. I did hear of some new type of implant that is being used in some Asian countries, but I’m not sure if it’s available here. Does anybody know what options I have for types/materials of breast implants that are FDA approved?
A: breast implant options in the US
Saline and silicone breast implants are available in the US for cosmetic breast augmentation. Silicone was re-approved by the FDA in Nov 2006. You must be older than 22 years of age to have silicone implants whereas you only need to be 18 for saline. Most patients in my practice choose silicone because they have a more natural feel. Since silicone implants are made of a thick, cohesive gel, ruptures are difficult to detect- and it is recommended to have an MRI 3 years after surgery then every 2 years thereafter. Saline implant ruptures are usually quite easy to detect in comparison.
One of the most important factors in choosing your implant is selecting the size of the implant. We have recently been using a 3D computerized imaging system to simulate what size implant looks best on a patient’s chest. This has been quite successful and accurate for determining size. Patients can now see what they may look like before surgery.