What type of breast implant?
Breast implants are available in a variety of shapes, forms and sizes. A breast implant can be made of natural body tissue or synthetic (man-made) materials, such as saline or silicone breast implants. Natural tissue breast implants are usually only used on women having breast reconstruction surgery (after breast cancer treatment) and are rarely used for cosmetic purposes. This is because they carry the potential for breast implant complication due to an increased risk of side-effects and scarring as tissue is taken from other parts of the body.
A breast implant contains different types of filler material inside a silicone elastomer shell. In the UK the two fillers used are Silicone Gel and Saline. In other countries patients might be offered hydrogel-filled breast implants, soya bean oil-filled (Trilucent™) breast implants or titanium coated breast implants but these are not available in the UK and in fact the Medicine and Health Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) advised women who already had Soya bean oil-filled (Trilucent™) implants to have them removed.
Silicone breast implant
Silicones are a family of chemical compounds and made of silicon, a natural element found in sand, rock and quartz, which becomes silicone when mixed with oxygen, hydrogen and carbon. Silicone breast implants can be filled with a firm, jelly-like silicone or a softer fluid silicone. The firm silicone keeps its shape even if the implant tears inside the body and reduces the risk of the silicone entering the bloodstream. One advantage of the silicone breast implant lies in the fact that soft silicone is less likely to wrinkle and feels more natural.