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During the moratorium imposed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration between 1992 and November 2006 that limited specific uses of silicone breast implants, women who wanted to have a breast augmentation could only be offered saline breast implants. Since the end of 2006, silicone breast implants have once again been available without restriction for all women desiring breast surgery. This includes for breast augmentation as well as breast lifts (mastopexy) with implants, breast reconstruction and those who want or need to exchange their implants for different ones.

Having been in plastic surgery practice for over 22 years in Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona, I have long been involved and dealt with and witnessed the multitude of factors and issues regarding silicone and saline breast implants. Prior to 1992, my patients used silicone implants exclusively and were quite happy. During the period of the moratorium in which all my breast augmentation patients and some of my mastopexy and breast reconstruction patients utilized saline implants, I noted that the aesthetic results and level of satisfaction with the naturalness of outcome were decreased and compromised compared to results with silicone implants.

This sentiment came as no surprise. Why? Silicone breast implants feel very natural and “soft”, like breast tissue, so that when they are in place, it often is very difficult to discern their presence particularly for the non-professional. Saline implants, on the other hand, can often be detected, either by sight, feel or both. This is exacerbated in very thin patients who often have “rippling” seen through their skin. These issues and others such as deflations do detract from their popularity. In patients of mine who have had both types of breast implants, every single one of them preferred and were far more satisfied with the silicone ones.

In the more than 3 year period since the lifting of the moratorium on the usage of silicone breast implants, virtually none of my patients select saline implants for their breast surgery which translates to around 99% silicone usage. For the rare few who do, it is only because of the lower cost of the saline implants.

If you are interested in obtaining additional information on silicone or saline breast implants, breast augmentation, mastopexy or any other plastic surgery procedure that I perform or to schedule a consultation with me, you can contact my office at 480-451-3000.

Steven H. Turkeltaub, M.D. P.C.
Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona

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