Breast Implant fill – Saline or Silicone?
As of November 17, 2006, women in the U.S. aged 22 and over have the option of choosing both saline and silicone gel filled breast implants. The first implants were filled with silicone gel. As breast implants evolved, saline (salt water) became an accepted alternative fill to silicone, although silicone can look and feel more like a real breast. Whether filled with silicone gel or salt water, the shell of both types is made of a firmer, silicone elastomer.
Background: In 1992, after decades of widespread availability of silicone gel-filled breast implants, FDA Commissioner David Kessler decided that the safety of silicone breast implants had not been established and had silicone breast implants removed from the market. For 15 years, silicone gel-filled implants were available only to breast reconstruction patients and patients undergoing breast revision surgery. In order to receive silicone, women had to enrolled in clinical trials mandated by the FDA.
The ban on silicone was lifted on November 17, 2006. To read articles about the FDA’s approval of silicone gel breast implants, click here.
Note: Soy filled implants are no longer available. The risk of infection on rupture from this substance was too high. Some claimed they also smelled bad!
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