Breast augmentation is among the top five most performed cosmetic surgeries every year. It is sought after by those either looking to improve the size, shape, and symmetry of their breasts or by woman who choose to have reconstructive surgery following a mastectomy.
When it comes to breast implants and augmentation, there are a variety of options to choose from for the materials used, with saline implants, silicone implants, and fat grafting making up the top three methods.
But how do these three materials stack up against one another when it comes to cost and what are their pros and cons?
Saline Breast Implants
The most well-known type of breast implant is saline. Saline implants have been the industry standard amongst breast implants for decades and are a highly customizable.
The implant casing is inserted when it is empty during a breast augmentation procedure, then filled with the sterile saline solution to the desired shape and size. As the casing is put in without filling, incisions from this procedure are less invasive than other methods of breast augmentation.
Saline implants are also one of the most affordable options for breast augmentation, costing roughly $1,000-$3,000 less than their silicone counterparts. In general, saline breast augmentation cost in Toronto is anywhere between $8000-10,000.
However, there are a few drawbacks to saline implants. First of all, the saline solution, being salt water, can slosh around during activities like exercise and can cause noticeable rippling beneath the skin. They also have a slightly higher risk of rupturing compared to silicone implants, as even a small puncture can cause leakage.
On the other hand, as saline is a sterile and natural solution, it can be safely absorbed by the body in the case of a rupture. Saline implants should be replaced every 10-12 years to avoid degradation and increased risks of rupture.
Silicone Breast Implants (Gummy Bear)
Silicone implants are also known as gummy bear implants due to their cohesive gel texture, similar to a gummy bear.
Silicone implants are more expensive than saline but do come with additional benefits. Most notably, Silicone implants have a much more authentic look and feel to them and do not ripple beneath the skin when engaging in activities like exercise. Secondly, due to their firmer texture, they are sturdier than saline implants and pose less risk of rupturing from small holes.
The biggest drawback to this type of implant is that surgical removal is required in the event of a leakage, as the silicone gel cannot be absorbed by the body. It can also be harder to detect a leakage with this material, so it is advised to undergo an MRI every few years to ensure that the integrity of the implant is stable.
Fat Transfer Breast Augmentation
While implants are safer to get than ever before, there are still those who may still be hesitant about getting them, whether for personal or medical reasons. This is where fat transfer breast augmentations come into play.
A fat transfer utilizes fat that is removed from a donor area on your body, such as the hips, thighs, or stomach. The fat is then transferred to the breasts for improved size, shape, and symmetry.
This procedure can be performed alone or done in combination with implants, albeit for a higher cost. For example, combining a fat transfer with silicone implants will help hide any rippling beneath the skin. Fat transfers cost roughly the same as implants, ranging from $8,000-$1,000.