The technical goal of saline-implant technology was a physically less invasive surgical technique for emplacing an empty breast implant device through a smaller surgical incision. In surgical praxis, after having emplaced the empty breast implants to the implant pockets, the plastic surgeon then filled each device with saline solution, and, because the required insertion-incisions are short and small, the resultant incision-scars will be smaller and shorter than the surgical scars usual to the long incisions required for inserting pre-filled, silicone-gel implants.
However, if a patient underwent surgery in another country, but experiences post-operative complications, he or she will need to pay to travel back to the same destination if they wish to have the same doctor oversee any revisions. Revision surgery performed by a different surgeon is extremely difficult, and thus more expensive. In fact, it can cost 50 percent more than the original surgery. Therefore, it can actually be far more economical to pay for a surgery within the U.S.
Since experienced surgeons are aware of these issues with saline breast implants and their need for eventual replacement, they opt to place them under the chest muscle. The chest muscle works as an extra layer of tissue over the implant, which makes for a smoother transition from the chest wall to the implant. The finished product is a more seamless transition versus a more visible and abrupt change when the implant is not placed below the pectoral muscle. As for gel breast implants, they can also be safely placed below the pretorial muscle if that is a viable option for the patient since replacement and wrinkling is less common with this type of implant.
Saline filled breast implants consist of a silicone elastomer (rubber) shell that is filled with a sterile saline solution at the time of surgery. Saline breast implants come in a wide range of sizes and are available with both moderate and high profiles (the amount of projection of the breast silhouette). Most women choose round implants, but contoured, or shaped, styles are also available and may be recommended for women with smaller breasts. Contoured implants are made with a textured surface designed to keep them from turning and losing their shape. A new style of round implant is Mentor's post-operatively adjustable implants, which can be adjusted in size up to 6 months after surgery.