Some women prefer the idea of saline breast implants over silicone ones, yet ultimately choose silicone implants because they offer less risk of folds and ripples and, many claim, feel more natural. But what if you could get a saline implant that offered those same benefits?
According to the two-year results from a clinical study that’s still ongoing, a double-lumen, saline-filled breast implant called the IDEAL IMPLANT might be the answer for women who prefer saline implants but don’t like the downside that accompanies saline products currently on the market.
Saline-filled implants have always been designed as simple shells filled with free-flowing liquid—single-lumen implants—a design that, the study’s authors say, is at fault for the unnatural feel they can sometimes result in. The IDEAL IMPLANT, in contrast, has a multilayered structure: it has two lumens (two exterior shells), and a series of additional shells nested together within the interior of the implant. These extra shells contain the saline and provide internal support for the implant’s outer walls, which, the doctors says, give them the more natural feel usually assigned to silicone gel-filled implants.
So far, these double-lumen saline implants have garnered high ratings from both patients and surgeons. Studies have shown them to have less frequent instance of wrinkling, as well as a lower rate of capsular contracture than is associated with single-lumen saline implants.
The long-term results of this study won’t be known for some time to come—the clinical trial to assess the safety and effectiveness of these implants is a ten-year one, and the doctors leading it are only two years in—but the early data is promising. “There is a clear need for saline-filled implants that offer a more natural result for patients who don’t want silicone gel-filled devices,” as Dr. Foad Nahai, Editor-in-Chief of Aesthetic Surgery Journal, says. It looks like this implant design may address that need.