Safety of Smooth Walled Saline Breast Implants Confirmed by French Study

31 yo with 300cc saline implants before and 4 months post operative

A recent study by French plastic surgeons has confirmed the safety of smooth saline filled breast implants. The study from Paris, which was published in the April 2020 edition of the Aesthetic Plastic Surgery journal* confirmed this via a long term study that not only were there no cases of lymphoma or seroma in the patient group but there was a very low rate of implant rupture as well as a low rate of capsule formation in these patients who had had smooth walled-saline implants for a period of 10 years or more in some cases.

This study further confirms that smooth inflated saline implants are a very valuable alternative to gel implants.   This article is especially timely now that textured gel implants have been banned by health authorities in many countries due to their association with ALCL (anaplastic large-cell lymphoma). To have a retrospective study of nearly 400 patients who were followed for ten years or more after having saline implants inserted can give confidence to the assertion that there is indeed a very low rate of complications and high rate of satisfaction associated with these safe and versatile implants. It is interesting to note that this study being conducted in France, that the size of the implants was not overly large and ranged up to only 380cc.  This size, however, would satisfy most women who were looking for a full C or D cup result.

Dr Hodgkinson is very comfortable using smooth walled saline implants and has a more than 20 year experience with these devices.  Other benefits of saline filled versus gel filled implants beyond their proven safety is that they require a smaller incision site meaning a shorter and less perceptible scar and that they move more naturally. Regarding safety, Dr Hodgkinson has noted a similar, very low rate of problems with saline breast implants including less than 3% rupture over ten years.  If a saline filled implant ruptures, it is not only immediately evident but poses less risk as any leakage is sterile saline which occurs naturally in the body as opposed to gel which is a foreign body that adheres to the tissues and can cause reactions and is difficult to remove.  Replacement of a saline implant is a relatively simple procedure and the medical device company supplies a replacement implant free of charge.

The conclusion from the French study: “Smooth inflatable implants filled with saline solution have numerous advantages such as the possibility of a very small approach route and perioperative adaptability of the volume.  In light of the lack of indication of anaplastic large-cell lymphoma with smooth implants, they are clearly an attractive alternative to textured implants filled with silicone gel.”

*Sorbonne Paris Cité, Service de Chirurgie Plastique, Reconstructive et Esthétique, Centre de Traitment des Brûlés, AP-HP, Hop Saint Louis, Université Paris Diderot, 1 Avenue Vellefaux, 75475 Paris, France

“A 10-Year Follow-Up Experience of 383 Patients with Bilateral Smooth Inflatable Breast Implants Filled with Saline Solution”, Aesth Plast Surg (2020) 44:330-338


Dr Darryl Hodgkinson

About Dr Darryl Hodgkinson

Dr. Darryl J. Hodgkinson is recognized world-wide as an expert in cosmetic plastic surgery with more than thirty years of experience in both cosmetic and plastic/reconstructive surgery.

Dr. Hodgkinson did his plastic surgical training at the prestigious Mayo Clinic in the United States and is amongst an elite group of a very few surgeons to hold two degrees in plastic surgery from American Board of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons and the Royal College of Surgeons, Canada.

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