Breast Implant Safety x Allergan

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If you are one of the millions of American women who have undergone or are considering breast augmentation for achieving your ideal breast size, you may have questions about your health and safety throughout the process and aftercare. There is a great deal of conversation regarding breast augmentation in Orange County; here is what you need to know to make wise and safe decisions. 

Types of breast implants

In the United States, there are two general types of breast implants: saline and silicone. While they both are made of a silicone outer shell, they are different on the inside. Saline implants are filled with saline or sterile water, while silicone breast implants are filled with silicone gel. 

A quick history

Silicone gel breast implants were first used in 1962 and were the primary implant for breast augmentation procedures. During the 1980s, there were claims suggesting silicone gel implants were linked to diseases like lupus and fibromyalgia. 

Even though no scientific studies confirmed any link between this material and the diseases, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) set certain restrictions on silicone gel in breast implants. Women having a breast implant procedure then only had one option: saline. 

By 2006, the FDA did another round of testing. In their research, they again found no connection between silicone gel implants and disease. The FDA reversed its previous decision and once again allowed the use of silicone gel in breast augmentation procedures. 

Read more: Breast Augmentation Incision and Implant Placement Methods

Things to know before getting breast implants – Safety and Effectiveness 

There isn’t any significant difference between the safety of silicone gel and saline-filled implants. As with any procedure, there are risks. Proper handling of these risks involves knowing what they are and how they are alleviated. It’s important always to have your plastic surgery done by a board-certified plastic surgeon in Orange County with lots of experience. 


Ruptures occur when the outer casing breaks. These are most commonly caused by a surgical error or a hard fall. Saline ruptures are generally easy to spot. Rapid changes in the breast’s shape over days is a clear indication of a saline rupture. The saline/saltwater is absorbed into the body and causes no harm. 

Silicone ruptures aren’t as easy to notice and can only be confirmed by an MRI. It is recommended that women with silicone gel implants have routine MRIs done every few years. While the silicone isn’t absorbed the same way saline is, there is no evidence that the ruptured silicone causes disease. Most often, if this type of implant ruptures, your doctor will recommend removing any loose silicone and replacing the implant. 

Further surgeries 

It is possible that, over time, breast implants may change shape. One breast may look slightly different than the other. This is no different than when aging breasts without augmentation change shape over time. The FDA estimates that breast implants should last at least ten years; some last much longer.  


Any surgical procedure has risks, but there are no guarantees that there will or will not be any complications. Consulting with the best breast augmentation surgeons is critical in decreasing your risks. Each year, nearly 300,000 women undergo breast augmentation procedures with extremely high rates of satisfaction. 

It is natural to have concerns about long-term health or complications. Be candid with your doctor and make sure to understand both the best and worst-case scenarios fully. The more you know about the procedure, the more confident you’ll feel about your decision. 

What about Allergan?

Allergan is a company with an extensive portfolio of products focusing on medical aesthetics, eye care, the central nervous systems, and gastroenterology. One of their most popular departments creates a highly cohesive, anatomically shaped, silicone-filled breast implant. There are several versions of this under the Natrelle brand. They also offer saline versions of some of their products. 

Allergan is known for its ardent work towards safety and transparency. They have worked with the FDA, clinicians, and regulatory bodies worldwide to advance research, understanding, and awareness about breast implant and safety. 

How Can I Find Out More?

Any time there are breakthroughs or development in new medicines or technologies, there are concerns about safety. While some claims are based on a lack of understanding, all health concerns should be investigated to ensure patients can make sound decisions. 

It’s important to know that there are always risks involved when dealing with medical procedures. If you are considering breast augmentation surgery, make sure to talk to your doctor about any concerns that you may have. Get all of the information, but stick with evidence-based opinions over anecdotes from the potentially misinformed or unstudied. 

Do you have experience with breast implants that you’d like to share? Leave your comment below. 


Dr. Michael Niccole

Founder and Medical Director of CosmetiCare Plastic Surgery Center & MedSpa, Dr. Michael W. Niccole, was voted by his patients as one of the “Best Plastic Surgeons in Orange County.” 

With extensive experience and a refined technique in performing cosmetic and reconstructive procedures, he also works with MemorialCare, a leading nonprofit health system with four hospitals in Orange County and Los Angeles County. 

A known humanitarian, he received the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s “Man of the Year” award in 2008 for his efforts dedicated to reconstructing lives for children and adults through donated plastic surgery. 

As a cosmetic surgeon known around the world, patients visit Orange County just for his abilities, traveling from different countries near and far. With a love for helping people, he stays dedicated to his patients and his work. 

Dr. Niccole is regarded as one of the Top Plastic Surgeons in America as recognized by the Consumer’s Research Council of America and under his leadership, CosmetiCare was voted one of the “Best Plastic Surgery Centers in Orange County” by The Orange County Register’s “People’s Choice” poll.

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