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A Comprehensive, Personalized Approach

What are saline-filled breast implants?

Breast implants filled with sterile salt water may be pre-filled to a predetermined size, or filled at the time of surgery for minor modifications in implant size. Saline breast implants are used to enhance the natural breast during breast augmentation surgery or as a means of tissue expansion following mastectomy or lumpectomy. Rigorously tested for their safety, Dr. Ringler offers you the option of saline or silicone gel breast implants.

Dr. Ringler is the only Grand Rapids plastic surgeon who specializes in the transaxillary or “scarless” breast augmentation. The implant is inserted through a small incision under the armpit, leaving no visible scar on the breast itself. Our Crisalix 3D Imaging and Simulation technology will allow you to see the projection of either silicone or saline implants on a 3D image of your own body, as well as various implant size options. This new, web-based, 3D breast imaging technology is available to you at no charge during your consultation.

Dr. Ringler will discuss advantages and disadvantages of saline and silicone gel implants at that time. Ultimately, it is up to you to make the decision regarding your implant choice. Dr. Ringler offers a Rapid Recovery protocol for patients following saline or silicone gel breast augmentation. He will give you detailed information regarding Rapid Recovery at your complimentary consultation.

Why might saline-filled breast implants be recommended for my breast augmentation?

Only breast implants can permanently increase the size of your breasts and bring your body into better proportion. The result for many women includes enhanced self-confidence and a more positive body image. During your consultation, you will be able to compare saline implants and silicone gel implants and decide which style is best for you.

Who is a candidate for saline-filled breast implants?

A Comprehensive, Personalized Approach

The following are some common reasons why you may want to consider breast augmentation:

  • You believe your breasts are too small for your body.
  • You feel self-conscious wearing a swimsuit or form-fitting or low-cut tops.
  • Clothes that fit your hips are too large at the bust line.
  • Your breasts do not fill out your brassiere.
  • Your breasts have become smaller or less firm after you've had children.
  • Your breasts have become smaller due to weight loss.
  • One of your breasts is noticeably smaller than the other.
  • You have sagging breasts, which may benefit from both augmentation and a breast lift.

If you are in good health, have a positive attitude and realistic expectations, you are most likely a good candidate for this procedure.

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Steven L. Ringler, MD, FACS

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What should I know about saline-filled breast implants?

  • Breast augmentation is generally performed on an out-patient basis.
  • The placement of your implants may be beneath your breast tissue, partially beneath the pectoral or chest muscle, or combination of the two.
  • The incision pattern for your surgery will be discussed with you during your consultation. Scars are a normal outcome of surgery and are generally very well concealed under the arm-pit in with the transaxillary approach favored by Dr. Ringler.
  • You will return to normal activities of daily living between 24-48 hours with minimal restrictions. Full sports activity – running, jogging, high impact aerobics is usually 4 weeks.
  • Results are permanent, but weight loss/gain or pregnancy can change your results and normal aging and gravity may affect outcomes.
  • You will need a capable adult with you for 24 hours after your release from the surgery center or recovery center.
  • All surgeries carry the potential for risks which will be fully discussed with you during your consultation.

Transaxillary or “Scarless” Breast Augmentation

Dr. Ringler is the only Grand Rapids plastic surgeon specializing in a surgical technique that offers women the option of breast enlargement without any visible breast scar; the transaxillary breast augmentation. This procedure utilizes a small incision in the armpit through which a saline-filled implant is inserted. The small scar is hidden in an inconspicuous place and is very hard to detect several months later. With this technique, there may be less swelling and bruising than in some other approaches, thus offering patients a quicker and less painful recovery. This one-hour procedure may allow some patients to achieve a natural result with a minimal scar. For women who are interested in breast enhancement with no visible breast scar, this procedure may be an excellent option.

There are many good options in breast augmentation today. Dr Ringler has over 40 years experience utilizing both saline and silicone gel breast implants. During your private consultation with Dr. Ringler, he will discuss all breast implant options with you and the benefits and risks of each. The final decision regarding which type of implant is used will be determined by you.

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Steven L. Ringler, MD, FACS


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