Women are now found to be more satisfied with silicone implants than saline implants, a study said.

Both types of implants are approved by the US FDA and differ in their filling - either salt water or silicone gel. In this study 472 women were operated post partial or double mastectomy that is surgery on both breasts with partial or complete removal.

Silicon implantation was carried out in 176 women and saline implantation in 306. Women liked their breasts reconstructed with silicone.

Breast reconstructive surgery fills an implant in the place of the original breast(s) in women who have been treated for breast cancer by mastectomy.

Although a discrepancy in satisfaction is observed, Dr. Colleen McCarthy, who led this survey, says the implant differences are minimal and patients have to be counseled to this effect.

Dr. McCarthy who works at The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City says-“It also appears that patient satisfaction with postmastectomy implant-based reconstruction is generally high and that individual treatment variables—such as implant type—explain only a relatively small amount of the variance.

Patient counseling should reflect these realities in order to reassure patients that high satisfaction may be obtained with both saline and silicone implants.”

Implants are assessed based on safety, effectiveness, patient satisfaction and quality of life. It appears to be difficult to sustain satisfaction of breast cancer patients. Satisfaction levels decline with time and radiation therapy post mastectomy.

This study has been published in the online November 8th edition of CANCER. The main aim of this research is to assist surgeons and breast cancer patients decide on reconstructive breast surgery. "We now know that women who elect to proceed with the placement of a silicone implant report higher satisfaction with their reconstructed breasts than those who choose saline implants,” says Dr. McCarthy.