Ask a doctor

Silicone or saline? - Will 425 cc in silicone look as big as 425 of saline?

I had a consult today.. and I have decided on silicone implants. It seems to me that saline look a little higher profile???

Doctor Answers 10

Saline vs silicone implants/volume

Saline and silicone implants of the same volume (425 cc) will be the same size although the shape may vary in a subtle way. High profile implants do have more projection and this style is available in both saline and silicone.  I would try on as many of these implants as you can (in a bra) in order to find the size and shape that is best for you.

I use 3D imaging on my patients which allows them to visualize what they will look like with certain implants in place (saline/silicone/high profile/etc.) before having surgery.

Best wishes,


Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 226 reviews

9201 Sunset Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90069

The look of silicone or saline

If the implants have the same size and profile, and correct fill, both will look the same. Size is only a number. Your choice of a silicone gel implant is fine if you have done your homework and understand the differences. There is ample material on this site alone to guide you. Focus on the look that you want, the numbers your surgeon should take care of.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

8901 West Golf Road
Des Plaines, IL 60016

silicone or saline?

You ae correct in checking the sizing. I like silicone but try to go up one size in them. Best to see your surgeon to try on different sizes in saline/silicone implants. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

6330 Manor Lane
Miami, FL 33143

Saline v. silicone

Contrary to popular belief, you cannot, and should not, go by the volume. You will need to look at the dimensions, namely diameter and projection. While the volume are exactly the same, the dimensions will be different depending on the style and manufacturer. See my previouos posts.


Robin T.W.Yuan., M.D.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

462 N. Linden Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90212


in my opinion, saline implants "look" a little larger as they do not have the same consistency and therefore "pop out" more particularly with patients with less skin. When i switch patients from saline to slicone, i usually suggest a little larger slicone implant to look similar in size...i personally like the look of silicone but that is a personal decision i let my patients make.

Michael K. Kim, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

3700 Central Avenue
Fort Myers, FL 33901

Mommy Makeover

Saline tends to look just a bit bigger, and requires a small incision.  But, gel feels more natural, has no valve, and very durable.  There are different profiles so take that into consideration.

Vivek Bansal, MD
Danville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

360 Rose Ave
Danville, CA 94526

Saline vs silicone

I agree that, in general, saline implants seem larger (more projection) than silicone implants (which tend to conform to the chest wall). Determining exact implant size is very difficult. Consult your board certified plastic surgeon to discuss the best and safest possible option for you. Every surgeon has a certain technique to determine the best implants to use. It is very important that I communicate with my patients prior to surgery to discuss the look they would like to achieve. Intra-operatively, I use sizers to determine the size and the profile of the implants to be used. This is best determined based on the patient’s body type and overall goals. The main difference between saline and silicone is the feel of the implant. Silicone gel is the more natural feeling of the two. Saline is not recommended for patients without enough coverage or breast tissue to begin with.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,051 reviews

8851 Center Drive
San Diego, CA 91942

Mommy makeover silicone breast implants look a little smaller.


The apparent difference is around 25 cc's.  You should know that for most women, 425 cc's is quite big.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

875 Park Ave at 78th Street
New York, NY 10075

Size vs. other factors

When comparing silicone and saline, if the implants have the same profile and the same volume and are placed in the same location (over or under), they should look the same in clothing.  There may be subtle differences in the way they appear outside of clothing, but they are just that -- subtle.  Also if a person develops a capsular contracture, there will be a difference in appearance. That can occur with either kind of implant.  Personally, I prefer to place saline implants under the muscle, since there is a greater tendency toward rippling with saline, which is less of a problem going under the muscle.  Good luck with your surgery.

Paul W. Loewenstein, MD
Milwaukee Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

13800 West North Avenue
Brookfield, WI 53005

Saline or silicone, size matters

Hi, the difference in dimensions between saline and silicone is a factor of the profile, diameter and volume of the implant.  Your surgeon will guide you between the different profiles and diameter, at the same volume, based on your expressed preferences on breast shape, cleavage, etc., and your physical examination.  The ability to distinguish the saline implant from surrounding breast tissue is easier than a silicone implant, especially if the implants are placed above the muscle.  So, it is easier to make a breast appear "larger" by placing a full/high profile, fully filled saline implant above the muscle.

Vaishali Doolabh, MD
Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

7035 Southpoint Pkwy South
Jacksonville, FL 32216

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.