Breast Implants: Saline vs. Silicone
Many women undergo breast surgery for aesthetic purposes in order to enhance volume, adapt the positioning of the breasts, and accentuate body symmetry. No two women are exactly alike in either body shape or expectation.
One of the most common questions patients ask is regarding the differences between saline and silicone breast implants.
Saline and Silicone Implants—The Difference
If you ask a sampling of women who have undergone breast augmentation, each one will probably tell you something different about their personal preferences around saline or silicone. The look and feel of the implants can change based on body type, how much breast tissue existed previously, if the patient had implants previously, as well as how large she decided to go.
Composition and Consistency
Both silicone and saline breast implants have an outer shell formed from silicone, but inside they have different solutions and consistencies. Liquid saline solution makes up saline implants, and because they are liquid, they fill the implant casing firmly. Women that have saline implants will have a rounded look to their breasts, and the feel is firm without much movement, as native breast tissue would normally feel. If you’re thinking about a slight upsize in your breasts and have a bit more existing breast tissue, saline may feel slightly more natural and have a softer look.
Silicone has a softer feel and ability to move and shape to the natural breast. With silicone, it’s often difficult to determine if you have implants at all based on touch alone. While saline feels more firm in the breast pocket, the shape can give it away, and most women want a very natural look and feel to their breasts. For those that want to go a cup size larger or more with implants, silicone will allow you to do so without looking overdone or showing any rippling in the casing of the implant, which can often show through breast tissue. This issue may occur with saline implants.
What Happens if the Implant Ruptures?
First, we want to say that the chance of rupture in breast implants is very slight. But if this should ever happen to you, saline and silicone implants are equally safe. Should a saline implant rupture, the implant will completely deflate. The saline liquid will leak into the body but be absorbed by the tissues without any complications or reaction. If a silicone implant ruptures, the silicone doesn’t leak from the capsule because it is a cohesive, thickened gel material that retains its shape, so nothing moves into the tissues. Regardless, both require removal and replacement, but one shows the issue more quickly than the other.
Things to Consider in Consultation
There are a few different things we examine when it comes to recommending a type of breast implant and size during your consultation. Each woman has a unique shape to their body, and you likely have thought about the size of your breasts for a while now, carefully mulling over their proportions to features such as your waist size and hip width. The size of your ribcage, the strength of the muscles attached to the chest wall, and your skin elasticity all factor into the final decision.
As you decide on the type of breast implants you want, our 3D simulation of your potential breast enhancement results are produced using our Crisalix virtual aesthetic system. At this time you can get the best visual on what you are likely to look like afterward including the size and shaping of the breasts you wish to achieve.