Silicone V Saline on Small Breasts? (photo)

While on a consultation the PS told me that he recommends silicone over saline because I have little breast tissue. He said that saline would look and feel firm also be prone to rippling. Does this sound right? I don't want an obvious fake look I want something natural looking. How big is the scar for silicone? I was thinking getting 350cc, what cup size would that put me at? Thank you all, I'm very confused.

Doctor Answers 15

Both are great implants, but silicone can be preferable for a more natural look & feel

We offer both saline and cohesive gel (silicone) implants in my office.  Silicone does tend to have a reduced chance of rippling which is why your surgeon probably recommended it to you over saline.  You are quite thin and even by placing the implant under the muscle, saline implants may feel and/or look less natural to you.  The incision with saline implants is usually around 1 " and it's around 2" with silicone implants - depending on the size implant you choose. 

All that being said, both implants are good options.  There are differences between the saline and gel but one is not better than the other - the question is which is better for you.  There is no major difference in the appearance.  Your breast should look natural with either implant.  The biggest difference is the detection of a leak in the implant.  It is obvious in a saline implant that a leak has occurred as the volume of your breast will deflate over several days.  Your body will readily absorb the saline solution.  The gel implant on the other hand is not absorbed by the body and there is no change in their look and feel if they should leak.  This is an important difference to some people.

After patients decide on saline vs silicone, their next biggest decision is size!  I try to encourage patients not to think in cup sizes, though I know that is hard for women.  We use the Vectra 3D imaging system and I have found that usually helpful in helping both the patient and myself decide on a more narrow range of implant sizes and profiles.  A 350 cc implant may be a nice size for you, but it really depends on what YOU want, not what we think.  That also may not be attainable given your small frame.

Best of luck.



Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Silicone Vs Saline

I  agree    with   the selection of   your   Ps     for the   reasons     he correctly  explain.      The   selection of    the   space    would   be  behind   muscle      for  obvious   reasons  as hypothrophic   breast    tissue    and  to  avoid  extrusion   complications   of the implants . 375    or   350     would   a  real   nice     size ,   you    will  have  a   C  cup ,      just  great !!

Cynthia Disla, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 88 reviews

Silicone Or Saline In small Breast Augmentations

I always recommend the use of silicone implants although many women choose saline implants because of the difference in costs.  I agree with your surgeon that using silicone implants is even more beneficial in women with small breasts since they have less tissue to "hide" rippling and other concerns with saline implants.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Silicone V Saline on Small Breasts?

       The information presented seems reasonable and accurate.  Find a plastic surgeon with ELITE credentials who performs hundreds of breast augmentations each year.  Then look at the plastic surgeon's website before and after photo galleries to get a sense of who can deliver the results. 

Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 492 reviews

Silicone vs saline implants

I agree with your plastic surgeon, silicone implants would be a better option for you because of the possibility of rippling.  The scar would only be slightly larger, no more noticeable.  It is hard to predict cup size without using different size implants with different bras. 

Robert M. Tornambe, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Silicone V Saline on Small Breasts?

I would concur with your surgeons advice.  The gel implants feel more natural, and since the ripples are sometimes visible, they may look more natural. The incision may be only a centimeter longer than for saline if your surgeon uses a Keller funnel to insert the implant.

As to the cup size, I can't tell where you are starting. Even if I could, there are no fixed definitions of cup size, so predicting is not terribly useful. Try the implants on and your surgeon will use the info to help pick a size that works for you. All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Silicone and Sakin are both excellent choices.

The newest biodimensional infants from Sienra and Natrelee are simply amazing,. If your goal is a natural looking breast the plastic surgeon and the placement of the implant may be your most important decision. Natural looks can be achieved with both saline and silicone with silicone feeling most natural in a woman with very title breast tissue t start with. What creates a natural look is the placenta of the implant. Are they too far apart> Too High? Too Close together> These are the giveaways someone has had breast augmentation surgery. Take a look at my gallery 

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 118 reviews

Silicone vs. Saline in Small Breasted Woman

I am in total agreement with the previous opinions. Silicone is much better than saline for augmentations in extremely small breasted females and this has been confirmed by several of my patients that first insisted on saline implants because of the fear of silicone. Several have returned and wanted the saline implants removed because of the rippling they often occurs on the side of the breast. I offer saline, the traditional silicone and the newer high tension gel implants to my patients.

In my estimation the standard saline and the standard silicone implants will become obsolete in the near future. The new improved high tension gel implant (Gummy Bear) is my implant of choice because of:

  1. the Natural feel
  2. safer in the event of rupture
  3. and the possible less chance of scarring around the implant.

Joseph Rucker, MD, FACS
Eau Claire Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Silicone V Saline Breast Implants - Breast Augmentation

In markets like Canada and Europe (and more recently the US) where both silicone and saline implants are openly available, we tend to use predominantly silicone breast implants.  The reason is that these implants allow us many more options for size and shape and they are much less likely to ripple than saline implants.  The standard infra-mammary crease incision, depending on the size of the implant will range between 4 - 5cm, an incision not much bigger than the incision needed for saline implants.  The more you depend on the implant to give you breast shape the more important it is that the implant looks natural.  From what you have described I believe silicone sounds like the best option for you.  As we girls know, cup size varies depending on the make of the bra, the day of the week and the colour of the moon so please make sure you have an opportunity to try on an implant in a tank top or see 3D imaging like Vectra to understand what that size will look like on your body. 
I hope this helps and good luck with your surgery.

Dr K.

Julie Khanna, MD, FRCSC
Ontario Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Saline or silicone

There is no saying that one is necessarily better.  Silicone is more expensive but may feel nicer if you have very thin skin.  Silicone has a much greater incidence of capsular contracture requiring additional surgery.  Saline implants can ripple, but the high profile ones tend to ripple less than the moderate profile.  I believe saline implants have fewer problems over the long haul, but not all surgeons agree on that.  Taking all the pros and cons of each will allow you to make a more informed choice.

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

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.