Why should I get saline vs silicone? (Photos)

I know saline is technically safer, and you know when they break, however, my dr keeps pushing to get them but I notice everyone else seems to be getting silicone? It's making me rethink things! I don't want to get saline and then regret my decision!

Doctor Answers 8

Why should I get saline vs silicone? (Photos)

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 Thank you for your question.  Today, the implants have come a long way. And there is equal safety with regards to saline versus silicone. The disadvantage of Celine is that if there is a leak it completely deflates which requires more urgent implant exchange. Silicone implants that we use today have a very natural feel it or more cohesive so that  even if the shell fractures none of the silicon leaks. Silicone implants also have the advantage of preventing rippling or palpability issues that are frequently seen with saline implants.  When you look at the rest of the world, silicone implants or the majority of the implants that are being used. I would say that in the US now as well majority of plastic surgeons are using silicone implants because of these advantages.  I would have a discussion regarding implant selection with your plastic surgeon to talk about these advantages and disadvantage is.  I hope this helps. 

Saline vs Silicone

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There is no evidence suggesting that saline (salt water) implants are any "safer" than the current version of silicone implants. In fact, there have been a multitude of studies designed to look at whether or not silicone implants increase the chance of complications or side effects after surgery. All of the studies have proven that silicone implants are safe. Therefore, think of saline and silicone implants as being equally safe.

 One of the main advantages of a saline implant is its cost. Saline implants cost significantly less than a silicone implant because it is much less expensive to manufacture. Another advantage, for some people who are opposed to having silicone implants, is that a saline implant contains only salt water. On the other hand, there are a few disadvantages to saline implants you should be aware of. The main disadvantage of having saline implants is the risk of something called "rippling." Rippling is the presence of folds and wrinkles on the surface of the implant which can become visible or can be felt. This does not happen in everyone with saline implants, and this can also occur with silicone implants, but it is much more common with saline implants than with silicone implants. When rippling occurs, it can become unsightly and bothersome. Many women who develop rippling eventually replace the implants with silicone implants in the future. Another disadvantage is that if a saline implant were to rupture, the breast would likely become deflated and you would need to undergo another surgery to replace the implant. If a silicone implant ruptures, the silicone would stay inside the shell of the implant and you would probably not need another surgery to replace it.

 Silicone implants have several advantages. One advantage is the fact that silicone implants have much less rippling than saline implants. Another advantage of silicone implants is the "feel" of the implants. The thick silicone jelly inside the implants resembles the feel of a natural breast more than saline implants. Another advantage is the fact that you would probably not need to replace the implant if it were to rupture. The reason is that the thick silicone jelly stays inside the implant even if the implant ruptures. Therefore, you should not be able to feel any difference and there should not be a change in size or shape. One of the few disadvantages of silicone implants is the cost. Silicone implants are more expensive products and thus your surgery cost will likely be higher with silicone implants than with saline implants.

To learn more about the breast augmentation procedure, you can read "A Comprehensive Guide to Breast Augmentation."

John Diaz, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Why should I get saline vs silicone?

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Congratulations on your decision to have breast augmentation.  Based on your photo in clothing you appear to have excellent breast anatomy and should be able to achieve a very nice result.

I am not aware of any reason to prefer saline implants over silicone unless you are under 22 years of age.

For what it is worth, 83% of experienced, board certified anesthetic plastic surgeons use smooth round cohesive silicon gel breast implants.  I would suggest seeking consultation for second opinion with another experienced board certified plastic surgeon.

Why should I get saline vs silicone?

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Thank you for your question. Over the past decade, the technology for silicone implants has improved so much so that the pendulum has swung back towards silicone as the preferred implant for most cosmetic breast augmentations as long as you meet the criteria set forth by the FDA (you must be greater than 22 years of age to have silicone breast implants for cosmetic reasons). That being said, some patients prefer saline implants because the idea of silicone leaking makes them feel uncomfortable. A saline implant deflation will certainly cause less inflammation because the saline gets reabsorbed over about a week. On the other hand, the asymmetry that a saline deflation causes will lead you to want to have it replaced sooner. If a silicone implant ruptures, it may be a "silent rupture" and the gel bleed will remain in the capsule (natural scar tissue) or it may cause a thickening of the capsule and result in a palpable capsular contracture. With all that information, you should probably go back your surgeon to discuss further why he/she recommended saline. Good Luck!

Samara Churgin, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon

Saline vs. Silicone

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The technology with silicone implants has come very far in the past several years to where they are just as safe as getting saline implants.  If someone is going to have a reaction to the the silicone, both types of implants are covered in a silicone shell so one would would react to both.  About 90% of the breast augmentations that I do are with the 5th generation silicone implants also called the "gummy bear" implants.  The reason they are called that is that the silicone in them is form stable and stays together, even when cut in half, like a gummy bear.   This prevents leaking in case the shell were to rupture.  The other real difference between the two is that silicone implants have a more natural look and feel and can last much longer than their saline counterparts.  For example, saline implants need to be replaced every 10-15 years while the silicone implants can last for 20-30 years on average.  Another thing to consider is that saline implants can cause rippling in thinner women, or with those that do not have a lot of breast tissue to where you can see and feel the implant after they have been placed.  The larger that you go 500cc+ the more likely this rippling is to occur also.  Hope this helps you make a more informed decision for your augmentation surgery.  Be sure to see an experienced surgeon that is Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery to see what is right for you.

Saline vs silicone

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It has always been controversial to discuss saline vs silicone. However consensus has generally shifted to silicone implants due to their better and more natural feel and consistency. There is absolutely no technical difficulty in doing them compared to saline. 

I would suggest that you do silicone implant for a good , natural result.


Dr Amit Gupta

Saline or silicone implants

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You have a choice and all depends on you and your expectations. Both implants are safe but there is big difference on they feel and your surgeon can help you to choose the right implant. 

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Why should I get saline vs silicone breast implants?

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Online consultants cannot provide you with a definitive answer; why not address this question directly to your plastic surgeon?  Ask him/her about the rationale behind the recommendations.

 Having said that, in order to achieve your desired outcome, I would agree that the use of saline implants may be very helpful.  In other words, given the aesthetic outcome you would like to achieve, the use of saline (or a higher profile silicone gel) breast implant may be very useful.

 ***Given your concerns, I would suggest that you spend additional time communicating your goals/concerns directly with your plastic surgeon, preferably prior to the date of surgery.  It will be important for many reasons, that you feel comfortable that you and your plastic surgeon are on the "same page" prior to proceeding.

 Best wishes for an outcome that you will be very pleased with.

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.