I want to have breast implants done. Saline or silicone?

what is the difference between saline and silicone implants and which one is better?

Doctor Answers 8

Saline implants versus silicone implants

Saline implants are filled with saline solution (water with a pinch of salt). The implants tend to ripple a bit more unless overfilled in which case they tend to be a bit firmer. In larger breasts with smaller implants, they work very well because you don't feel the actual implant - you just see the effect of the implant. Also, if saline implants rupture it is quite obvious as the breast "deflates." Saline implants are less expensive than silicone implants.

Silicone implants are prefilled by the manufacturer with silicone gel. These tend to ripple less, are lighter in weight, and feel more like natural breast tissue. These implants are best when the implant makes up a significant portion of the breast volume. However, if they rupture they should be replaced. Identifying a rupture is done with a screening MRI performed every other year starting 3 years after placement. Silicone implants are more expensive than saline implants.

Which is better? It really depends. Either implant can work well. A discussion with your plastic surgeon about your breast anatomy, your comfort level with MRI screening, and your ultimate goals will help you make the decision.


Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Saline or silicone

If you were to ask 100 surgeons I would bet over 90% would recommend silicone over slaine.It is a little more expensive but well worth it.

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Saline or Silicone Breast Implants?

With the improvement in quality and durability of silicone implants, I find myself leaning strongly toward the selection of cohesive round smooth silicone implants in most all of my patients.  Not only are they likely to give a better immediate result in patients with thinned breast tissue layers (after pregnancy or weight loss), but they are likely to give a better aesthetic result (in terms of feel and sometimes appearance) over the many years that patients hope to have them in place.  I've seen too many patients 5-15 years after receiving saline implants come to my office bothered by the water bag feeling and the development of palpable or visible ripples (though not all).  
Each doctor will have a different perspective and you should listen carefully to the recommendation made by the doctor who gives you the highest comfort level.  Good luck and enjoy the video above for more information.

Jon A Perlman MD FACS
Certified, Am Board of Plastic Surgery
Extreme Makeover Surgeon ABC TV
Beverly Hills, Ca

Jon A. Perlman, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Saline or Silicone, some advices:

Thanks for sharing your concerns with us.
In my practice i recommend using - Cohesive Gel - Silicone Breast Implants with textured cover.
They are quite safe and aesthetically best as they give a firmer consistency, better projection and most natural appearance than Saline implants.
Kind regards,
Dr. Emmanuel Mallol Cotes.-

Emmanuel Mallol Cotes, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 174 reviews

I want to have breast implants done. Saline or silicone?

That is a VERY personal & financial decision. ONLY you can decide. Saline offered firmer cheaper expense results. Vs Silicone more natural with more costs.

Saline vs silicone breast implants

In my practice, I do far more silicone breast augmentations than saline, but for many patients saline is an excellent choice. It is just important to understand the differences between the two. 

Saline and silicone implants both have solid silicone shells. Saline implants are less expensive, can be placed through a slightly smaller incision, and are filled after they are placed. This allows for precise volumes to be decided upon in the operating room. Silicone implants come pre-filled with a semi-solid gel in sizes that are anywhere from 20-50ml apart. For comparison, a shot glass is about 30-45ml. 

If a saline implant ruptures, the breast will usually return to its original size within 12-24 hours, and the body will absorb the fluid that leaks out. If a silicone implant ruptures, the gel usually stays inside a thin layer of scar tissue (called the capsule), and often the breast won't look or feel different for months to years. 

Saline implants, especially above the muscle, have a higher chance of showing rippling through the tissues, especially for women with very little breast tissue or fat under the skin. Although an appropriate sized saline implant can look very natural, silicone almost always feels more natural. The final thing to consider is that saline implants have a higher rate of rupture compared with silicone, especially in sizes over 500ml or if they are not filled to the maximum capacity. 

In the end, it is best to visit more than one board certified surgeon to see what is recommended based on your goals and your anatomy. Please do not choose simply on the lowest price. There are a few places in South Florida that are known for cutting costs by placing saline implants above the muscle. This approach, while it may be appropriate for some patients, is not the best aporoach for the vast majority of patients, and leads to a large number of revisions, which are always far more expensive than the original surgery. 

Dana Goldberg, MD
Jupiter Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Saline or Silcone Implants

Each implant have their benefits. #SalineImplants is made with a #silicone outer shell that is filled with saline water during the surgery. It is filled with sterile saline (salt-water). Since saline is like normal body fluid, it is safe and easily absorbed if the implants were to leakThe #implant shell is ordered in a specified size which can be filled to a minimum or maximum fill amount. This allows the plastic surgeon some flexibility with sizing during surgery. Often times a woman has breasts which vary slightly in size. If one breast is slightly smaller than the other, each implant can be filled to a different amount to create better symmetry. Saline tends to be a little less natural feeling than silicone, but it can also create a more dramatic upper breast appearance, which some women prefer. A new saline breast implants option called Ideal Implant™ was recently FDA approved and is now being offered at the Pacific Center for Plastic Surgery Newport Beach. The #IdealImplant was created for women who are not comfortable having silicone implants in their body, but desire a more natural feeling implant than traditional saline implants on the market. The unique structure of the Ideal Implant allows for a similar look and feel as silicone with the safety of saline.

#SiliconeImplants are made with a silicone outer shell and are filled with a gummy-bear consistency silicone on the inside. More women tend to choose silicone breast implants due to the natural feel and appearance. Silicone implants are now made of a cohesive gel which are anti-leak even when cut. Look and feel like natural breasts due to the cohesive silicone gel material. New generation silicone gel implants are far superior than those used in the past and have a proven track record of safety. Silicone implants have gone through more testing than any other medical device and are the preferred choice for over the muscle implant placement.
However, the FDA recommends women have periodic MRI testing to ensure their silicone implants are free from any defects. With both implant types there are choices when it comes to size, shape, and profile. This will be discussed in full detail at your breast augmentation consultation.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 96 reviews

Saline or silicone breast implants?

Thank you for the question. Both types of implants are good implants; neither is "better". Certain patients may be better candidates for the use of one versus the other. Generally speaking, much of the final “look” achieved after breast augmentation surgery depends on several factors:

1. The initial shape, size (volume of breast tissue), symmetry of the patient's breasts. In general, the better the preoperative breast appearance the more likely the breast augmentation “look” will be optimal.

2. The experience/skill level of the surgeon is important in determining the final outcome. For example, the accurate and gentle dissection of the breast implant pockets are critical in producing long-term well-placed breast implants. I personally think that these 2 factors are more important than any others, including type (saline or silicone) or model (low/moderate/high profile) of implant.

3. The type of implant used may determine the final outcome, especially if the patient does not have significant covering breast or adipose tissue. For example, some surgeons feel that silicone implants have a more natural look and feel than saline implants because silicone gel has a texture that is similar to breast tissue. Each patient differs in the amount of breast tissue that they have. If a patient has enough breast tissue to cover the implant, the final result will be similar when comparing saline implants versus silicone gel implants. If a patient has very low body fat and/or very little breast tissue, the silicone gel implants may provide a more "natural" result.

On the other hand, saline implants have some advantages over silicone implants. Silicone implant ruptures are harder to detect. When saline implants rupture, they deflate and the results are seen almost immediately. When silicone implants rupture, the breast often looks and feels the same because the silicone gel may leak into surrounding areas of the breast without a visible difference.

4. The size and model of breast implant used may make a significant difference in the final outcome. Therefore, it is very important to communicate your size goals with your surgeon. In my practice, the use of photographs of “goal” pictures (and breasts that are too big or too small) is very helpful. I have found that the use of words such as “natural” or “C or D cup” or "fake looking" means different things to different people and therefore prove unhelpful.
Also, as you know, cup size varies depending on who makes the bra; therefore, discussing desired cup size may also be inaccurate.
I use intraoperative sizers and place the patient in the upright position to evaluate breast size. Use of these sizers also allow me to select the press implant profile (low, moderate, moderate plus, high-profile) that would most likely achieve the patient's goals. The patient's goal pictures are hanging on the wall, and allow for direct comparison.
I have found that this system is very helpful in improving the chances of achieving the patient's goals as consistently as possible.

I hope this. and the attached link, helps.

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.