Silicone or saline breast implants? (Photo)

Hi, I cannot make up my mind on which type of implant to go with. I've seen a couple of doctors and they pretty much push the most expensive one. I was wondering which one will work best with my type of breast. From a B cup to a full C cup. Thanks

Doctor Answers 11

Saline or silicone

Hello dear, thanks for post,

The choice of which type of breast implant to use is a very common one. There are advantages and disadvantages with both, so it's very important for you to sit down with your plastic surgeon and discuss everything in detail.

The short answer is they are both safe options. Silicone implants have a silicone shell and are filled with a cohesive silicone gel. Saline implants also have a silicone shell, but are filled with saline.

In my view, the advantage of a saline implant is that you need a smaller incision during surgery (about 3 cm or just over an inch) and if it does leak, you will know (the breast will flatten as your body absorbs the saline) and so you will be able to have it replaced. The disdvantage to saline implants is that in some patients, especially very thin ones or if they are placed above your pectoralis muscle, they can show some rippling or folds of the implant wall.

Silicone implants have the advantage of a much more natural look and feel, even in thin patients and even in cases where we place the implant above the muscle. The disadvantage is that you need a slightly longer incision to introduce the implant (4- 4.5 cm in most cases) and you often will not know if it leaks or ruptures. This is why the implant companies recommend an MRI of the breast every couple of years to view the implant to rule out a leak. For many women this is a minor inconvenience for the superior look and feel that silicone implants offer.
In the end, for most patients we can achieve a very nice, safe result with either option, so the choice is truly yours.

Good luck :)

Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 329 reviews

Silicone or saline breast implants?

Thank you for your question and photograph.  The decision on which implant type to select is based on patient preference. Both types of implants are comprised of a silicone shell, but filled with different material: saline implants contain a salt-water solution, while silicone implants contain a silicone gel. Silicone implants tend to look, and feel, more natural in the body, and are lighter in weight than their saline counterparts; however, they do require a longer incision.  

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Silicone or saline breast implants?

Both the saline and silicone implants have the same type of outer rubbery silicone shell. The inner fill is different: sterile saline solution in the saline Implant and silicone gel in the silicone Implant. There are advantages and disadvantages of each type of implant. Both are utilized by surgeons across the country with satisfactory results. They are both safe and approved for usage by the FDA. Currently there are more silicone gel implants used in the U.S. While either implant can produce excellent cosmetic results in the appropriate patient, most patients prefer the feel of the silicone gel implant.

The best cosmetic result in any particular breast augmentation patient depends on a variety of factors, including: your individual anatomy, desired outcome, realistic expectations, a thorough discussion with the plastic surgeon about the options, and an understanding of the pros and cons of any particular implant choice. Proper sizing is not just about the number of cc’s. The thickness of your tissue, breast dimensions which include the width, height, and projection, as well as chest wall width all need to be considered when choosing an implant. Trying on implant “sizers” of various shapes and volumes while wearing a tight t-shirt, bra, or bathing sit at a preoperative visit will help you and your surgeon choose the optimal implant.

Keep in mind that following the advice from a surgeon on this or any other website who proposes to tell you exactly what to do based on limited 2 dimensional photos without examining you, physically feeling the tissue, assessing your desired outcome, taking a full medical history, and discussing the pros and cons of each operative procedure would not be in your best interest. I would suggest that you discuss the options with your plastic surgeon who should be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and ideally a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) that you trust and are comfortable with. You should discuss your concerns with that surgeon in person.

Robert Singer, MD FACS

La Jolla, California

Robert Singer, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Silicone or saline breast implants?

Both saline and silicone breast implants are safe and can give nice results.  Most people today choose the cohesive silicone gel implants because there is less chance of visible rippling and silicone implants do not carry the risk of deflation which can be as high as 10% after 10 years.

The new extended warranty with Mentor  silicone implants is another major advantage of silicone implants.

Saline vs silicone, some advices:

Thank you very much for this interesting question.
Breast lift with Augmentation with Saline or Silicon It is a very common question.
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 147 reviews

Silicone or saline breast implants?

If you have seen a few boarded PSs in Miami than you should know that the silicones give a more natural feel. The fee differences of $600 SHOULD NOT be the determining reason on your choice. It is if you desire a more natural feel vs a very firm feel results. Maybe you should keep searching in person PSs opinions?

Saline vs silicone

There is no question silicone is more expensive and a better have some breast tissue so you would do well with either but all things being equal go with silicone.

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Saline vs Silicone gel


Thank you for your question. In my opinion both options are safe and can produce nice looking results however the vast majority of my BA patients choose silicone cohesive gel implants because of their more natural look and feel. They tend to show rippling less and move/feel more naturally.
Ask your Plastic Surgeon to show you the options and discuss pros/cons of either.

All the best 

Silicone or saline breast implants?

  • Thank you for the question and picture. Based on the photograph, I think that you are starting a good place and should have a very nice outcome with breast augmentation surgery. I also think that you should do very well regardless of the type of breast implant utilized,  assuming you choose your plastic surgeon carefully, there is careful communication between the two of you, and the operation is executed carefully as well.
  •  Generally speaking, much of the final look and feel 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. Careful measurements (dimensional planning) and careful selection of breast implant size/profile are part of the surgeon's responsibilities.
  • 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. In other words, if a patient has very low body fat and/or very little breast tissue, the silicone gel implants may provide a more "natural" result.  In your case, you have a significant amount of breast tissue present  that should provide adequate "coverage" of whichever breast implant type you select.
  • 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) and computer imaging is very helpful.  In other words, the use of as many "visual aids" as possible is helpful.  I have found that the use of words such as “natural” or “full C cup” etc. are not helpful.
  • Also, as you know, cup size varies depending on who makes the bra; therefore, discussing desired cup size may also be inaccurate.
  • I hope this, and the attached link (dedicated to breast augmentation concerns), helps. Best wishes.

Silicone or saline breast implants?

Silicone implants contain cohesive gel that feels like natural breast tissue, it's a much better product in my opinion, and there are many other benefits. If you can not afford it- you can always go with saline. 

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.