Does saline last as long as silicone? (Photo)

I'm going I 28 days for my mommy makeover I am convinced I want saline I keep hearing people say silicone lasts longer than saline is this true or not and does saline look bigger than silicone under muscle even if the cc is the same

Doctor Answers 11

Saline vs Silicone Breast Implants

With both implant types there are choices when it comes to size, shape, and profile. The criteria best to suit you will be discussed in full detail at your breast augmentation consultation.

A #SalineImplant is made with a #silicone outer shell that is filled with sterile saline (salt-water or saline water) during the surgery. Since saline is like normal body fluid, it is safe and easily absorbed if the implants were to leak. The #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 implant option called Ideal Implant™ was recently FDA approved and was created for women who are not comfortable having silicone implants in their body, but desire a more natural feeling implant than the traditional saline implant on the market. The unique structure of the Ideal Implant allows for a similar look and feel as silicone with the safety of saline. 

A #SiliconeImplant is made with a silicone outer shell as a saline implant is, but filled with a gummy-bear-like consistency silicone. 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 with 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. 

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 110 reviews

Saline vs silicone

Thank you for your question. Silicone implants are highly superior implants compared to saline  because they feel more natural and look more natural and last longer. The reason they last longer is because they don't deflate. The deflation rate for saline implant is approximately 1% per year. Best of luck with everything.

Payman Danielpour, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Saline vs silicone

The longevity of saline implants is comparable to silicone, and an experienced board certified plastic surgeon can achieve great results with either. The biggest difference between both is in the rare event of rupture - saline ruptures are easier to detect because deflation is faster, making the breasts asymmetrical in size.

Leila Kasrai, MD, FRCSC
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

Breast implants - saline or silicone gel?

Thank you for asking about your  breast implants.

  • Excellent question -
  • Both saline and silicone gel breast implants are FDA approved and very good implants.
  • Saline implants are much less expensive and some people prefer them, as saline is entirely safe.
  • However the saline (salt water) is put in the implant through a one way valve.
  • In time, the valve will malfunction, the implant deflate and need replacement.
  • That said, on average they last 10 years and the manufacturers provide free replacement implants.

Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

No, saline does not last as long as silicone

Saline implants have a higher rate of rupture than silicone, and this is even larger when compared with the newer cohesive silicone gel implants currently in use. A saline implant is a *silicone* shell filled with saline, while a silicone implant is a silicone shell filled with silicone gel, so in both instances you would still have silicone in your body. I personally feel silicone implants give a much more natural feeling result with less rippling. If a saline implant is overinflated, it can be made to project in height which can make it appear larger than a silicone implant, but it will also feel firmer and less natural.

With the current generation of silicone implants, I would encourage their use over saline implants for a more natural, longer lasting result. Obviously though it is important to talk this over with your surgeon so that your questions and concerns about your implant selection are adequately addressed.

Greg Bancroft, MD, PhD
Texas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Durability of silicone versus saline breast implant

silicone breast implants are more durable on average, a fact shown in multiple clinical studies and in data produced by the USFDA, who regulates the devices. Saline implants are also heavier for the same volume and tend to bottom load (settle lower with gravity) which accelerates settling of the implant down and out over time.

In general, very few saline implants are being used anymore except in existing patients or for reasons of cost.  The market share world wide of saline implants is negligible as surgeons and patents world wide have largely decided they do not perform as well as their silicone gel counterparts

Robert Oliver Jr., MD
Birmingham Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Saline vs silicone breast implants

hello and thank you for the question and the photo. the key difference between saline and silicone implants is in how they feel. Silicone feels more like natural breast tissue than saline. Second, silicone implants tend to cause less rippling. If you look at pictures of women with saline implants, sometimes when they lean forward, you can see "creases" in the side of the breast. This is called rippling. It may be visible with silicone as well, but generally, silicone ripples less. 

Both carry a lifetime warranty against rupture and deflation. If saline ruptures, you'll know right away. It will be like a flat tire. Since silicone is cohesive, it does not deflate, but the shape may change. 

Safety should not be a factor in your decision. Extensive long term studies have shown silicone to be very safe. It has been in use in medical devices since World War II, including the heart / lung bypass machine, catheters, IV, etc... 

As always it is best to be healthy, no smoking, and make sure any health care concerns you have are managed by your primary care doctor.
Best to you

Bennett Yang, MD
Rockville Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

They may last just as long, the difference is what happens if it pops

in your situation, you will be able to get the same look whether you use saline or silicone implants. Saline implants do sit a little bit more proud on the upper part of the chest, but this can be overcome by just using a higher profile silicone implant.  If a saline implant ruptures, it goes flat and you need to go back to surgery to have it replaced unless you want to walk around with just one implant.  If a silicone implant ruptures, it is called a silent rupture and usually does not change in its size or shape. Due to extensive testing, we know that it will also not make you sick.  For that and a few other reasons, most plastic surgeons think that silicone implants are better. Good luck!

Robert S. Houser, DO
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Does saline last as long as silicone?

With over 30 years of experience I'm not a big fan of saline. In my opinion- the only reason to use saline is when a patient can not afford silicone implants. Today's silicone implants in my opinion are by far the best ever!

Thomas Trevisani, Sr., MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Does saline last as long as silicone?

Both implants have excellent track records. Depending on how old or young you are, implants do not last forever, and it is very likely you will need to have them replaced at some point in your life. There are many pros and cons to saline vs. silicone, but to answer your question, they can look very similar under the muscle. However, silicone feels much more natural, especially if one has a very small breast and little body fat.

Gustavo E. Galante, MD
Schererville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 54 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.