Will Saline Feel the Same As Silicone with the Amount of Breast Tissue I Have?

My dr. Says that saline is so much safer than silicone and that she would never put it in her body. My question is about the feel.....will you be able to feel the difference between salin and silicone with the amount of breast tissue I have? My fiancé doesn't like the feel of the saline. Also, will saline lift me higher than silicone if i do not get a lift? Thanks!

Doctor Answers 9

Saline vs Silicone implants

Everyone is going to have an opinion on the benefits of saline vs. silicone implants. My personal opinion is that neither implant is the right choice for all patients. If you do not have much soft tissue coverage, I think that the saline implants become more palpable and the risk of rippling is increased. Every patient that I have had that switched from saline to silicone would tell you that the silicone implant feels more natural. I have never had a patient come back to me and request to replace their silicone implants for saline. That being said, I have many patients that are very happy with their saline implants.

No disrespect intended to your doctor, but anyone that reports that saline is so much safer than the current silicone technology is misinformed. At best, the issue of safety is debateable. I can say that removal of a ruptured saline implant is easier than a ruptured silicone implant, but I don't believe there is any definitive evidence that indicates that silicone implants are associated with higher health risks. Capsular contracture rates are higher with silicone, but that is likely because silent ruptures with silicone are more likely to result in a contracture. Ruptured saline implants are usually replaced more quickly.  

Saline implants will not lift your breasts higher than a silicone implant unless they are significantly overfilled with saline. You can achieve the same effect with a silicone implant by choosing a higher profile type.

Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 84 reviews

The feel of a breast implant depends on two main factors

All implants are palpable.  The degree of palpability depends on two factors: 1) the size the the breast implant and  2)  the breast tissue thickness that will ultimately be covering the implant.  A small implant in a patient with thick tissue will not be very palpable regardless if it is silicone or saline.  Conversely, a large implant in a thin patient will be palpable no matter which type.  However, in general, a silicone implant is less palpable and feels more natural than saline.  In my patients that want the most natural feeling breast after their surgery I often recommend silicone.  If the feel of the breast isn't a concern then saline will work.  The best thing to do is to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon to determine which implant type will work best given your unique situation.  Good luck!

Jason E. Leedy, MD
Cleveland Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 130 reviews

Feeling of Saline vs. Silicone

Generally patients who have a thin subcutaneous breast layer, probably less than 1-2 cm will more likely feel the saline implants.  Generally patients that have a lot of breast tissue or thick body habitus will have a feel of saline closer to that of silicone.  I think there is no doubt though, that silicone implants generally have a softer feel. 

Michael C. Fasching, MD
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Choose between saline or silicone

You have not provided any photographs or given the size of your breasts so I don't know how much breast tissue you have.  I tell people who are an A or B to use silicone gel implants because you can feel the difference.  If you are a C or D, the difference is not as significant because of the tissue padding.  However, silicone gel implants do not ripple and feel more natural.  I recommend silicone gel implants to all my patients.

Best of Luck,

Gary Horndeski, M.D.

Gary M. Horndeski, MD
Texas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 223 reviews

Saline vs. Silicone

Both saline and silicone gel implants are very safe medical devices.  Both are very good options.  Impossible to make any recommendations without a physical exam.  Best of luck.

C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 211 reviews

Saline vs. Gel Implants

Thank you for your questions.  Silicone implants are the most studied medical devices in history and they have been found to be as safe as saline.  There is no  question that silicone implants are superior to saline in terms of look, feel, and decreased chance of rippling.  Both can end up very soft as long as you don't develop capsular contractures.  Saline implants are typically placed behind the pectoral muscle to hide them, but silicone can be put on top of the muscle and looks very natural, even in thin women.  Implants under the muscle will "animate" with pectoral flexion and if you like to workout your upper body, the implants will eventually be displaced laterally and downward by the repeated pectoral flexion.  Saline will always feel like a bag of water whereas the silicone cohesive gels feel more like breasts.  Saline may give you a little more upper breast fullness, but doesn't really raise the breast more than silicone.  For the most natural look and feel, I prefer silicone implants on top of the muscle in the subfascial (not subglandular) plane.

Victor Ferrari, MD, FACS
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Implant differences

Saline and silicone do feel differently, and they both are very safe.  Neither implant will give a better look, but the silicones will feel more natural.  If you want silicone go to a plastic surgeon who performs them.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Feel of Silicone versus Saline Breast Implants?

Thank you for the question.
I think that most plastic surgeons would  disagree with the statement that your plastic surgeon has made. There is no evidence that the saline breast implant is “much safer than silicone”. Generally speaking, depending on how much soft tissue coverage is present, silicone gel breast implants tend to feel more “natural” than saline. On the other hand, if the patient does have a significant amount of breast and or adipose tissue coverage present, then both saline and silicone breast implants can be used to achieve a quite “natural feel”. Of course, complications such as encapsulation can cause either type of breast implant to harden.
Also, I do not think that you should depend on saline breast implants “lifting” your breasts higher than silicone breast implants.
I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,498 reviews

Saline implants

I am a practicing board certified plastic surgeon for 25 years. I have performed over 2,000 breast augmentations. 99.9% are saline implants. When the procedure is performed by an experienced and competent plastic surgeon the results look and feel natural. I have patients who got married after the surgery and the husband does not know about the implants... As far as the lift, saline or silicone do not matter. In mild droopiness, lowering the submammary crease will raise the nipple, however if the droopiness is significant, you will need either a mini-lift or a full lift. Good luck.

Shlomo Widder, MD
McLean Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 126 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.