Are Saline Implants Smaller Than Silicone Implants? Any Other Helpful Advice Based on Pictures? (photo)

Had BA 14 yrs ago, 425cc HP saline unders, 34yrs old now, petite, 5'-0”, 98 lbs. I would like to switch my implants to silicone next year. A doctor I saw advised I increase about 50 ccs with silicone to equal the same look as I do with my 425's. He described the shape of saline implant is different and projects more than silicone implants. He thinks 475 will give me the same look. To me same volume is same volume whether it is saline or silicone, how could it be smaller?Does this sound correct?

Doctor Answers 10

Saline or silicone

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Volume is volume.  400 cc in saline takes up the same space as 400 cc in silicone.  The difference is in "where" the space is occupied.  Silicone can fill a more broad area than overfilled saline implants.  Thus, they can look smaller than saline.  

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 53 reviews

Saline vs. silicone

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Saline and silicone implants are of similar weight.  The biggest differences are that the silicone gel implants feel more natural and are less likely to rupture.

David Stoker, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Breast Enhancement

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Good questions, I would tell someone that if implants have the same width and projection and the same volume than they will likely be the same as that makes the most sense to me!

Moderate profile silicone breast implants can look different from high profile saline of same size

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Thank you for your question.

Be sure to discuss your concerns with your plastic surgeon.

The saline implants that you have are high profile and my guess is that your plastic surgeon may consider using a moderate profile plus silicone gel implant which can look different than are saline implant of the same size.

In addition you're saline implants have stretched your breast skin and it is very common to use a larger implant when exchanging implants to make up for the increased size of the breast implant pocket caused by your previous implants.

Switching from saline to silicone

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The breast implants are the same size regardless of silicone or saline.  You should get a nice look and feel with silicone breast implants.  Good luck!

Saline and silicone implants can have the same dimensions

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Fourteen years ago, there were only a few options in terms if breast implant dimensions.  Today, both saline and silicone implants of the same volume have varied widths and projections.  If you are happy with your current breast size and shape, it should be relatively easy to find a silicone implant of similar dimensions.  Best to discuss this further with your surgeon. 

Michael S. Hopkins, MD (retired)
Albuquerque Plastic Surgeon

Breast implants come with different projections.

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Breast implants with the same volume may have different projections and diameters. This factors in to the decision about what size and shape implant should be used at the time of implant exchange.

Volume issue

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You are correct.  Volume is volume whether it is saline or silicone gel.  Perhaps the misunderstanding comes from your doctor's discussion about the different shapes and contours of the implants now available which may affect the projection of the breast.

Edwin C. Pound, III, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Saline Or Silicone Breast Implants Look Smaller?

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Thank you for the question but I think you have asked your question “backwards”.  In other words, you  are wondering whether silicone gel breast implants are smaller than saline breast implants.  the short answer is that you are both correct:  it is not that  there is a difference in size of identical volumes of saline versus silicone gel breast implants, it is that a different “look” may be achieved with the different types of breast implants.  

 Generally speaking, I would agree with what your plastic surgeon has told you. I find that when using silicone gel breast implants a somewhat larger breast implant volume is necessary to achieve the same “look”, compared to the use of saline breast implants. I think that the saline breast implants tend to be more projecting in general and that the silicone gel breast implants tend to be more conforming to the chest wall,  and may end up achieving a “smaller” look.

 Again, my  response here is somewhat general. I would suggest that you ask your surgeon to use what ever size/profile of breast implant will best achieve your goals. Sometimes, these decisions are best made during surgery;  having a variety of breast implants available will be in your best interests.

 I hope this,  and the attached link, helps.


Are Saline Implants Smaller Than Silicone Implants?

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I am sure not all the surgeons will agree, but I would stick with a similar volume and profile, and expect to maintain the nice appearance that you have achieved. 

All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

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.