Are saline implants a good choice for me? (Photos)

I have been wanting BA for over 10 years. I am 27 now and have been deadset on silicone implants and the doctor who I chose and whose work I admired most recommended I have saline. He is an advocate for saline behind the muscle. He is board certified and has been performing breast augmentation since 1983. He talked me into saline but now that surgery is getting closer I am still uncertain. Surgery date is December 19th. Advice needed. 5'4, 24B, 135lbs.

Doctor Answers 23

Saline Implants a Good Choice?

It sounds as if you have found a surgeon who is older and a bit stuck in their ways. There are pluses and minuses to each type of implant but the majority of surgeons today are using the new silicone gel implants because they provide a more natural look and feel, and are much safer than the old generation of gel implants. 

You appear to have a reasonable amount of breast tissue and therefore can potentially have a nice result with a saline implant as long as it is not too large. Still I am surprised that your surgeon would insist on saline even though you have expressed a clear preference for a silicone implant. 

Kirkland Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 53 reviews

Saline Implants

More women today choose silicone implants than saline implants. there are advantages and disadvantage to each kind of implant. Saline implants can be prone to rippling and can leak. Many women feel that silicone feels and looks more natural. The choice is up to you. Getting a second or third opinion from other board certified plastic surgeons is recommended. Good luck finding the right implants that are right for you. 

Usha Rajagopal, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Three Implant Types

Dear af1240,

There are three implant options available. There are the old single-lumen saline implants which we do not like at all. Not only do they show rippling along the periphery even when placed under the muscle, they feel like water balloons and have a high leakage rate.

The second option is silicone gel implants which are a good choice, and the third option is the new saline-filled, structured implant called the Ideal implant. I actually think the Ideal implant is an excellent choice, and you can visit their website for the pros and cons, but in short, it has virtually all the softness and feel of a silicone implant but is saline filled with multiple internal baffles that control the movement of the saline to give this softness. The studies indicate they have a lower hardening rate and leakage rate, and a woman always has the satisfaction and peace of mind knowing the implants are intact simply by looking in the mirror. A silicone implant requires an MRI to determine if there is a silent rupture.

I hope this has been helpful.

Robert D. Wilcox, MD

Robert D. Wilcox, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Saline vs Gel implants

Both types of implants have their advantages/disadvantages. Basically, saline implants are less expensive and less troublesome when they leak.  They are not as natural feeling as gel implants and have more of a tendency to cause rippling that can be felt and sometimes seen.  As previously mentioned, you need to have a detailed discussion with your surgeon concerning available implant types and be comfortable with your choice before you have your surgery. 

Robert C. Bledsoe, Jr., MD
Grapevine Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Saline or Silicone


The choice of implants is yours. I am not sure why your surgeon would specifically recommend saline. I suggest you have a second consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon to get another opinion. Good luck.

Janet Turkle, MD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Saline versus silicone

Most patients choose silicone breast implants because of their softer, more natural feel, and less chance of rippling.  If you are placing relatively small implants behind the muscle, and you have a good amount of breast tissue to start with, the difference between saline and silicone may not be that perceptible.  I always present the benefits and downside to each implant type to each patient and allow them the freedom to choose what is best for them.  Good luck.  You may want to consider a second opinion before fully committing to surgery.

Brian A. Pinsky, MD
Long Island Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Silicone Gel Implants


You've managed to find a very unusual surgeon. Go visit a few more who are ABPS certified/ASAPS member surgeons that specialize in breast surgery. Saline implants are inferior to silicone gel implants in every way, and belong in the history books. Best of luck!

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Are saline implants a good choice for me?

Most women choose silicone implants. They have a more natural feel, less chance of rippling, and a more natural shape. If you're having concerns, you should have additional consultations with board-certified plastic surgeons in your area. This will give you the best opportunity to hear multiple opinions about choosing between silicone and saline implants.

Austin Hayes, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

A surgeon's preference should not dictate what the patient gets

because it is ultimately you, the patient, that should make all the decisions after presented with the information regarding both implant styles.  If you contact me, I can send you a copy of my side by side comparison of gel versus saline.  Most people chose gel nowadays and with gel, you will never face the potential for an acute deflation where you go flat overnight.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Saline versus silicon

Some older surgeons recommend saline because they worked during the time of the "silicon scare" in the early 1990s. After extensive evaluation the FDA actually found the silicone to be safe.

Silicone feels more natural and several complications like rippling can be avoided. 

More than 90 % of patients choose silicone in 2016.

Avron Lipschitz, MD
Stuart Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 65 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.