Do Silicone Really Feel More Natural for a Person Who is Touching Them?

I have saline now. one ruptured, and i am having them replaced. my doc wants me to go with silicone. Is there really a big difference in look and feel? I've had the saline for 10 years and the right side ruptured 2 times in 3 years. I'm just wondering if they are touched will there be a big difference in feel with the silicone rather then the saline? My husband and I were wondering what the difference would be. Thanks so much!

Doctor Answers 8

Saline vs silicone

The feel of the implant depends upon the type of implant used and the amount of soft tissue coverage over the implant. But in general, silicone tends to feel softer than saline.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Silicone versus saline breast implants

The feel of the final augmented breast is not only determined by the silicone implant. It is really the balance between the breast tissue and the size of the implant. If you are happy with the feel of your salines now and are staying the same size, than stay with saline. However, silicones generally feel better.

I know this is a crude example but it helps to make the point. If you hide a golf ball (implant) under a silk sheet (tissue), the appearance will be very ball-like. However, if you hide the baseball under a thick comforter, the thickness of the comforter will greatly influence the result. A very thick comforter may make the ball barely visible. The comforter will determine the overall appearance of the result. If you change the golf ball to a volley ball, it may appear more round.

In individuals with very little tissue ( thin athletic women with low body fat and an A cup breast), the breast implants may be more noticeable and will ultimately have a significant role in determining the appearance of the outcome.

In individuals with C or D cup breasts, the overall breast tissue and position of the gland will have a greater effect on the overall appearance of the final result.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

Silicone breast implants usually feel more natural.


You really have to individialize, though. We have lots of patients with breast augmentation in Manhattan with saline implants who are very happy. How the surgery is done is more important than which implant you use.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Silicone Implants Feel Better, Have Less Rippling and Wrinkling

Yes.  This is why most plastic surgeons will recommend silicone, since it feels more natural and has a lower risk of rippling and wrinkling. 

Saline implants can be placed under the muscle to have more tissue cover the breast implant, but this will still not feel as natural as a silicone breast implant.

You and your husband should be able to feel a saline and silicone breast implant in your doctor's office-  samples are available to plastic surgeons from the breast implant manufacturers.

Roy Kim, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Silicone Implants Fell More Natural

Silicone implants definitely feel more natural than saline implants.  However, I do have several patients with saline implants whose breasts look and feel very "normal".  If you have been happy with your saline implants, you might not want to pay the additional cost involved with silicone.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Saline vs silicone

I have been doing breast augs for 32 years and in my opinion silicone is better.I really think the issue is how much breast tissue/soft tissue does the patient have.If someone is thin and it is skin on bone ie you can see their rib cage and they have little soft tissue no question silicone is superior.So all things being equal go with silicone .

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

How do Saline and Silicone Breast Implants Feel?

Silicone breast implants tend to feel softer than saline implants. This is the main reason my patients who desire to use silicone implants select them. Most my patients who have had both types on implants prefer the feel of the silicone gel implants. The down side, it is more difficult to tell when silicone breast implants leak. The FDA recommends an MRI 3 years after surgery and then every 2 years after that to check for silent ruptures. Most my patients who select saline implant trade the feel of silicone implants for the peace of mind of easily detecting a leak.

If you have had saline implants, and are happy with how they have felt, you will probably be happy with saline again. Individual results vary, and I have many patients with saline breast implants that have results similar to silicone gel. The larger the pre-augmented breast, and the smaller the implant, the less difference the type of filler makes. The advantage of saline implants is that if they leak, the saline is quickly absorbed without any adverse events (without bad things happening) other than the loss of volume. As you know, the implant usually loses volume quickly, and an MRI is not needed to tell that there is leak.

Joseph Mele, MD
Walnut Creek Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Silicone gel implants are better if there is lack of soft tissue coverage over the implant

I generally see three sets of women, I want a gel, I want a saline and what is the best implant for me.  If your breasts is going to be more implant than you then a gel will always be better.  Other than that is is all up to personal choice.  In my practice it is about 85% GEL and 15% saline.  There is nothing wrong with a saline filled implant as long as there is enough soft tissue to cover the water baggy nature of the implant. Under thin breast tissue and skin a gel will always be better and appear more natural.

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 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.