Silicone Gel or Saline?

My dr will be using Mentor Implants. have been adament about getting saline over silicone gels because of the health factor. Saline is natural fluid that wont pose harm to my body if they deflateAlthough i have been reading more more about silicone gel implants as well as they are now FDA approved and have proven no threat to the body if they break or leak. etc, etc.

Doctor Answers 5

Saline or silicone

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I personally prefer saline.  They are more hassle free over the long term and have a much lower incidence of capsular contracture.  I think they also offer more peace of mind as well as being less expensive.  However, plastic surgeons do not agree at all regarding this and many prefer silicone.  I think it is a matter of personal choice once you are aware of the benefits and risks of each.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Silicone Gel or Saline?

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Both saline and silicone gel implants are approved for use by the FDA and both can produce a nice result in the appropriate patient. Most patients and plastic surgeons prefer the feel of the silicone gel implants. I would suggest  that you find a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and ideally a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) that you trust and are comfortable with. You should address your concerns, be able to feel the different implants, and discuss the pros and cons of the operative procedure as well as the implant types with that surgeon in person.

Robert Singer, MD  FACS

La Jolla, California

Robert Singer, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Both saline and silicone gel breast implants are safe and approved by the FDA

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Thank you for your question.  Multiple scientific studies have failed to show any correlation between silicone gel implants and autoimmune disease or other health problems.  As of this mentioned the shell of the saline breast implant is silicone so he is still are getting some silicone with saline breast implants.

The difficulty with saline implants and the reason most people today are choosing's silicone is that saline implants often cause visible rippling which is very distressing to patients.

Silicone Gel and Saline Implants are both safe

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Both Silicone and Saline Implants are Safe. Please note that the outer shell of saline implants are made of silicone so it is not like you are eliminating this risk. Also realize that Saline implants have more problems with rippling and capsular contractures in many reports in the literature.

Despite three decades of safety testing and monitoring of silicone breast implants, there is still a public perception that silicone breast implants are more toxic or dangerous than saline implants. The truth is that there has no known toxicity from silicone gel breast implants. In fact, silicone is one of the most common materials used in medical devices and implants. There is no known toxicity from silicone gel breast implants. It has been studied by the FDA for more than three decades to establish its safety. Silicone is the most common material used in medical devices/implants. Examples include shunts that go from the brain to the abdomen (for hydrocephalus) which are left in for a lifetime, artificial finger joints, syringes, IVs, catheters (including ones that go next to the heart), surrounding pacemakers, and even oral anti-gas tablets.
The one possible exception may by the PIP implant made in France (generally not available in the USA). Most of the concerns about the PIP implant were about the use of non-medical silicone and manufacturing problems, and do not relate to implants used in the United States by board-certified plastic surgeons. This is not to say that breast implants, like any implant, can have problems; they may have to be removed and are not meant to last a life time. Common reasons for replacement include: capsular contracture, rupture, infection, change in breast size, and pain—but not for toxicity.
To answer the perceived toxicity of Silicone by the general public—this is quite a different matter.
Breast implants have been around since the 1960s. About 15 years ago Connie Chung ran an exposé, Face to Face with Connie Chung, claiming silicone implants were responsible for different health problems. This led to lawsuits, a huge windfall for lawyers, and the subsequent ban on silicone implants for first-time breast augmentation patients went into effect. They were always available for breast reconstruction (e.g. after mastectomy) and replacement of existing silicone breasts. Also, please note that saline implants are still covered by a silicone envelope.
Soon after, a ban on silicone implant use became worldwide. This lasted for years until more than 100 clinical studies showed that breast implants aren’t related to cancer, lupus, scleroderma, other connective tissue diseases, or the host of other problems they were accused of causing.
June 1999, The Institute of Medicine released a 400-page report prepared by an independent committee of 13 scientists. They concluded that although silicone breast implants may be responsible for localized problems such as hardening or scarring of breast tissue, implants do not cause any major diseases such as depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, etc.
The Institute of Medicine is part of the National Academy of Sciences, the nation’s most prestigious scientific organization.
Eventually, a federal judge dismissed/rejected the lawsuits, declaring them junk science and ended for the most part the barrage of lawsuits. This led to the present reintroduction of silicone implants years ago and their approval by the FDA. Interestingly enough, most of the rest of the world reintroduced them many years prior to the United States.


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I understand your concerns and that should be the deciding factor as to whether to use silicone or saline or fat for that matter.  If you are going to worry about potential added risks with silicone, real or imagined, it doesn't to pay to go with them.

Dr. Corbin

Frederic H. Corbin, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 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.