Silicone or Saline? Is One Better Than The Other?

Is one better than the other? I am set on my decision to have a breast aug. However, I can not decide on which to go with, silicone or saline.

Doctor Answers 6

Saline versus silicone implants.

Deciding between saline and silicone implants is a critical part of the breast augmentation process. Many factors come into play, but this list should help you in making your decision:

  1. Silicone implants are softer and feel more "natural." This is particularly important when the implant will account for the majority of volume of the breast (ie. 400cc in a previously A cup breast).
  2. Silicone implants tend to "ripple" less than saline. Although rippling can occur with any implant if the soft tissue is thin enough, one major complaint of saline implants is their tendency to show visible rippling of the implant through the skin.
  3. Saline implants deflate when ruptured. This makes detecting a rupture quite easy. Silicone implant ruptures can be difficult to detect without the use of an MRI. The FDA recommends MRI evaluation of the integrity of silicone implants 3 years after placement, then every 2 years after that.
  4. Saline implants are less expensive than silicone implants.

For women undergoing smaller augmentations with plenty of native breast tissue, saline implants work very well. The bottom line is that the choice is up to you.

Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Is Saline or Silicone better...

Choosing Saline or Silicone implants is a very common question asked by patients.  Both types of implants are safe and each have their pros and cons.  Saline implants may be inserted through a smaller incision and generally cost less.  However, over time, a rippling effect may be seen, especially in thinner patients.  Silicone implants are filled with an FDA approved silicone gel, but because it is a thicker liquid, it causes a larger incision then saline.  The incision can usually be hidden nicely, however.  Silicone implants are more expensive than Saline, but they have a more natural feel to them, and avoid the rippling that can be seen with saline implants.  Be sure to consult with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon to discuss your options before scheduling surgery.

Shain A. Cuber, MD
Edison Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Saline Versus Silicone Implant

Hi Kandie,


You bring up a very difficult decision that faces any woman who chooses to have a breast augmentation.  The topic of saline versus silicone implants is a subject I always discuss thoroughly with my patients so that they can make an informed decison.


The basic difference in the two implant types is what material actually fills the implant.  Both implants are made with a similar 'shell' that is composed of a silicone based material.Saline implants are filled with a salt water solution that is very much like what we have in our own bodies.  Silicone gel implants are filled with a silicone material that is similar in consistency to Jell-O.  This allows the implant to feel very soft and the silicone material to maintain the breast shape better than does a saline implant.


The primary reason for choosing silicone over saline is that silicone implants feel more natural than saline implants and are much less likely to result in visible rippling that can be seen with saline implants.  Other issues to consider are the incision (which needs to be slightly longer when placing a silicone implant), the ability to identify an implant leak (with saline you will experience a 'flat tire' and the saline is easily absorbed whereas silicone leaks are very difficult to detect clinically and usually require an MRI), the cost (silicone implants are more expensive than saline) and your comfort level with the concept of silicone implants.


Aside from those mentioned above, there are additional considerations when making this decision that should be thoroughly reviewed with your surgeon to assist you in choosing the best implant for you.  Best wishes for a wonderful result!

Louis DeLuca, MD
Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Saline or Silicone - the choice is yours

It's not a matter of which one is better, but which one do YOU prefer.  Your plastic surgeon should be able to give you the pros and cons of each one.  For example, silicone has a much lower rate of rippling or wrinkling than saline, while saline can go in through a smaller incision and has a slightly lower capsule or hardening rate.  Some patients claim the saline implants "feel" heavier when they switched from saline to silicone.  In my practice I let the patient decide although my personal preference is silicone, I still do about 10-15% saline implants.  Remember, you must be over 22 to be a candidate for silicone according to the FDA.  Good luck with your decision

Dr. Schuster in Boca Raton

Steven Schuster, MD, FACS
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Silicone vs saline

All things being equal, always go with silicone. It is softer and, in my opinion, more natural. Go with silicone and don't look back.

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

Avoid slaine and avoid the submuscular position!

I would recommend staying away from saline.  Silicone will appear and feel much more natural especially when placed in a 'cold-subfascial plane.'  Avoid high profile saline as these generally age poorly and appear very unnatural.  

Rian A. Maercks, MD
Miami Physician
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 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.