My biggest concern is the feel of the implant. In regard to Saline vs Silicone, which one feels more soft and natural?

I am a 24 B with a smaller chest and narrow shoulders at 5'2". I'm fairly petite. I would like to have a full D cup. My fiance has been with women before me who had implants and he didn't like them because he said it just felt like a bag and harder/unnatural. I want larger breasts but I also want to avoid that issue.

Doctor Answers 19

Silicone or saline for natural results?

Silicone implants do provide a more natural look and feel than saline implants. A few things could cause the hard or unnatural look and feel that your fiancé has experienced. Capsular contracture, or hardening of the capsule around the implant, could make the breast feel and appear harder and unnatural. With modern techniques and preventative measures, the risk of capsular contracture is quite a bit lower than it was in the past. Saline implants can also be the culprit. If they are not over-filled, they can feel like a water bag with visible and palpable rippling. If they are over-filled, they can feel tighter and harder. A silicone implant placed in the submuscular position is the most likely way to avoid the issues that concern you and your fiancé. Good luck!

Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Breast augmentation

Thank you for your question.

I have lectured on the subject nationally and internationally . I have many patients , both saline and silicone, who's husbands or boyfriends do not know that they have breast implants

. A hard breast is called a capsular contracture (aka cap con) the 2main causes are intraopereratve bleeding and having a low concentration of bacteria on the implant. (There are other ttheories on this controversial subject). I developed the bloodless breast enlargement utilizing the Halpern lighted retractor that I invented . In addition I have been told by other  Plastic surgeons , who have watched me operate, that  I'm one of the most meticulous  surgeons performing Brest enlargement surgery. You can view live surgery on my Facebook .

For more information please view the accompanying video. We do offer free consultations. Our number is (813) 872-2696.

Joshua Halpern, MD, PA
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 61 reviews


Silicone tend to feel softer, but most implants are palpable in the lower pole due to a lack of soft tissue coverage.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

The feel

Thanks for the question. Unquestionably cohesive gel implants have a more natural feel than their saline counterparts. Placement under the muscle also offers advantages that result in a more natural result.  Please see a BCPS for your care. 

Good luck


Carlos Burnett, MD, FACS
Westfield Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Silicone vs Saline

On average, the silicone gel implants feel more natural than the saline implants.  When done correctly, your breasts should feel just like a regular breast - soft and acting natural.  I hope this helps.

Christopher V. Pelletiere, MD
Barrington Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 73 reviews

My biggest concern is the feel of the implant. In regard to Saline vs Silicone, which one feels more soft and natural?

No question silicone implants are superior to saline implants in both look and feel.

Silicone implants are softer and feel much more natural. Furthermore there is a significantly lower degree of rippling when compared to saline implants.

Placing the implants under the muscle will further improve the feel of the implants because you will feel your own tissue covering the implant. This is as opposed to an implant over the muscle which will not nearly feel as natural.

Ask your prospective surgeon to show you the two implants so you can see for yourself.

Hope this helps and I wish you the best with your surgery!

G. Peter Fakhre, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

In regard to Saline vs Silicone, which one feels more soft and natural?

  • Good questions. You will find that the answers to these questions are best obtained during the consultation process.
  • Generally speaking, much of the final look and feel achieved after breast augmentation surgery depends on several factors:
  • 1. The initial shape, size (volume of breast tissue), symmetry of the patient's breasts. In general, the better the preoperative breast appearance the more likely the breast augmentation “look” will be optimal.
  • 2. The experience/skill level of the surgeon is important in determining the final outcome. For example, the accurate and gentle dissection of the breast implant pockets are critical in producing long-term well-placed breast implants. Careful measurements (dimensional planning) and careful selection of breast implant size/profile are part of the surgeon's responsibilities.
  • I personally think that these 2 factors are more important than any others, including type (saline or silicone) or model (low/moderate/high profile) of implant.
  • 3. The type of implant used may determine the final outcome, especially if the patient does not have significant covering breast or adipose tissue. For example, some surgeons feel that silicone implants have a more natural look and feel than saline implants because silicone gel has a texture that is similar to breast tissue. In other words, if a patient has very low body fat and/or very little breast tissue, the silicone gel implants may provide a more "natural" result.
  • 4. The size and model of breast implant used may make a significant difference in the final outcome. Therefore, it is very important to communicate your size goals with your surgeon. In my practice, the use of photographs of “goal” pictures (and breasts that are too big or too small) is very helpful. I have found that the use of words such as “natural” or “full D cup” etc.
  • Also, as you know, cup size varies depending on who makes the bra; therefore, discussing desired cup size may also be inaccurate.
  • I hope this, and the attached link (dedicated to breast augmentation concerns), helps. Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

Talk with your surgeon about your goals.

I have no way of knowing what experiences have based your fiancé’s opinion, but you should make sure you’re focusing on your own personal goals with breast augmentation. When consulting with your plastic surgeon, clearly communicate what you want and don’t let anyone else influence your decisions. If you want to avoid getting results that feel or look obviously fake, focus on choosing a modest sized implant and talk with your surgeon about whether saline or silicone is your best option. You might ask your plastic surgeon about the IDEAL IMPLANT®, which is a saline implant that delivers incredibly natural-feeling results.

Alexander G. Nein, MD, MS, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Silicone vs. Saline

Silicone implants are generally softer and more natural looking than saline implants. Moreover, the positioning of your implant i.e. under the muscle vs. over the muscle can also have an impact on how your implants look and feel. Whichever option you choose, it’s best to speak with your surgeon, first. Together, you’ll be able to choose an option that best suits your body and your lifestyle.

Frank Lista, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 111 reviews

Silicone vs. Saline Breast Implants

Both saline and silicone implants are FDA approved for cosmetic breast augmentation in the United States. Clinical trials demonstrate similar infection, failure and re-operation rates. Neither type of implant causes breast cancer. Despite lawsuits, and internet horror stories, medical studies do not link silicone implants to autoimmune disease like lupus, scleroderma or rheumatoid arthritis.
The major difference between saline and silicone implants is how the implants look and feel. In general silicone implants are softer, lighter and will feel more "natural." Saline implants are firmer, rounder and gives a more augmented or fake look. These can be positives or negatives depending upon your goals. The main downside to saline is increased scalloping and rippling, meaning a higher likelihood of seeing (visibility) or feeling (palpability) the implant in thin patients. The only two things that control implant visibility and palpability are the device itself and the amount, and quality, of tissue above the implant hiding it. Therefore, the type of implant selected plays a large role in your result in terms of both look and feel. The vast majority of my patients select silicone implants.
Interestingly, when we refer to silicone or saline, we are talking about the inner fill material. Both saline and silicone implants have the same silicone shell, so the body is exposed to the exact same material for the majority of woman who never experience a failure. Only if the shell was to fail would the breast pocket and capsule be exposed to the fill material. Saline is absorbed and urinated out, silicone gel remains inert, and except in extraordinary cases, stays within the breast pocket.
One factor that should not be considered when considering the difference between saline and silicone breast implants is price. A few hundred dollars is a small difference upfront, for a device you may have for decades. Additionally, both implants carry a lifetime warranty against device failure, but the silicone implant includes a 10-year warranty to help pay some of the surgery fees (up to $3500) should the device fail. To put it simply, both have a lifetime “parts” warranty and silicone includes a 10 year “labor” warranty while that “labor” portion of the warranty is an additional $200 for saline, thereby negating most of the price savings.

Evan Feldman, MD, FACS
Texas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 86 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.