What Are the Disadvantages and Advantages of Saline and Silicone Breast Implants?

I am seventeen and have mild tuberous breasts. I am looking into getting breast implants in the next few years and am researching on saline and silicone implants. I am wanting to know which one is better or healthier for my body if it should leak or rupture and which implant would look most natural. Thanks!

Doctor Answers 3

Saline vs silicone

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Both implants have the ability to achieve natural looking and feeling results, however silicone tends to mimic natural breast tissue better so it a more popular choice. There is a high risk of rippling with saline.

Unfortunately, the con with silicone is that ruptures are detected more slowly.

Saline Versus Silicone Breast Implants

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The only real advantage saline implants have is that they can be placed through a very small incision.  Silicone implants generally provide a much more normal feel.  Both look equally natural. Additionally, the new implants should last significantly longer as there is no risk of their deflating.  The new silicone breast implants are extremely safe.  Even if they get a hold in the shell, the silicone does not leak out as it is highly cohesive now.  In fact, the FDA has decided recommendation of frequent MRI examinations since it is now impossible to tell if there is a tear in the shell of one of the newer implants.  As far as age limits on use of silicone implants, this is what is approved by the FDA but is not an absolute requirement, as the physician doing the surgery can choose to use them off label.

Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands Plastic Surgeon

Breast Implants, Saline Versus Silicone

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At 17 if you are thinking of getting implants soon, you will only be able to get saline implants after you turn 18. The FDA requires women to be 22 years of age in order to have silicone implants. If you are prepared to wait until you are 22, then you do have that decision to make. Both implants are good, but realize that they are not lifetime devices and at some point you will most likely need a revision. After the FDA allowed silicone implants to be available again, they have become the most popular choice, with 80% of women choosing them over saline. The major reason is that silicone have a more natural feel. But women that have saline implants that have never had silicone to compare to are mostly very happy with their implants. Good luck.


Miguel Delgado, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 81 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.