Do doctors always recommend silicone?

I have 2 consultations this week and the first was yesterday. I walked in wanting saline implants but the doctor recommended silicone and said he almost always does. I'm 5'0 and 108 lbs so perhaps that plays into it? I did like the feel of Silicone way more but it has me a little nervous - it seems less safe and I'm also not looking forward to the hassle & expense of MRIs every 3 years. Is this fairly standard for most to recommend silicone?

Doctor Answers 17


I can't speak for most other surgeons but I can say what I generally recommend.  First, know that saline implants are very safe and offer great results in shape and size and you'd likely not be disappointed by the outcome.  I do, in my practice, recommend silicone because I think they offer advantages in shape, softness, natural feel, and less change of visible rippling.  I would guess a great majority of surgeons recommend silicone as well for those reasons.  As far as the breast MRIs...that is unique to silicone implants as an FDA recommendation.  But realize the choice is yours.  If you follow the recommendation it could be a hassle and extra expense.  In my practice I have rarely had a patient report that they routinely had their MRI as recommended.  Regardless, I would still highly recommend silicone for it's advantages!  Best wishes!!

Overland Park Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Saline vs. Silicone

I tend to recommend silicone because they feel more like breast tissue and have less rippling which may be a factor if you have thin tissues covering the implant.  Something you may want to consider is a new implant called  "ideal implant".  It is a structured saline implant so it feels very similar to silicone but is filled with saline.  It was designed by plastic surgeons for patients exactly like you-those who like the feel of silicone but feel more comfortable with saline.  You may want to find a surgeon in your area that offers ideal implant.  Best wishes!

Maida Parkins, MD
Milwaukee Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Do doctors always recommend silicone?

No, all doctors do not recommend silicone gel implants. In fact, I prefer saline as they are less expensive, smaller incisions to place, no need for additional expense of a Keller funnel to place, size may be adjusted without having to purchase new implants, if you get a leak you know it before capsular contracture occurs which requires a much larger surgery to correct and you don't need MRIs to check for leaks. The difference in the feel of the implants once they are placed under the muscle is negligible. Good luck and keep searching if you do not feel comfortable with the choices presented.   

Brian J. Lee, MD
Fort Wayne Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Saline vs Silicone Breast Implants

No. Doctors don't always recommend silicone gel filled breast implants. My policy is to explain the differences, the pros and cons between the two types of implants, and then let patients decide. If you want saline-filled implants, you can have saline filled implants, and my experience is they do work great in the right patient. Don't feel pressured one way or the other. My advice to you is to learn all the facts about the different types of implants from a board certified plastic surgeon. Once you have all the information, you can decide, and you and your surgeon should both be comfortable with your choice prior to proceeding to the operating room.

Salem Samra, MD
Middletown Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

#siliconeimplant #safety #MRI

The FDA and Institute of Medicine has agreed that there is no systemic toxicity to gel implants. I will tell you that there is no concern for systemic safety.
When the FDA made a recommendation that you get an MRI can after 3 years and then every 2 years after. No one is mandating this and not doing this will not negate your warranty. There are studies that show this is not a necessary or cost effective way of monitoring implants.
The reason that silicone gel is being used almost exclusively is that they are a superior implant. They have less issues with visibility and wrinkling, they feel more natural, they drape more naturally, they weight less and in the majority of patients - especially patients with minimal breast tissue - will give a superior result.
The only advantage  I see to saline implants is that they are less expensive, and for some patients that have minor volume discrepancies, you can do a asymmetrical volume fill.

Jack Peterson, MD
Topeka Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

#MRI after #breast implants #silicone vs saline

After approval of silicone implants in the US, the FDA recommendation of MRI at year 3 and then every two years, is just that, a recommendation. Any ethical surgeon needs to make this and other facts, clear to the patients.The decision of what type of implants are used, is a patients decision, the doctor is supposed to give the patient information in regards to the pros and cons of all the types of implants, so the patient can make an informed decision. Since approval of silicone implants, they are becoming the most popular implants used in the US.Ruptures of silicone implants can only be detected by radiological studies, the MRI is the most sensitive and specific in detecting this problem, ultrasound and mammography have less sensitivity, but still effective. The incidence of ruptures is less than 5%.Be sure to elect a plastic surgeon member of the ASAPS

Victor M. Perez, MD, FACS
Kansas City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Do doctors always recommend silicone?

The choice of saline versus silicone implants is always up to the patient. Having said that, saline implants in a thin woman with little breast tissue have a very high likelihood of palpability and rippling that can be felt and even seen through the skin. Silicone implants generally provide a softer, more natural feeling breast and have much less wrinkling. While the FDA recommends that women get MRI's every other year after year three, many women don't do this because of the excess costs involved. The FDA's rationale for wanting MRI data is to assess the incidence of implant rupture over time.Silicone implants are perfectly safe to use and have a lower leak rate than saline. If you are having no problems with your silicone implants, I typically recommend that you change them every 15 to 20 years.

Breast Augmentation

There are advantages and disadvantages for silicone and saline. You should educate yourself as to the facts surrounding each type of implant .Most surgeons do not recommend an MRI every three years.

Do Plastic Surgeons always recommend Silicone Breast Implants?

There has definitely been a shift in emphasis to silicone implants by most Plastic Surgeons! Plastic Surgeons recommend silicone implants because they are softer and have a more natural shape than saline implants. That being said saline implants are still a great option for some patients. The problem with saline implants is that they are firm and round, so the more breast tissue you have to cover the implants the less likely the implants are to affect the breast softness and shape. A patient with a full B cup who wants to be a natural C cup can be a candidate for saline implants as the smaller size of the implant and the volume of the breast tissue she has can result in a very soft and natural looking breast. Each patient is unique with individual goals in terms of their appearance. Your Plastic Surgeon will listen to your goals, examine you, and review all your options to give you choices to fit your goals.

Douglas Leppink, MD
Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Not always silicone

tToday we are performing several saline breast augmentations in Beverly Hills practice. The type of implant depends upon the patients desires of appearance and softness. 

Stuart A. Linder, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 40 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.