When Getting a Breast Lift, Should You Use Saline or Silicone if You Are Desiring a Natural Look?

I was told I need a lollipop lift and I am interested in getting an implant to replace volume--nothing too big. I want a natural look. Should I go for a saline or silicone implant? Does it matter? I understand the silicone implant requires a larger scar, which I am trying to avoid unnecessary scarring. Thank you!

Doctor Answers 12

Saline vs Silicone and a Lift

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If you need a breast lift and will use an implant as well, either implant choice may work, depending on your breast tissue.  If you have thin skin pinch thickness and want the most natural feeling breasts, a silicone implant may be the best option since these will reduce the incidence of rippling and palpability of the implant.  The benefits of saline in a woman with thick skin pinch thickness are that you can adjust the volume between the breast if there is preoperative asymmetry.  The scar lenght is not an issue since you will already have a periareolar scar and vertical scar as part of the lift. 

Saline or Silicone Breast Implants for “Natural” Look?

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Thank you for the question.

 It is possible to achieve “natural” looking breasts with either type of breast implants. You will find that, since you are undergoing breast lifting surgery,  that either type of breast implant can be inserted through the breast lift incision.

Having said that, the type of implant used may effect 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. Each patient differs in the amount of breast tissue that they have.  If a patient has enough breast tissue to cover the implant, the final result will be similar when comparing saline implants versus silicone gel implants.  If a patient has very low body fat and/or very little breast tissue, the silicone gel implants may provide a more "natural" result.
On the other hand, saline implants have some advantages over silicone implants. Silicone implant ruptures are harder to detect. When saline implants rupture, they deflate and the results are seen almost immediately. When silicone implants rupture, the breast often looks and feels the same because the silicone gel may leak into surrounding areas of the breast without a visible difference.  Patients may need an MRI to diagnose a silicone gel rupture.   Saline implants are also less expensive than the silicone gel implants.

I would suggest in-person consultation with well experienced board certified plastic surgeons for   precise advice.  Make sure you see lots of examples of his/her work and communicate your goals clearly.

Best wishes

Saline Vs Silicone with Lift

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Breast implants come in a variety of shapes, sizes, firmness and profiles in order to offer a custom-fit and natural-looking physique. It is also important to consider the substance and texture of an implant. The surface of round implants can be smooth or textured whereas shape implants are all textured to maintain their alignment. In particular, those implants approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are filled with silicone or saline. All implants at this time use cohesive silicone gel meaning that the gel maintains its shape like “gummy bear” candy or jello with more anti-leak properties unlike the gel prior to 2006 which was more like honey or molasses in consistency. These materials impact the feel and look of a breast implant, and thus are an important consideration in determining the desired appearance of your breasts.
For example, silicone is most popular world-wide as their feel and appearance most closely mimics the desired breast feel with less rippling. Standard saline implants have a higher rate of becoming hard (capsular contracture) and tend to exhibit more waviness or rippling if there is less breast or fat covering the implant. A newer breast FDA approved saline implant, IDEAL Implant^®^, is a double lumen “hybrid” implant that has the feel close to silicone, less risk of capsular contracture, and the peace of mind of saline; that is, if there is a leak, you can tell, just by looking in the mirror rather than requiring a MRI.

Implant type doesn't really matter when it comes to appearances

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For most patients undergoing an augmentation mastopexy, implant type doesn't really matter all that much when it comes to the appearance.  Certainly, silicone gel implants feel more natural, often have less rippling and wrinkling.  Scars are are identical regardless of implant type when it comes to breast lifts.

Kelly Gallego, MD, FACS
Yuba City Plastic Surgeon

Breast lift and implants

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Silicone and saline implants are both safe to use.  It is really a personal choice that you can discuss with your surgeon.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Salin or silicone for natural breast lift/augmentaion?

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We all are in constant pursuit of perfection. Because of that,

I never do a lift and augmentation together. Each operation interfers with the good healing of the other. You can have either the lift ($2800-$5560) first or the augmentaion ($4400) first and the other 3 months later. Occassionaly all the lift that's needed is a nipple lift ($1400) and I do that at the same time as the augmentation. The surgeon needs to know exactly the size and shape you desire. I find that PlayBoy pictures communicate that better than words or numbers.  Many times the weight of an augmentation will cause a little unanticipated sag which can only be corrected for with a staged procedure. Surgeons that have a high operating room & anesthesia cost will opt for the combined procedure inspite of the additional risks. We have kept control of the overhead for 35 years and our operating room/anesthesia costs are $2-$3,000 dollars per case less than the usual and we pass those savings on to our patients. Lawrence Foster MD

Lawrence Foster, MD (retired)
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon

Breast lift with saline or silicone implants

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The most significant difference between saline and silicone filled implant is their "feel", with the silicone implant being softer and therefore more natural.

Since the implants are being used at the same time as the breast lift, the scar size will not be affected by the type of implant used.


Mario Diana, MD
Plano Plastic Surgeon

Saline vs silicone debate is well-described

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There has already been much discussion regarding the differences between a saline vs. a silicone implant over the years.  It is well known that the most natural feel and look is delivered with a silicone implant.  Both types of implant can be inserted through a lollipop lift type of incision.  You would need a slightly longer scar to insert a silicone implant if you were simply having a breast augmentation.  However, the lollipop scar will provide ample opening to insert a silicone implant. The decision comes down to a personal one.

Andre Panossian, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Natural Look

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The size and style of the implant is probably more of an issue than silicone vs saline. However silicone implants will give amoe natural feel to your breasts.

William Loutfy, MD
Albuquerque Plastic Surgeon

Breast lift

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If you desire a breast lift and like your present size, you will not need a breast implant. If you will like a larger size breast than what you have now, an implant will be needed. A breast lift done with a vertical or "lollipop" scar, can lift the breast tissue and make a very natural looking breast. The memory gel or new silicone implants will always give you the must natural looking breast with the most natural feel to them. Luis Vinas MD, West Palm Beach, Fl.

Luis A. Vinas, MD
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 30 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.