Saline Implants vs. Silicone Implants
Which is the best implant for you?
Let’s make it Simple…
In 2011 Breast Augmentation was the most common plastic surgical procedure for woman. Most patients come to my office asking which implant is better, Saline or Silicone.
The short answer is that they are both good implants. However, depending on your skin, age, amount of natural breast tissue, and personal desires, there is a specific implant that is right for you.
Let’s start with the facts.
1. Implant Material: Saline implants are filled with salt water. Silicone implants are filled with a cohesive silicone gel.
2. Implant Feel: Silicone implants feel more natural than saline implants.
3. Visible Rippling: Silicone Implants have a lower incidence of rippling
4. Rupture Rate: Rupture rates are somewhat higher in saline implants; however, implant replacement surgery is significantly easier for saline implants than silicone implants.
5. Monitoring for implant rupture: When saline implants leak, they deflate over days and it is easy to detect. In contrast, it is difficult to detect if a Silicone Implant has leaked. For this reason, the FDA recommends monitoring for leakage by getting a MRI three years after implantation and then every two years thereafter. If a leak is detected by MRI and the patient has no symptoms, it unclear whether the implant needs to be removed. The FDA recommends removal; however, it is the patient’s choice.
6. Incision/Scar: Saline Implants can be put in through smaller incisions; however, with newer techniques, Silicone Implants can be put through similar size incisions.
7. Cost: Silicone Implants are more expensive
8. Age: FDA guidelines allow Saline Implants to be used in woman at least 18 years old. In contrast, patients who desire Silicone Implants must be at least 22 years old.
1. A woman with thin skin is at higher risk for rippling and therefore a silicone implant would minimize that risk
2. Patients who are most concerned about possible leak and complications of implant exchange should opt for Saline Implants.
3. If you have significant native breast tissue, then either saline or silicone implants would both be appropriate.
4. A patient concerned about a natural feel should choose silicone implants
The final decision is the patient’s preference. Reviewing and discussing the above facts with your Plastic Surgeon will help you make the best decision for you.
Dr. Lawrence S. Glassman