Saline vs. Silicone Breast Implants: A Comprehensive Guide on How To Choose

Saline versus silicone implants. It’s one of the most commonly searched questions when it comes to breast implants. If you’re wondering what the difference between saline and silicone implants is, it’s a good idea to explore the benefits of both types of implants so you can feel confident in deciding which is right for you.

Dr. Cat has developed a special breast augmentation technique to achieve a natural look with minimal discomfort and a fast recovery time. She has spent decades perfecting her craft to give women full, youthful breasts that will complement their body type. Having had her own experience with breast augmentation, Dr. Cat pays special attention to the needs of each patient, providing all the information and resources they need (including getting a hands-on experience with each type of implant) so they can decide on the right option.

With Dr. Cat, you can be sure that your voice will be heard and you’ll be given all the time and resources you need to make the decision between silicone implants and saline implants. As you’ll learn, by comparing the two types below, there are benefits to each which are worth exploring.

Silicone Breast Implants

breast implants before and after

Silicone breast implants are a popular implant option because they feel similar to natural breast tissue. Silicone is commonly used in medical implants and devices for its inert properties. It is a polymer that is gel-like in the silicone breast implant. Some silicone implants use cohesive silicone gel (sometimes called “gummy bear” implants because if you cut them in half they look like the inside of a gummy candy) which is firmer but can hold its shape better.

Pros of Silicone Breast Implants

  • Silicone breast implants are one of the most popular breast implant types because of their soft, natural look and feel.
  • Silicone can help provide volume for small breasts and is ideal when looking for maximum size change.
  • Rippling effects are not as common with silicone breast implants vs. saline.
  • Silicone implants are often more naturally shaped and available in tear-drop shapes which naturally mimic the look of breast tissue.

Cons of Silicone Breast Implants

  • The biggest concern when it comes to silicone breast implants is implant rupture and gel leakage. While this may be undesirable and result in discomfort or a change in the breast shape, it has not been shown to be linked to breast cancer, nor has it been shown to affect the reproductive organs.
  • Cohesive gel silicone implants are often textured on the outside. This can minimize the risk of capsular contracture from occurring (when the scar tissue capsule that naturally occurs during healing unexpectedly constricts around the implant). However, there is also a slightly increased risk of a rare lymphoma from textured implants. Known as BIA-ALCL, this condition is extremely treatable with the removal of the implant and associated tumor.
  • Because silicone gel implants are pre-filled, a larger incision (typically in the fold under the breast) will be needed to insert the implants. However, Dr. Cat is extremely meticulous and always makes sure to use the smallest incision possible with techniques that minimize scarring.

Saline Breast Implants

saline breast implants

Saline breast implants use a silicone shell that is filled, after placement within the breast, with sterile salt water.

Pros of Saline Breast Implants

  • This water in saline breast implants is completely safe for the body to absorb should a rupture occur. Although the breast would look deflated and require revision surgery, there is no medical risk of the contents leaking.
  • Saline implants do not come pre-filled. Instead, they are filled with salt water once inside the body. This allows for a much smaller incision to be made (oftentimes around the areola) which can be easier to disguise.

Cons of Saline Breast Implants

  • Saline implants can feel less natural and firmer than silicone.
  • Since they are filled with water, the shape of saline implants is often more round. Because of this, to achieve a natural look, saline is best suited to patients who have enough breast tissue to conceal this shape.
  • Saline implants may have a shorter lifespan than silicone implants.

Which is safer, saline or silicone breast implants?

Which is safer: saline or silicon breast implants?

It’s important to remember that both saline and silicone breast implants have gone through rigorous testing and study to both be approved by the FDA. Both saline and silicone breast implants are safe and hundreds of thousands of patients receive both types each year. Although there are some health concerns with certain types of silicone breast implants, these issues are very rare occurrences. When comparing the difference between saline and silicone implants, it’s best to take a comprehensive approach that factors in your body’s needs, your goals, and lifestyle.

As Dr. Cat explains, “We have silicone exposure every day, such as in our cooking spray, deodorant, and food containers. The amount you are exposed to from implants Is much less than everyday exposure. Studies measured silicone in breast milk and found it to have less silicone than baby formula and even less than cow’s milk.”

Saline Implants Cost vs Silicone Implant Cost

Pricing for silicone and saline Implants is actually quite similar. Silicone tends to cost a bit more than saline because of the filler material (since saline is filled with just sterile salt water). However, the cost differential is small, so this probably shouldn’t be a factor when choosing the appropriate implant for your needs.

Choose the Beast Implant Right for You with a Beverly Hills Breast Augmentation Expert

As you can see there are benefits to each type of implant. If you are comparing silicone versus saline implants, you can feel comfortable discussing any of your questions with Dr. Cat’s team before making a decision. Dr. Cat provides extremely thorough and in-depth breast augmentation consultations so that patients can make informed decisions. She enjoys sharing information on implant options because breast implants are not one-size-fits-all. Patient preference, lifestyle, and anatomy all factor into the type of implant that is best. Reach out to Dr. Cat’s team to learn more and find the implant that is right for you.