Breast implants — silicone or saline?

Posted by Monarch Plastic Surgery

Sep 1, 2015 9:30:00 AM

what's the difference between silicone and saline breast implants?If you’re thinking about breast augmentation surgery, one of the most important decisions you’ll need to make involves the selection of the implant itself.

The type of implant you choose will be based on a number of factors, including your skin elasticity, original breast size, body type, personal preference, and lifestyle. Because there are so many options available today, you and your surgeon can work together to find the perfect implant for your needs.

You probably already know that implants are either made of silicone or saline. The latest statistics show that the majority of patients choose silicone; however, saline implants are still useful in a number of cases. Here’s a rundown of the similarities and  differences to help you get an idea of what you can expect with each:

  1. Silicone implants tend to have a more realistic and natural feel. Most patients report that the silicone gel feels more like natural breast tissue than the liquid inside saline implants. 
  2. Saline implants use a smaller incision because they are not pre-filled when the surgeon inserts them. The empty implant shell is inserted into the breast, and then it is filled after insertion.
  3. If a saline implant were to rupture, you would know immediately because the liquid would leak, causing your breast to decrease in size and shape almost immediately. Silicone implants, on the other hand, can develop a leak and you may not be aware of it for months or years. To detect leaks with silicone implants, most patients get MRI tests done every two years. Remember, you need to see your plastic surgeon for follow-up visits as recommended with both types of implants.
  4. Saline implants are more prone to “rippling,” so they are typically placed under the muscle to help mask any possible rippled appearance. A silicone implant has a decreased risk of rippling and it looks and feels more natural, it can be placed above or below the muscle, depending on your needs.
  5. Both silicone and saline implants are safe and FDA-approved.

You and your surgeon can discuss the pros and cons of each implant type to help you make a decision. There is no “right” choice, and you should choose the option that is best for you.

Are you interested in learning more about the types of implants used in breast augmentation? Discuss your options with the board certified plastic surgeons at Monarch Plastic Surgery, or call us today at (913) 663-3838 for our Leawood and Lansing offices, or at (816) 436-3262 for our North Kansas City location to learn more about your options for plastic surgery.

Topics: Plastic surgery, Breast augmentation, breast implants

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