Saline vs. Silicone- Which Breast Implant is Right for Me?

Which breast implant is right for you? Both saline and silicone are excellent choices and can be used to enhance and supplement your natural shape. Whether you want a little boost, need a lift after childbirth and breast feeding or want to reconstruct your breasts after surgery, the best type of implant for you will depend on what results you hope to see. Saline or silicone? The choice is often one of the difficult decisions you’ll have to make when getting breast implants.

Before making your final choice, talk with your surgeon. They can provide valuable insight into how implant might perform for you.

Saline Breast Implants

Saline breast implants have many benefits. One of the first is the lower cost of the implants. Saline implants typically cost about $900 less (per pair) than round silicone implants and about $1200 less than the shaped implants.

Saline implants are filled with saline, a natural and completely harmless solution to the body. Should a saline implant burst it is very easy to tell (the breast develops a flat tire look) and the body will absorb the saline (you will need surgery however to remove the implant shell and replace the implant).  Replacement surgery is typically easier with saline than silicone; saline implants can often be replaced under only local anesthesia for lower cost and quicker healing. Since saline implants are filled once inside of the breast, they can often be inserted with a smaller incision (which means a smaller, less visible scar).

There are a few downsides to this choice. Saline implants ripple more frequently than silicone implants, especially if they are underfilled. Saline implants do have a unique look and feel in some patients; in others even a trained surgeon can’t tell the difference by feel.

We consider saline implants to be a “lower maintenance” option since it is easier to spot a rupture and easier to replace an implant should rupture occur. These implants are available to women of all ages considering breast augmentation.

Silicone Breast Implants

Many women worry that silicone breast implants are not as safe as saline implants. Over the past couple of decades the FDA has extensively tested silicone implants and has found the implants to be safe and effective. Silicone implants are available to women age 22 and up.

Silicone implants tend to have a more natural feel than saline implants because their consistency is closer to that of normal breast tIssue.  Here at The Plastic Surgery Center of Nashville we offer both round and shaped silicone implants. We also offer the highly cohesive gel implants (also known as gummy bear implants).

While they do have many advantages, there are a few potential drawbacks to this popular implant choice. They are $900-$1200 more per pair than saline. Also, it is harder to tell when a silicone implant bursts. Usually special medical imaging (like an MRI or ultrasound) is required. Since the implant is inserted full size, scars are typically larger. Cohesive gel implants have the added risk of non-adhereance which can cause shifting and distortion.  Just imagine that tear drop shaped implant rotating side ways and you get the picture!   Should your implant rupture you would need surgery with general anesthesia as the thin layers of scar tissue surrounding the implant would need to be removed.

Which Implants Are Right for You?

Many factors combine into choosing the right implant for your breast augmentation. Come in and talk with one of our skilled, female surgeons and we’ll help you decide. We have a general algorithm that we can use to determine which type of implant will give you the best results; every body is different and we want yours to look great! Saline vs. silicone? Both are great options… which one will you choose?