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Silicone vs. Saline Breast Implants

Women over the age of 22 now have the option of silicone breast implants in addition to saline implants; which were the standard for breast augmentation procedures for more than a decade. The decision to choose one type of implant over the other typically depends on numerous factors, including patient goals. Women considering breast augmentation, reconstruction, or revision surgery should always weigh the risks and benefits of silicone vs. saline breast implants with a board certified plastic surgeon.

If you are thinking about cosmetic or reconstructive breast surgery, please contact us today for a consultation with an experienced board certified plastic surgeon who can help you determine the right implant for you.

Silicone vs. Saline: Advantages & Disadvantages

Both silicone and saline breast implants are FDA approved medical devices available for use in cosmetic breast enhancement surgery as well as for revision and reconstruction procedures. Depending on personal preference and results desired, silicone and saline implants are both available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and textures . While the outer shell of both types of implants is composed of a solid silicone substance, saline implants are filled with a salt-water solution and silicone implants are filled with a silicone gel.

Some surgeons and women prefer silicone breast implants over saline-filled implants because they tend to look and feel more like a woman's natural breast. However, when a silicone breast implant ruptures, the leak is often difficult to detect. The silicone gel may seep into the surrounding breast tissue, resulting in little or no visible difference. For this reason, some women and doctors prefer saline implants.

When a saline breast implant ruptures, the leak is evident almost immediately because the implant deflates as salt-water is absorbed by the body. Another advantage of saline breast implants is their ability to be altered in size after surgery. A plastic surgeon can add or remove saline through a small valve in the implant if the patient decides she wants to increase or decrease her breast size.

Breast Implant Risks & Benefits

Silicone and saline breast implants carry virtually the same risks, including capsular contracture (the formation of scar tissue around the implant), infection, nerve damage, and rupture or leakage.

Both types of implants also offer significant benefits as well, including:

  • Improved self-esteem
  • More flattering contour
  • Correction of asymmetry or congenital deformities
Contact A Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Near You

To learn more about which breast implant type, saline or silicone, is appropriate for you, please contact us today for a consultation with a qualified board certified plastic surgeon near you.