This is a very common question from patients as they try to decide what implant would be best for them during their breast augmentation.
Deciding on what type of implant can be difficult. Patients always ask which implant is “better” – saline or silicone. The benefit is that in this day and age is that there are so many choices of implants that the augmentation can be tailored to each patient.
First of all, both implants are safe a will give you a good result. However, silicone implants tend to give patients a much softer and more natural appearing breast. In patients that are very thin, I tend to recommend silicone implants as they are at risk of feeling more of the implant since they don’t have much breast tissue to cover the implant. Patients that are very thin tend to see more rippling with saline implants than with silicone implants.
Saline implants are still good implants, but will always be a little firmer and put you at more risk of rippling. Around the country, saline implants are being used less and less as more people are choosing silicone implants. The benefit of a saline implant is that if it deflates or gets a leak, you will notice the difference as one breast will be smaller than the other. Since the implant is filled with saline (salt water), your body will absorb the saline without any problems.
Silicone implants have become very popular since they were introduced on the market in 2006. The increase in popularity is because the silicone implants tend to feel and look more natural. Silicone implants also tend to have less rippling then saline implants. Recently, the highly cohesive gel implants were introduced, which have been called gummy bear implants in the media. These highly cohesive gel implants have a silicone that stays together, and are not as liquid as the previous generations of silicone implants.
Saline implants have been around for years and patients also tend to be very happy with them. They just are a little firmer and in larger sizes can give patients more of a round fake appearance. In very thin patients, the edges of the saline implant are usually a little more palpable than with a silicone implant.
Most patients are extremely happy with whichever implant they choose for their breast augmentation.
It is important to see your board certified plastic surgeon to help guide you to an implant that will give you an aesthetically pleasing breast. You should talk to your plastic surgeon about the pros and cons of the two different types of implants.
Patients have a wide range of options in terms of breasts implants which means the surgery can be tailored to each individual person, however all of these choices can be overwhelming at times. The type of implant that you use for your augmentation has a large role in the final results of your breast augmentation.
One, the use of silicone implants has made a dramatic change in terms of a natural feel and shape. The silicone implants compared to saline implants are much softer and give patients a more natural appearance. With a silicone implant a patient would have to place a much bigger implant to have a very round “fake” appearance. This is because the saline implants are very firm and thus create a round unnatural shape. The silicone implants because of how soft they are tend to give subtle and natural appearance.
There is also a wide range of silicone implants in terms of various profiles (projection) of the implant. This selection of various profiles for your silicone breast implant give patients the ability to control the desired result from your breast augmentation. It also allows your surgeon to choose the implant that will best fit your body.
The other benefit of silicone implants over saline is the decreased appearance of rippling from your implants. Patients that are very thin are at risk for rippling, the use of silicone implants can help decrease this visible rippling as the new silicone implants have a cohesive gel that is much less likely to ripple.
Saline breast implants have the benefit that it is filled with saline (salt water) and thus if your implant was ever to leak your body would just absorb the saline. Saline implants also give your surgeon a little more flexibility in terms of sizes as the implant is filled at the time of surgery.
Silicone breast implants have become the most common breast implant in the U.S. and in my personal practice. I typically recommend silicone breast implant, as they tend to be softer, have a more natural appearance and feel and have less issues over the long-term.
Please discuss your breast augmentation surgery with your board certified plastic surgeon and let them help guide you during the process.