Saline vs. Silicone Breast Implants: What are the Differences?

Breast Augmentation in Miami

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If you’re considering breast implants, you may be wondering if saline or silicone is the better option. Both saline and silicone implants have their unique benefits, so it can be challenging to decide which implant is right for you.

This article will discuss the key differences between saline and silicone breast implants, including how they feel and look, what happens if they rupture, and how long they last.

Using this information, you’ll be better equipped to make an informed decision with the help of your plastic surgeon about which type of implant is best for you.

Dr. Ricardo Castrellon Miami – Saline vs Silicone Breast Implants
Silicone Breast Implants (left) compared to Saline Breast Implant (top right)

What are the Differences Between Silicone and Saline Implants?

Saline breast implants contain a sterile salt water solution. The implants are empty when placed and then filled with saline once they’re in position. To protect the implant from damage and to reduce rippling, saline implants are placed below the chest muscle.

Silicone breast implants are pre-filled with thick silicone gel to achieve the desired shape, size, and firmness. They can be placed above or below the chest muscle.

Saline vs. Silicone: How Do They feel? 

Silicone implants will feel more natural because they closely resemble the sensation of actual breast tissue. They are softer to the touch and tend to move more like natural breasts.

Saline implants are much firmer to prevent the rippling of the implant. They’re often compared to the feeling of a full water balloon; however, some women do prefer this feeling.

Saline vs. Silicone: How Do They Look?

Silicone breast implants will often look more natural. Since they closely resemble human fat, they’re able to mimic the hang, curvature, and fullness of a natural breast.

Saline implants need to be slightly overfilled to prevent rippling and achieve the desired shape and size. This gives them a much firmer, rounder, and fuller look that tends to look more artificial.

What Happens if a Saline Implant Ruptures?

If a saline implant ruptures, the solution that leaks will be safely absorbed by the body. You will likely experience a sudden decrease in breast size, as well as some tenderness in the breast area.

In most cases, a saline implant rupture is not harmful to your health and will not lead to any long-term health complications. You will, however, require surgery to remove the silicone shell and have the implant replaced.

What Happens if a Silicone Implant Ruptures?

If a silicone implant ruptures, the gel won’t leak throughout the body. Instead, it will remain trapped within the tissue that forms around the implant and will likely go unnoticed for some time.

In the following weeks, you should be able to identify the signs of a rupture. You may begin to notice some swelling, tenderness, and pain in the breast area, as well as changes in the shape or size of your breast. You will require surgery to remove the silicone and have the implant replaced.

Which Breast Implant is Right for Me?

You and your plastic surgeon will ultimately decide the best option together. Consider your desired look and feel, as well as your overall health, lifestyle, and budget when making your decision.

Dr. Ricardo Castrellón is a double board-certified plastic surgeon in Miami, Florida. He will work with you to help you choose the best type of breast implant for your individual needs. Schedule a complimentary consultation today to get started.


Note: Photos feature models and imagery for illustration purposes, not actual patients.


Frequently Ask Questions

Saline implants are usually firmer, fuller, and rounder then silicone, so they may look and feel less natural. However, customizing the size and placement can ensure a more natural-looking implant.

It is possible that in the short term (first several months), saline implants may appear larger than silicone implants. Any volume discrepancy in appearance should disappear after several months, since the volumes are the same.

It’s worth noting that both saline and silicone implants have a different feel once placed. Most women find silicone implants to feel more natural since they are soft to touch. Saline implants are firmer and are considered safer in the event of a rapture.

A University of Alberta study found that one in four breast implantation patients are at risk of developing autoimmune diseases. Women with implants were 45% more likely to develop such a condition than those without implants. Women were also much more likely to suffer allergies after the implant than before.

Generally speaking, implants begin to drop and fluff after a few days, approach their final position after six weeks, and settle entirely after three months. At Park Meadows Cosmetic Surgery, we want you to know exactly what to expect after breast enhancement.

How much do saline breast implants weigh? Every 100cc of saline implant weighs 0.21lbs. A typical 300cc saline implant will weigh 0.63lb, with a pair weighing around 1.26lbs.

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