23 Jun Breast Augmentation Implants – Silicone vs Saline
When women come in to discuss breast augmentation, one of the biggest decisions they have to make is whether to go with saline or silicone breast implants. This was not always a choice. Let’s review a few key differences in the debate between silicone and saline.
Benefits of Silicone Breast Implants
We do like silicone implants, and if pressed we would have to say that they are better than saline. Does this mean that saline implants are a bad, or a poor second choice? Absolutely not, but placed side by side, in most cases we think silicone implants are a little bit better. We have seen also that selection of silicone breast implants has gone up by women since late 2006. Currently, the majority (as in 80%) of implants that our patients choose are silicone.
One distinct advantage of gel implants is the fact that in almost all cases the edges and anterior surface of the implant are not palpable, and it is thus very difficult to detect by touch or feel that an implant is present. In many cases it is actually impossible to detect the implant at all. This makes gel implants a very attractive option for women who are quite slender and have a small natural breast volume, as saline implants are usually very easily detected by touch or feel in these patients. Silicone implants usually last longer, are lighter, softer, and less likely to have rippling.
Benefits of Saline Breast Implants
Gel implants are inserted pre-filled and thus require a larger skin incision than that which is used for saline implants. For this reason the most commonly used incision is one placed in the inframammary fold. The peri-areolar incision is acceptable in patients with a wide areolar diameter, but does not work as well if the areolar diameter is small. In addition to a shorter scar, saline implants are also typically less expensive, more volume choices, and there is no rupture that goes unnoticed.
Silicone or Saline – Which Look Better?
Many say silicone implants look “more natural” or said differently, saline is “more obvious”. They might also say that saline implants look more round and are more visible in the upper portion of the breast, which is not how a natural breast looks. Silicone gives a more normal slope to the upper breast. Also, the rippling can be an issue with saline which you rarely see with silicone.