Choosing Between Saline and Silicone Breast Implants

You may associate breast implants with cosmetic surgery to increase breast size. But breast implants may be used for breast augmentation or reconstruction after a mastectomy -- or for replacement of the implants years later after either surgery.

Breast implants contain either saline solution or silicone. Although both are safe and realistic looking, there are some differences between saline implants and silicone implants.

If you need to make a decision between saline and silicone, Dr. Craig Foster and our team at Foster Your Beauty are ready to help you choose the implant that’s best for you.

Breast implant basics

No matter which implant you choose, both are encapsulated in an FDA-approved silicone shell. Aside from this similarity, the two are very different. The main factors to consider when making your decision are cost, how they look and feel, the implantation process, and what occurs if an implant ruptures.

Saline breast implants

Saline implants have several advantages. They’re less expensive and placing them requires a smaller incision because the shells can be inserted empty and then filled. This also makes it easier for the surgeon to adjust volume after placement. In the event of a rupture, the saline -- which is a sterile saltwater solution -- is absorbed by the body with no negative impact.

On the undesirable side, the saline implants can show some rippling effects. In the event of a leak or rupture, the result will be noticeable right away.

Silicone breast implants

Silicone is the gold standard for implants and is perhaps responsible for breast augmentation’s continued popularity. Although they’re more expensive, silicone implants mimic real breast tissue for a more natural look and feel.

Silicone implants also offer more variation when compared to saline.

Gummy bear implants are known for maintaining their shape, and tend to work best with tear-drop shaped breasts.

Round silicone implants appear the fullest, and have the lowest risk of turning out of place.

Smooth silicone implants are the softest, and allow for the most natural movement. Among silicone variants though, these implants are the most likely to show rippling.

Textured silicone implants develop scar tissue to stay attached, which helps prevent them from repositioning.

When an implant is placed, the skin heals around it and forms a capsule that helps keep the shell in place. If a leak occurs, the silicone may stay inside the shell or may be trapped by the capsule. Any leaked gel may eventually cause breast pain, breast thickening, or changes in the contour or shape of the breast.

Women who receive silicone implants should plan on getting an MRI every three years, as this scan will detect a leak or rupture. In this situation, the implant is removed, the silicone is removed, and a new implant is placed, if desired.

If you'd like to sit down with Dr. Foster and talk about implant options to decide which is right for you, give our office a call or send a message to our Park Avenue clinic today.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Five Problems That Rhinoplasty Resolves

Whether you’d like to change the appearance of your nose, repair deformities from an injury, relieve breathing difficulties, or all of the above, rhinoplasty can get the job done in a single procedure. Find out what a “nose job” can do for you.

Different Types of Chemical Peels

Even if your skin care routine leaves little to chance, everyone’s skin can use a little TLC from time to time. Here’s how light, medium, and deep chemical peels address skin damage at every layer to revitalize your complexion.

Give Yourself the Gift of a Tummy Tuck This Holiday Season

Diet and exercise can’t get rid of excess skin and persistent flab following major weight loss or multiple pregnancies, but tummy tuck surgery can. Now’s the time to give yourself the gift of a flat, firm midsection that will last for years to come.

Am I a Candidate for Lip Augmentation?

Whether you’re looking for improved lip volume, enhanced lip definition, fewer lip lines, or all of the above, lip augmentation can give you the smooth, pillowy pucker you’ve always wanted. Find out if this popular treatment is right for you.