Silicone vs Saline

If you are considering a breast augmentation, you may be wondering what the differences are between silicone gel implants and saline implants. There are several differences between both, the most common being the feel. Most women who want more natural feeling and looking breasts will select the silicone gel implants. Cost was the primary reason women would select the saline. Since making the implants the same price, 99% of our patients have selected the silicone gel. In the past we charged less for the saline than the gel.

There are several similarities to both types of implants. Saline and silicone breast implants have the same solid silicone outer shell. They also have the same safety profile and are both FDA approved. The primary difference is the substance inside the silicone shell. The saline implant is filled with sterile salt water. Dr. Eberbach first inserts the empty bag then fills the bag with sterile salt water. Silicone implants come in a variety of sizes and are pre-filled with silicone gel. The gel feels very similar to natural breast tissue. In fact, the majority of our patients say their breast feels very similar to a natural breast once they are a month out from surgery. Silicone implants also have a much lower risk of rippling than saline implants.

Incision length is very similar regardless of the implant selected. When Dr. Eberbach performs surgery, the incision is an average of 3-4cm in length for silicone and 2-3cm for saline. Dr. Eberbach uses a device called the Keller Funnel when performing his silicone breast augmentations which reduces the length of the incision and also reduces time in the operating room. An average silicone breast augmentation takes him approximately 25 minutes to perform, an average saline augmentation takes approximately 40 minutes.

What happens if your gel implant ruptures? Rupture rate is rare, an average of 0.5% per year. If you do have a ruptured silicone implant, the implant should not lose shape or size. In fact, the silicone gel is a cohesive substance, so it will usually stay in the shell and will not travel. Implants do come with a warranty. If an MRI scan detects a rupture, it’s best to consult your surgeon.

What happens if your saline implant ruptures? The implant will deflate and your body will absorb the salt water. The breast that has the ruptured implant will go down to the size it was before surgery. Most women try to have surgery quickly as not to live with different size breast sizes for too long.

If you are getting a breast augmentation and want a more natural feeling and looking breast, we would recommend going with the silicone gel over the saline. Consulting with the plastic surgeon you choose is very important. Teach your surgeon your likes and dislikes and see what they recommend for you.