10 Mar

Saline and Silicone Breast Implants: What’s the Difference?

As you begin the process of getting breast implants, you are bombarded with a surplus of information and required to make many important decisions. One of the most crucial choices you will make is deciding the material of your implants: saline or silicone? Each material is well-known and widely used, but one might accommodate your augmentation vision better than the other.  

An Introduction to Silicone

Silicone implants are filled before the surgery with silicone gel. This gel is sticky, thick, and very similar to human fat when touched. It’s important to note that these are not the older generation of silicone implants that were banned in 1992, but rather a newer version approved by the FDA in 2006 after comprehensive clinical testing and research. These “second generation” silicone implants can be compared to the consistency of a candy gummy bear.

An Introduction to Saline

Saline breast implants are formed with solid silicone shells that are inserted empty into the breast area and then filled with sterile salt water post-implantation. Rather than the fatty feel of silicone breasts, saline implants feel more like water balloons.

The Pros and Cons of Silicone

Silicone implants have become preferred by many women because they look and feel more like natural breasts. They also don’t wrinkle and ripple as much, which makes them more efficient in post-mastectomy and over-the-muscle implants. Women who want to avoid further breast drooping may also want to consider silicone since the material is lighter than saline and poses a lower risk of downward displacement caused by gravity. If silicone implants rupture, the shell is designed to keep the gel inside the breast capsule to avoid complications until the surgery can be repaired.

The Pros and Cons of Saline

Saline, on the other hand, does not mimic a natural breast and instead looks rounder with the feel of a water balloon. Saline is also more prone to rippling, an effect that becomes particularly noticeable in slender patients. This is because the saline water has such little consistency and allows the implant shell to fold against itself. But it’s true that saline implants require a smaller incision and thus a smaller scar. This is because they are filled after they are implanted, which also allows the surgeon to increase or decrease volume to ensure breast symmetry.

Be sure to seek the advice of an experienced plastic surgeon like Dr. William Adams before making your final implant decision. Call (727) 328-2299 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Adams in St. Petersburg, Florida. He will ensure that the breast implants you select complement your body perfectly.  

Dr. William W. Adams MD

Plastic Surgeon at Dr. William W. Adams MD
Dr. William Adams is a serious surgeon. After stints in San Francisco, Portland, Oregon and Little Rock, Arkansas, he established his practice in St. Petersburg in 1995. For his internship and residency, he chose the prestigious Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York City, in large part because the program allowed him to immediately concentrate on plastic surgery. Find out more about Dr. Adams on Google + and Facebook