Implants: Saline or Silicone?
How do you choose between saline and silicone implants? In my practice since the FDA approval of silicone implants in November, 2006 approximately 70% of women undergoing breast augmentation or breast augmentation and mastopexy (breast lift) choose silicone implants over saline implants.
One of the most important factors that I look at in helping a woman choose between saline or silicone implants is her anatomy. In my opinion, silicone implants tend to have better overall aesthetics than saline implants. They tend to feel more natural (more like the consistency of breast tissue) and tend to have less rippling visibility (rippling is a wavy appearance of the skin of the breast). A woman that is very lean with small breasts will have less soft tissue covering the implant, so the implant characteristics are more visible and palpable. She may benefit more from the aesthetic qualities of a silicone implant. A woman with more subcutaneous fat and larger breasts can “hide” the implant better so that the implant characteristics are not as critical.
Saline and silicone implants each have particular benefits that can influence your breast augmentation results. When the augmentation is performed properly they both create beautiful breast aesthetics. I have outlined saline and silicone implant characteristics and trade-offs in the table below. Learn More about Breast Augmentation
|Saline Implants||Silicone Implants|
|Price||Less expensive||More expensive|
|Rippling||More rippling||Less rippling|
|Feel||Less natural||More natural|
|MRI follow-up||Not necessary||Every 2 years per FDA|
|Rupture Rate1||3% (3 year rate)||0.5% (3 year rate)|
|Adjustable||Yes (in OR)||No|
|Contracture1||9% (3 year rate)||8% (3 year rate)|
1. Statistics from Mentor Corporation for primary breast augmentation.
During your consultation I will evaluate your tissue characteristics with you so that you can make the best implant choice for you. You will get to handle some sample saline and silicone implants so that you can see exactly what they feel like. Do not hesitate to call or email my staff for any questions or for a consultation.
Christopher Adamson, MD