Silicone vs Saline Implants: Breast Augmentation Surgery

The Rise And Rise Of Breast Augmentation

Today, more and more women are turning to breast augmentation either for cosmetic or reconstructive reasons. Something that was once taboo is now becoming more widely accepted. Breast augmentation has been the number one cosmetic procedure since 2018.

What happens during augmentation?

Augmentation happens under general anesthesia. The surgeon will place the implant through an incision made near the areola, armpit, or under the breast. Then the surgeon will close the incision using stitches or an adhesive. Healing plays a large part in the process. The patient will need several weeks to heal using a support bra. The procedure is safe, with a 98% satisfaction rate.

More than a boob job

Breast augmentation is the process of surgically placing an implant behind the breast or chest muscle. This is usually done to increase the size and change the look of the breast. The most common breast augmentation patients include:

  • Women with small breasts
  • Women who lose significant breast size via surgery, trauma, or pregnancy
  • Transexual women looking to increase the size and shape of breasts
  • Women looking to make the shape appear more symmetrical

Silicone or saline?

Breast augmentation patients have to choose between saline and silicone implants. All implants have an outer silicone shell. However, plastic surgeons use either silicone- or saline-filled implants. Patients will be given a choice before the procedure, with each having pros and cons.

Slip in some silicone

Silicone-filled implants were the first type of implant created and continue to be the most popular. Doctors have been using silicone implants since the 1960s. Surgeons develop silicone implants in various sizes, shapes, and textures. This makes silicone a preferred choice for many women as the breasts take on a more natural look and feel.

A simple saline solution

Like silicone implants, saline has a silicone outer shell but is filled with a saline solution. The plastic surgeon will place the empty implant into the breast then add the saline solution. This allows the surgeon to manipulate the size and shape of the implant. Saline implants are more likely to show rippling in women with less surrounding tissue.

So what’s the difference?

Both saline and silicone breast augmentations will give the desired effect. But there are some slight differences to understand. Silicone is the more expensive option, for instance. Silicone implants are also FDA-approved for women 22 years and over. Women 18-21 only have access to saline augmentation. While silicone feels a bit more natural, saline may be a safer choice. In the event of a rupture, the body absorbs the saline solution. Ruptured silicone, on the other hand, can be harmful.

Understanding the risks

With any surgery, there are risks patients must know. These risks include infection, scar tissue, or long-term breast pain. More importantly, breast augmentation is not a permanent procedure. Implants can rupture, and women may need additional surgery. On average, 20% of women with implants will need correctional surgery within 10 years. Plastic surgeons take extreme care to counsel patients on the risks involved. This ensures that everyone is on the same page before the procedure.

Ready for life-changing breast augmentation?

Considering getting breast implants? Speak with a plastic surgeon for some sound advice. The surgeon will recommend saline or silicone implants based on factors like the desired look, feel, and body type. At the end of the day, choosing silicone versus saline is up to the patient. For more information on breast augmentation, speak with a plastic surgeon.


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