Silicone vs. Saline: The big breast implant debate

August 30, 2011 12:50 am

Ever since 2006, when the FDA approved silicone gel implants for breast augmentation in the U.S., we’ve seen women increasingly choose silicone over saline implants. While silicone tends to have a more natural look and feel than saline, there are benefits to both implant types.

The outer shell of both implants is made of solid, pliable silicone. This material has been implanted inside hundreds of millions of people since it’s used in everything from pacemakers to artificial joints. That, however, is the only similarity between saline and silicone breast implants.

Saline Breast Implants
Saline-filled implants contain a saline solution, the same fluid found naturally in your body. Unlike silicone implants, saline implants are often filled at the time of surgery, allowing the surgeon some flexibility in determining the final size. Saline implants have come under criticism for feeling less natural.

The newest generation of saline implants is even more durable. Studies have shown that the risk of an implant deflating is less than 1% per year. Leaked saline is absorbed by the body and is completely safe. While implant manufacturers offer warranties for their products, you’ll still need surgery to have the damaged implant removed, although you can have a new one inserted at the same time.

Silicone Gel Breast Implants
Silicone implants come pre-filled with silicone gel: a substance that more accurately mimics the soft feel of breast tissue. Silicone implants provide natural-looking results and are reliably safe. They are also slightly more lightweight, so they are less likely to droop over time.

cut silicone breast implant
Silicone gel breast implant cut in half: no leaking!
The current generation of silicone breast implants is often referred to by patients as “Gummy Bear” implants. They use a more cohesive filling and are actually softer than the candy they’re named after. They are less likely to ripple or wrinkle. The main advantage of silicone implants is that they hold their shape and feel more natural. As with saline implants, silicone implants are warrantied, but, in the remote chance of a damaged implant (as low as 1% in the first six years), you’ll need surgery to remove it and have a new one inserted.

See for Yourself
Now is a great time to opt for silicone implants for your breast augmentation. Do your research and get the facts. Schedule a consultation to meet with one our board certified plastic surgeons. You’ll get to handle and compare the different types of breast implant. Feeling the difference can help you decide which you’d prefer.

It’s also the perfect time to “swap out” your saline implants for more natural-feeling silicone, as we at Belcara Health are offering a “Switch Your Saline for Silicone” promotion. Join the millions of women who have chosen silicone implants to get larger and more natural-feeling breasts.