Silicone vs Saline Breast Implants

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Saline versus Silicone Breast Implants: Which One is Better?

Are you thinking of getting a breast augmentation procedure? If yes, one of the first decisions you must make is to choose between two types of breast implants. Should your surgeon use saline or silicone implant?

Both saline and silicone breast implants have an outer shell made of silicone. However, they vary in terms of filling. Silicone implants are filled with silicone plastic gel. Saline implants, on the other hand, are made of sterile saline or salt water.

Breast implant composition plays an important role in identifying the final outcome and patient satisfaction. Let’s compare the 2 breast implants side by side.

1. In Terms of Natural Look


Silicone Implants offers a more natural end result.

Saline implants usually look more dramatic yet augmented.

Major differences in terms of natural looks:



Saline Implants

  • Appear rounder and firmer compared to silicone breast implants
  • Deliberately overfilled; leads to more superior firmness and fullness to the touch.

Silicone Gel Implants

  • If you hold a silicone breast implant from the top, most of the silicone gel will move at the bottom with gravity; this means that silicone implants’ physical components are similar to that of a natural breast tissue
  • Highly pliable and usually less full

2. In Terms of Scars and Incisions


Saline implants require smaller incisions, and can leave smaller scars.

Saline Implants

  • Inserted without filling empty; saline should be pumped in once the implant is in place
  • Require smaller incisions and can result to smaller scars
  • Provides more incision placement options, as compared to silicone implants

Silicone Gel Implants

  • Pre-filled
  • May require a bigger incision, for the implants to be properly inserted

3. In Terms of Natural Feel


Silicone implants feel more natural. This is an ideal choice for patients who prefer an over the muscle placement.

Saline Implants

  • Firmer with an unnatural feeling

Silicone Gel Implants

  • Engineered to closely emulate both the feel and look of natural breast tissue.
  • Softer to the touch
  • Squishier when squeezed

4. In Terms of Rippling

Breast implant wrinkling or rippling happens when folds or wrinkles appear in the implant. This should be visible enough to the skin. It usually occurs the sides or bottom of the breasts.


Silicone implants have less chance of rippling or wrinkling.

Saline Implants

  • Slightly higher chance of rippling; due to the low viscosity of saline

5. In Terms of Rupture


Saline implant rupture is easier to detect. Moreover, saline can harmlessly absorbed into a patient’s body.

One of the uncommon risks involved in a breast augmentation surgery is the rupturing of the implant itself. Rupturing happens when the implants outer shell weakens, and a tear or hole develops.

A saline implant rupture is can be immediately detected. This is because deflation, or loss of volume, happens quite fast. A silicone implant rupture, on the other hand, doesn’t result in breast deflation.

6. In Terms of Implant Size


Saline implants are slightly more customizable.

Saline Implants

  • Can be slightly under filled or overfilled
  • Can be adjusted to ensure symmetry between the 2 breasts
  • The size can be adjusted postoperatively through a remote injection part

Silicone Gel Implants

  • The volume of each silicone implant is fixed

7. In Terms of Longevity


Both silicone and saline implants last equally as long.

8. In Terms of Implant Shape


Both saline and silicone implants can be offered in similar shapes.

Both silicone gel and saline breast implants are both offered in teardrop (contoured) or round shapes. They are offered in the following projections:

  • Low Profile
  • Moderate Plus Profile
  • Moderate Profile
  • High Profile
  • Ultra-High Profile

9. In Terms of the Risks


Silicone gel and saline breast implants have similar risks.

Breast augmentation, like any other plastic surgery procedure, is a relatively low risk. Risks are uncommon but may include infection, implant rupture, capsular contracture and a change in nipple sensation.

10. In Terms of Implant Texture


Both saline and silicone gel implants are available in similar textures. They are both offered in either textured or smooth outer shells.

Various surgeons believe that textured shells can lessen the risk of improper moving of the implant or capsular contracture. Nevertheless, they may also be susceptible to wrinkling and rippling.

11. In Terms of Costs


Saline breast implants are far less pricey.

Saline breast implants are less costly compared to its silicone counterpart. Women usually save around $500 to $1,000 when choosing saline.

Silicone or Saline Breast Implants: Which one is better?

Silicone implants are more popular in the United States, with roughly around 75% of female patients preferring it over saline. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that is a better choice. Both have their unique pros and cons, and every patient should keep an open mind.

The most important thing is to choose an experienced plastic surgeon who can help you identify the best kind of breast implant for your unique body type and best final outcome.