Saline vs. Silicone Breast Implants

PLASTIC SURGEON & MEDICAL SPA SERVING BRYN MAWR, VILLANOVA & COMMUNITIES NEAR THE MAIN LINE OF PHILADELPHIA, PA

Posted: September 18, 2018

One of the most important decisions you’ll need to make when planning your breast augmentation procedure involves the type of implant to use. Ultimately, your choice of breast implant will play a major role in the results you achieve, which is why it’s crucial that you understand all of the different options available to you.

At Main Line Plastic Surgery, we offer both saline and silicone breast implants. Each option can achieve beautiful results, and the right one for you will depend on your unique needs and goals.

Saline Breast Implants

saline vs. silicone breast implants - Philadelphia plastic surgeonSaline breast implants are made of a silicone shell filled with a sterile saline (salt water) solution. They are FDA-approved for use with women over the age of 18.

Typically, saline implants are filled after being inserted into the breast pocket, which offers several advantages:

  • Smaller incision size that helps minimize scarring
  • Greater customization regarding size and shape
  • Easier to correct breast asymmetry

Other benefits include:

  • In the event of a rupture, the sterile saline solution will be safely absorbed by your body
  • More affordable than silicone breast implants

However, there are also certain drawbacks associated with saline breast implants. Most importantly, they tend to look and feel less natural than silicone implants. As a result, they are a less popular choice among our patients. Other drawbacks include:

  • More prone to rippling
  • Greater risk of downward displacement due to gravity
  • The implant will deflate in the event of a rupture, resulting in an unbalanced breast appearance that requires a revision procedure to correct

Dr. Jean also offers the IDEAL implant, which is a newer and more advanced saline breast implant option. It contains two saline-filled chambers that are separated by a silicone partition that is similar in composition to the implant shell. This partition prevents the saline solution from flowing freely throughout the implant, resulting in a firmer, more natural feel. IDEAL implants also reduce the likelihood of rippling. These breast implants are an excellent option for women who prefer saline, but would like a more natural looking and feeling outcome than is provided by a traditional saline breast implant.

Silicone Breast Implants

Silicone breast implants are made of a silicone shell filled with a silicone gel material. This material is thicker and more viscous than saline solution, which makes it look and feel more like natural breast tissue. These implants are FDA-approved for women age 22 and older.

By far the greatest advantage of silicone breast implants is the ability to achieve a more natural looking and feeling outcome. This is the primary reason silicone implants have become a more popular choice among our patients.

Other benefits of silicone implants include:

  • Your implant will maintain its shape in the event of a rupture, preventing an uneven breast appearance
  • Less prone to rippling
  • Lower risk of downward displacement due to gravity

However, one of these advantages also represents the biggest drawback to silicone implants. Since your breast implant will maintain its shape, you won’t be able to tell when a rupture has occurred. As a result, Dr. Jean recommends that you go for an MRI periodically to ensure no ruptures have occurred.

Dr. Jean also offers “gummy bear” implants. These are made of a form stable cohesive silicone gel material that maintains its shape even when cut. They have a teardrop shape which resembles the appearance of a natural breast. Gummy bear implants tend to offer you the most natural look and feel of any implant option available.

Which Option is Right for Me?

There is no truly “right” option. The best breast implant for you largely depends on your unique preferences and goals. However, there are certain considerations which may impact the best choice for you. For example, women with minimal natural breast tissue will achieve a much more natural look and feel with a silicone implant, particularly the gummy bear option.

During your consultation, Dr. Jean will listen carefully to your goals and evaluate your natural breast appearance in order to recommend the right breast implant to deliver the beautiful results you desire.

Contact our Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon

Please contact Main Line Plastic Surgery using the form on this page or call 484-222-0010 today to schedule a breast augmentation consultation. We serve patients in Bryn Mawr, Villanova and throughout the Main Line of Philadelphia.