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Saline vs. Silicone Breast Implants – Which Is Right For You?

Saline vs. Silicone Breast Implants – Which Is Right For You?

By Beverly Fischer on May 31, 2017

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Saline Vs Silicone Breast Implants - Which Is Right For You?

Currently, breast augmentation patients have a choice between two kinds of breast implants: silicone or saline. Silicone implants have a bit of a stain on their reputation because they were banned in 1999 after several women brought lawsuits against their manufacturers for alleged serious health problems, such as autoimmune disease and neurological disorders.

After extensive testing, the FDA determined in 1999 that there was no evidence that any kind of breast implant, in and of itself, causes any serious medical issues for patients.

Highlighted in this article are differences between saline and silicone implants, and how you can decide which to pick between the two. 


Saline implants can be used by women aged 18 years and above, while silicone implants require a minimum age of 22. Typically, the natural growth process of the breasts continues until age 21. These age limits are therefore put in place to avoid interfering with this natural growth, and to ensure the safety of the patients during the procedure.

Women aged between 18-22 years may find saline implants as their only option if they are not willing to wait until they reach the required age. 


Saline implants contain sterilized salt water. In the event of a rupture, the breast deflates and the water is harmlessly absorbed by the body. Ruptures of saline implants are therefore immediately detected. When a silicone implant ruptures, the silicone gel is released into an outer layer of the implant where it can be housed for a while. Silicone ruptures can, however, lead to breast pain and changes in shape if the gel leaks from the enclosure into the body.

If you would like ruptures to be quickly detected and fixed, then saline implants are the right choice for you. Those who would prefer more flexibility when ruptures occur may find a better fit for them in silicone implants.


Silicone implants have a more natural feel than saline implants. This is because the silicone gel used is soft, smooth and more comfortable on the hands. If you are specific about how your implants will feel, silicone implants may be the right choice for you. 


A typical breast transplant procedure costs between $5000- $10,000. Therefore as you plan to finance this operation, you may want to consider that saline implants cost about $1000 less than silicone implants. Those on a tight budget but would still want good transplants may, therefore, consider saline implants.

Volume Choices

Saline implants are a silicone shell inserted into the breast then filled after insertion with a saline liquid. By using saline, therefore, the surgeon need not make as large an incision as is needed when implanting using silicone, since the unfilled shell is smaller. This lessens the inherent risks accompanying the surgery and also leaves the patient with a less noticeable scar once all is said and done.

Silicone implants, however, have the edge in another arena: they are far less prone to cause problems later, such as causing unsightly wrinkles and also are far less easy to feel after the surgery. These issues are especially important in regard to women who have less breast tissue, to begin with; women who begin with more experience fewer issues with saline.

Related: Need more choices? Look at different options


To summarize, silicone implants are often more ideal for thinner patients with smaller breasts; while large patients who would need a larger area to be covered by the implants would be an ideal candidates for saline implants.

The choice of implants that is right for you will depend on the factors mentioned above as well as your personal preferences.

Our experienced staff can help you decide whether or not breast augmentation is right for you, and answer any additional questions you may have about breast implants, breast lifts and even breast reductions. 


Advanced Center for Plastic Surgery | (410) 308-4700 | Website | More posts

Dr. Beverly A. Fischer is passionate about her role as a leading female plastic and cosmetic surgeon in Baltimore, Maryland and beyond. She believes that plastic surgery makes a positive, life-changing difference, whether you’re renewing your body, face, and skin or embarking on an entire gender transition.

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