Breast Implants – Saline Versus Silicone
A recent question on Facebook prompted a longer response than we expected, so we thought we’d share it!
The textbook answer to the saline versus silicone debate is:
Saline breast implants. Saline implants are filled with saline, generally during your surgery. Saline implants are often criticized for feeling hard or unnatural, but improved surgical techniques — such as placing the implant behind the chest muscle and slightly overfilling it — have helped these complaints. Saline breast implants are available for women 18 and older looking for breast augmentation, or women of any age for breast reconstruction.
Silicone breast implants. Silicone implants are pre-filled with silicone gel — a thick, sticky fluid that closely mimics the feel of human fat. Some women feel that silicone breast implants look and feel more like natural breast tissue. Silicone breast implants are available to women age 22 and older for breast augmentation, or women of any age for breast reconstruction.
Silicone implants constitute 80% of the breast augmentations completed by our office in the Houston area over the past few years. We find that saline implants on women with petite frames or A-cup breasts often look very fake, and have a much higher incidence of rippling and folds being either palpable or visible.
Silicone implants are softer to touch, and much firmer. If the patient has a moderate amount of her own breast tissue, and the implant isn’t too large, there may not be any difference to the feel.
Finally, two similar sized implants, one saline, the other silicone – will have different projections to the cup size your breasts will become. The saline implants typically have a 10-20% greater amount of projection, hence the somewhat more “fake” look in smaller framed women.