Breast Implants: Saline and Silicone

With the help of the ever-progressing technology, breast augmentation has become relevant and evident these days. This procedure is where an implantable medical device (known as breast implants) is placed behind the breast or chest muscle to enhance and enlarge both the appearance and volume of the breast of women, whether small breasted or not. Breast augmentation is also used for replacing the volume lost after major weight loss or even after breastfeeding, creating a more defined and better looking breast. At present, there are two best options in breast augmentation for women to go for: Saline breast implants and Silicone breast implants. 



Saline breast implants contain primarily saline or sterile salt water. These have been used since the 1960’s and they have an outer shell made of silicone which is empty when inserted. After inserting the shell, it will then be filled with sterile salt water. Since the shell contains saline which has the same consistency of water, there is a huge probability of feeling the folds more often. This harmless scenario is called “rippling” and sometimes “wrinkling”. However, with such minimal process, the incision site is relatively smaller and less noticeable. And as compared to Silicone breast implants, Saline breast implants are less expensive. Notably, these implants have a feature of adjusting and repositioning even after the operation since there is a remote injection port in the incision. This greatly helps in polishing and tuning the final appearance and volume of the breast augmentation. 



Silicone breast implants are made of silicone which is a synthetic material that offers a somewhat similar feeling to human fat. Silicone breast implants are firmer and more cohesive. And so, these offer a more natural look and feel than those of Saline breast implants. This is also because instead of an outer shell like those in Saline breast implants, Silicone breast implants have silicone cases that are filled with silicone gel. Hence they are often regarded as “gummy bear” implants. These have different sizes and shapes that can be opted and picked with the guidance of a surgeon. However, the one problem with Silicone breast implants is that it is more tainted with risk if they rupture. But of course, both experts and manufacturers work together to address this issue and one solution is to have the implants checked every few years or so through an MRI scan. Notably, Silicone breast implants are very strong and dependable as they normally do not require any change, movement or fixing after the operation.


While there are indeed different pros and cons with regard to the two respective breast implants, most often, it is the recommendation of the expert or plastic surgeon which will dictate which type of breast implant is the best for a person. This recommendation of course will be based on many different but essential factors such as height, weight, lifestyle, and even preference of the person getting the breast implants.