Saline or Silicone?
Typically, silicone breast implants have a shell made of inert polymer silicone. Silicone breast implants offer the best look and feel most similar to natural breast tissue. Silicone may also allow the ability to shape a breast more than a saline implant. Silicone implants are not prone to “rippling”, “wrinkling”, or “sloshing”, which makes them a good choice for patients aiming for the most natural look and feel.
Since silicone implants come pre-filled, they require a larger incision site compared to a saline implant. Generally, silicone implants are placed through an incision made under the breast or through an incision made along the dark tissue surrounding the nipple.
While silicone implants came under fire as being unsafe years ago, new, improved, FDA approved silicone implants are incredibly low risk. A ruptured silicone implant is not known to cause breast cancer, reproductive problems, or arthritis. With breast implants being one of the single most studied medical devices in the world in the past twenty years, these myths about the dangers of silicone implants have been adequately dispelled.
If a silicone implant ruptures, it can go unnoticed for a long time — or possibly forever. Unlike saline implants, silicone gel stays in place even if the outer shell ruptures. Detecting a leak with silicone implants may require an ultrasound or even an MRI.
Saline is a solution that is not unlike fluid naturally found within the human body. Patients may choose a saline breast implant with leakage in mind, as generally saline is considered less of a risk to the health of a patient in the case of a leak than silicone.
Since saline implants are filled post implantation (meaning they are placed in the body before being filled), saline may also offer an easier route to “fine tuning” a breast implant after it has been placed. This allows a surgeon more discretion in achieving breast symmetry.
Saline breast implants tend to look overall more “round” in shape. They can be inserted under the breast, around the skin surrounding the nipple, and through an incision under the armpit since they come unfilled. This allows for smaller incision sites, which can be beneficial for patients looking for a discrete surgery.
Still, saline implants, due to their size and weight, may be prone to more downward displacement (“drooping”) due to gravitational pull than a silicone implant. They may also be prone to “rippling” – when the folds of the implant can be seen beneath thin areas of skin or breast tissue – and “sloshing”.
Detection of a rupture with a saline implant is much easier than that of a silicone implant due to the fact that the saline will be dispersed through the body and absorbed by it. When a saline implant ruptures, generally it is easy to detect without the use of an MRI or otherwise.
Which should I choose?
The decision to use a saline or silicone breast implant is one best made under the suggestions and guidance of a board-certified professional surgeon. While both can have pros and cons, the overall risk for both is low. If you are not sure which is right for you, please contact us today to schedule a consultation.
Caring, compassionate, kind & skilled are adjectives that just begin to describe Dr. Sterling. Let me briefly tell you my story to better understand the depth of what I have suggested.
When I was diagnosed with the BRCA2 gene mutation I immediately decided to have bi-lateral Mastectomy & Hysterectomy…read more
Several friends have gotten breast augmentation with other surgeons, but none of them experienced the professionalism and comfort that I received. From the call from Dr. Sterling the day before surgery to all of the check-up appointments afterwards, I have felt grateful and very comfortable. Thank you!
From the moment I walked through the doors at Sterling Plastic Surgery I felt comfortable. The office staff is warm and friendly and even when I called many times with questions they returned my calls quickly and again with much friendliness. They deal with many patients and phone calls so I know keeping up is no small tasks but they do it with smiles on their faces… read more
Just wanted to take a moment to thank you for the awesome experience you and your office provide. Never, in three years as your patient, have I felt anything less than important. Every question was answered and clarified if need be. There were no surprises during the entire process, it all ran like silk. Can’t thank you enough for your excellent service… read more
Dr. Sterling and his staff are absolutely amazing! I was looking into breast augmentation for years, but never found a doctor I was comfortable with. When I first met the staff for my consult they were so knowledgeable but yet very helpful. I was so undecided about size for I wasn’t going for the oversized look but I did not want to be too small nor too big. They really listened to what I was looking to look like and helped me pick the perfect size for my body… read more
As I sit and write this letter, a testimonial long overdue considering the daily gratitude I feel for Dr. Sterling, I can say I am perfectly happy with my body and I feel confident and beautiful. I am tall and thin and my body was never an issue for me before I had children. We all find flaws in ourselves, but I knew I was pretty darn lucky. I had twins in 2007. Having any child is detrimental to a woman’s body, but having twins is complete body trauma… read more
I can’t thank Dr. Sterling and his staff enough! I did a lot of research before driving over an hour to visit Dr. Sterling. I loved his before and after pictures more than any other doctor that friends recommended. His staff is super friendly and personable….read more
I was born into a small breasted family and always knew I wanted to do breast augmentation. I had researched several plastic surgeons when Sterling Plastic Surgery was recommended to me by two friends that had their surgery done there and were highly satisfied I went for my first consultation and the staff was incredibly friendly and knowledgeable, made me feel completely comfortable. I met with Sarah, Dr. Sterling’s medical assistant and she was very knowledgeable and answered all my questions, explained the procedure, and the differences between saline and silicone, what fits best with my body as well as with what I wanted…. read more
I was referred to Dr. Sterling. The individual was very pleased and benefitted greatly from his expertise in performing breast reductions. My experience was extremely positive as well. Dr. Sterling’s office staff was courteous, knowledgeable and helpful. Dr. Sterling provided me with his cell number and called me at my home after discharge from the hospital to be sure I was recouping without complication… read more
I am a 49 year old woman who had breast augmentation done with Dr. Sterling in June 2013. After nursing 3 babies and with gravity taking its toll due to my age, I needed help in this department! I chose to go with a small size (275cc) as I was striving for a conservative and very natural look for my age and my body size. I could not be more thrilled with my results!… read more
Contact our office today to schedule your initial consult with Dr. Sterling for breast implants.