Saline vs. Silicone Implants: Which Option Is Right for You?

If you are considering breast augmentation, it can be hard to know which type of implant is best for you. Patients at Park Cities Plastic Surgery can choose between silicone or saline implants for their procedure. Dr. David Liland will review each option and its respective pros and cons during your consultation at our Dallas, TX, practice. Both types can provide a more voluptuous figure, expand your wardrobe options, and boost your confidence. 

A pair of hands holding a saline implant in one hand and a silicone one in the other.
Both saline and silicone implants offer distinct advantages, from affordability for the former to natural-feeling results for the latter. 

About Saline Breast Implants

Saline implants contain a saltwater solution within a thin silicone elastomer shell. For most patients, these implants are first placed surgically – either over or under the pectoral muscle – and then filled with saline. As a result, they can be inserted through a tiny incision to minimize damage to surrounding tissue and reduce the time needed for recovery.

Pros of Saline Implants

Saline breast implants are natural-looking, and are typically soft to the touch. Because the implants are filled after placement, Dr. Liland can also more easily ensure that both are the same size, and can adjust them accordingly for optimal outcomes. 

Should rupture occur, deflation will be noticeable immediately – often within minutes. Perhaps the most significant advantage of these implants, however, is that the saline is simply reabsorbed into the body upon rupture, posing no health risks. Furthermore, the shell can be easily removed if this occurs. Consequently, patients 18 years or older are eligible to receive saline implants.

In terms of cost, saline implants are more affordable compared to silicone. Keep in mind, however, that treatment fees will be dependent on several factors, including the complexity of the case.

Cons of Saline Implants

Though saline implants can achieve a fairly natural look, there is no denying that silicone implants are more lifelike. Additionally, some patients feel that saline implants are too round or firm – particularly if they have been overfilled to avoid rippling. In most cases, silicone implants produce optimal results in patients with sufficient natural breast tissue.

Taking your personal goals into account, Dr. Liland can design a fully customized treatment plan to fit your needs and lifestyle.

Compared to their silicone counterparts, saline implants are much more vulnerable to rippling and rupturing. Additionally, some patients notice the outer edge of the valve or shell when touched.

About Silicone Breast Implants

Silicone implants have an outer shell made of thick silicone and are filled with a silicone gel. However, in contrast to saline options, silicone implants are filled before surgery. Therefore, Dr. Liland must make a larger incision to accommodate them. Like their saline equivalents, silicone implants can be placed over or under the pectoral muscle. Dr. Liland can discuss options with you to determine the right placement for your goals and lifestyle.

Pros of Silicone Implants

Because the viscous gel offers a realistic texture, silicone implants often provide more lifelike results. In fact, they are generally undetectable to the touch. Unlike their saline counterparts, silicone implants will not ripple, which makes them an ideal option for patients with a naturally thin frame. It should be noted, however, that many patients with plenty of natural breast tissue still choose silicone over saline implants.

One of the most significant benefits of silicone implants is the wide variety of options. Patients have more choices for size, shape, and profile compared to saline implants.

Despite claims that silicone implants cause autoimmune diseases, extensive research has found no association between the two. In fact, both types of implants are considered safe and effective for breast augmentation.

Cons of Silicone Implants

When a silicone implant ruptures, it is not immediately noticeable; it could take a substantial amount of time for deflation to occur. If left undetected, the silicone gel can leak into the surrounding breast tissue and cause complications, such as pain, swelling, hardening, lumps, or changes in shape or size. Because rupture is not typically obvious, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration recommends that women with silicone implants undergo an MRI at least every three years.

While silicone implants are much less likely to rupture than saline, they are also more prone to silent ruptures and developing scar tissue, a process known as capsular contracture. Because the silicone gel clings to surrounding tissue, removing and replacing the implant can be difficult, as well. However, by choosing an experienced plastic surgeon, you can significantly reduce your risk of complication. Because of these potential risks, though, silicone implants are only approved for patients aged 22 years and older.

Why Choose Our Practice?

The most effective way to determine which type of implant is right for you is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Liland. With nearly 30 years of cosmetic surgery experience, he can help you achieve your desired results. Dr. Liland will review each option with you in detail, factoring in considerations such as height, weight, body type, and specific aesthetic concerns. He will also show you before and after photographs of each type of implant, so you can visualize the differences between the two.

Treatment at our Private Surgical Suite

Taking your personal goals into account, Dr. Liland can design a fully customized treatment plan to fit your needs and lifestyle. No matter which implant option you choose, we offer conscious sedation and general anesthesia options to ensure your comfort during the procedure. Furthermore, every procedure is performed in our state-of-the-art surgical suite, which has been accredited by the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF).

Financing Is Available

At our practice, we believe that cost should never become a barrier to the treatment you want and deserve. That is why we accept a variety of financing options to help patients afford treatment, including:

  • CareCredit®
  • Alphaeon Credit®
  • LendingUSA™
  • Prosper® Healthcare Lending

We Can Help You Make an Informed Decision

Having a full understanding of saline and silicone implants can help prepare you for the breast augmentation procedure. If you would like to explore your options, schedule an appointment by contacting us online or by calling us at (214) 692-6500.

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