Breast Augmentation Series: Saline vs. Silicone
One of the most important decisions to make before your breast augmentation surgery is what type of implant you want. There are basically two options available: saline or silicone implants, each with different benefits
A saline breast implant is a silicone shell that is filled with saltwater (saline) after it is inserted into the breast. A smaller incision can be used for these implants because they are filled after being inserted into the breast. This means there will be minimal scarring after you have healed. Saline implants are also easy to fix by simply adding or subtracting fluid from the implant if any asymmetries or desires for change in volume occur.
Saline implants are less expensive than silicone and also offer fewer downsides. In case of rupture or leaking, the fluid is absorbed back into the body without any negative health repercussions. Saline implants tend to feel firmer and less natural and if a patient has very little body fat, the implants can sometimes ripple along the sides of the breast.
Silicone gel breast implants come pre-filled with three layers of shell surrounding the filler, reducing the chance of rupture or leaking. A larger incision must be used to insert a silicone implant because it is already filled. To alter the size of a silicone implant, the whole implant must be removed and then re-inserted.
Studies have proven that silicone implants are safe and effective for breast augmentation and the controversy over their safety has been largely quashed over the last few decades. Silicone gel implants provide a more natural shape and feel, though they are more expensive and require a longer incision to insert.