Saline or Silicone: What Type of Implant Should You Pick?

Breast Implants Fort Worth, TX If you have been thinking about breast augmentation, spring may be the perfect time for it.  As warmer weather approaches, undergoing breast implant surgery in the spring allows enough time to recover and then reveal your new look when you start wearing bathing suits. When you visit for a consultation, we will listen to what you want to achieve, go over all of your options, and help you choose the size, shape, and type of implants that may work best for you.  Before you come in to the office, let’s go over the most fundamental choice involved with breast augmentation:  do you want saline or silicone implants?


Saline implants are made of a silicone rubber shell and are filled with salt water.  The implants are not pre-filled.   This allows us to use a small incision when placing the implant.  The implant is rolled into the shape of a folded tortilla (this is Texas, after all) and inserted through the small incision.  Once the implant is inside the body it is unrolled and sterile saline is added.  These are nice implants for any woman, and may be ideal for someone who has one breast that is larger than the other.  Since we get to add saline to the implants, sometimes it’s nice to add more volume to one side than the other.  That may allow for a subtle improvement in final symmetry.   Saline is a very safe liquid.  If you have ever had an i.v., saline is probably the liquid that was running into your vein through the i.v.  Saline implants last on average about 14 years before they leak.  When a saline-filled implant leaks, the saline leaks out and the breast implant deflates.  This creates a noticeable loss of shape of the breast.  Many women like the idea that it’s only salt water that leaks out, not silicone.


Silicone implants are very popular.  About 75% of all breast augmentations are done using silicone implants.  Silicone is a soft get material.  There are different thicknesses of silicone available.   Thicker gel implants may  allow a woman to achieve a little more fullness in the upper parts of her breasts compared to softer silicone gel and compared to saline implants.  In general, silicone implants have less wrinkling and rippling than saline-filled implants.  They may feel a bit more natural to a hand touching the breast than saline-filled implants.   We don’t know exactly how long silicone implants last.  Why is that?  It’s because when a small hole occurs in a silicone implant, the silicone does not all leak out.  Unlike water-like saline, the silicone gel is pretty thick.  If only a small amount pokes out through a small hole, that may not be very noticeable.  In fact, most women will have what is called a “silent rupture”.  They don’t notice anything different about their breasts and the leak is detected on a routine mammogram.

When you visit our office we will have you look at and hold all the different types of breast implants.  We don’t want to make a decision for you.  We want to help guide you to making a decision that works best for what you want to achieve. If you want to learn more about implants, contact our Fort Worth office today and call us at 817-335-5200.

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