What are the Differences Between Saline and Silicone Breast Implants?

Breasts come in all shapes and sizes. If yours aren’t quite as large as you would like, you may be a little frustrated with their appearance and how they make you feel. While you can use padded bras to boost their size, many women want to feel confident in the size and shape of their breasts out of lingerie as well as when wearing it. Fortunately, augmentation surgery makes it possible for you to permanently increase the size of your breasts.


Augmentation surgery is one of the most common of all cosmetic procedures with an average of more than 300,000 being performed in the United States each year.

If you have decided that breast augmentation surgery using implants is the best way for you to achieve the larger, fuller and perkier breasts that you desire, then you will also need to make another decision – which type of breast implants to have.

There are two different types of breast implants – saline and silicone. While your cosmetic surgeon will discuss these in greater detail with you and may make a recommendation based on your individual circumstances, it is helpful to have some knowledge about each type so that you can form an opinion about which you think may be likely to be your preferred choice.

Saline Breast Implants

Saline breast implants are filled with a saline solution that is sterile salt water and completely harmless. In most instances, saline implants are inserted empty and then filled to the desired volume. This makes them an ideal choice for patients who have asymmetrical breast sizes and who would like to achieve an even shape and size across their chests. However, this also means that you need to rely on the skill and experience of your surgeon in filling them to the appropriate sizes.

One big benefit of saline implants is that because they are inserted into the chest cavity empty, they usually require a much smaller incision to place them. This can mean that patients end up with a smaller scar. There is also more versatility when it comes to how they are placed, and in addition to a conventional incision under the breast, they can also be placed through an incision made along with the areola.

It is important to bear in mind that implants aren’t designed to last forever, and you may need surgery to replace them in the future. If you choose saline implants, you will need to have the saline solution drained before the implant is removed.

Occasionally an implant will rupture. If this happens with a saline implant, you will be able to tell within just a few hours. As the implant deflates, you will notice that the affected breast shrinks. You don’t need to worry about leaking saline as it is safe to be absorbed by your body, but you will still need to have the empty implant shell removed – and replaced if necessary.

Silicone Breast Implants

Silicone breast implants are pre-formed implant shells that are filled with silicone gel, which is a fluid that resembles the feel of human fat. Many people agree that silicone implants look and feel more like natural breasts. You will consult with your surgeon ahead of your surgery to decide which size silicone breast implants will help you to achieve your esthetic goals. Since they need to be inserted whole, the incision needed to place silicone breast implants is somewhat larger and can only be made under the breasts or along the armpit.

Silicone breast implants usually last around a decade before replacement is required. At this time, the entire implant will need to be removed whole before being replaced. Incisions are made in the same place where possible to minimize scarring.

Unfortunately, silicone implant ruptures are much more difficult to identify. Any free silicone is likely to remain trapped in the fibrous capsule that forms around the implant after surgery rather than leaking out fully, meaning that you might not realize your implant has ruptured for months or even years. Any silicone that does leak out shouldn’t pose any health risk, but over time, patients could experience some breast pain or changes in the shape of their breast. Any rupture will need to be dealt with by removing the implant shell and any traces of silicone and replacing it with a new implant or having the intact breast implant also removed.


If you are thinking about enhancing the size of your breasts and you would like to schedule an appointment to discuss your options, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our discreet and experienced cosmetic dentistry team in Metairie, LA.