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Should I Choose Silicone or Saline Implants for My Breast Augmentation?

After deciding upon a breast augmentation, the next big decision women face is what type of implant to get: silicone or saline. Both types have various pros and cons.


Practically everyone agrees that silicone implants produce a much more natural look and feel than do saline implants. The fluid saline implants are filled with simply doesn’t move or feel the same way that breast tissue does. The thicker, more viscous gel inside silicone implants can imitate breast tissue remarkably well. Some newer form-stable silicone implants, such as the gummi bear implants, are made of a thicker gel that can be shaped exactly like a natural breast and has a firmer feel.


Saline implants are filled with salt water, which is completely natural and safe. During the 1980s and early 1990s, there were rumors about health hazards caused by silicone implants; however, after extensive study, these rumors were found to be without foundation. Currently, silicone implants are thought to be just as safe as saline implants.

Ruptures and leaks

In order to detect silent leaks from silicone implants, many health-care providers suggest having an MRI every three years after breast augmentation. The newer form-stable silicone implants consist of a thick gel that doesn’t leak or flow even in the event of a rupture, making them easier to remove.

Surgical differences

Because saline implants are filled after implantation, only a small incision is necessary for insertion. In addition, the volume of saline implants can be adjusted. If, several months after surgery, a woman decides she wants slightly larger or smaller breasts, a doctor can adjust the volume in a minimally invasive procedure using a syringe. Silicone implants come pre-filled, and, therefore, require a larger incision for insertion. Their volume cannot be adjusted after implantation.

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Other risks related to breast implants do not seem to differ much between saline and silicone. All breast implants will eventually need to be replaced. The average lifespan of a breast implant, silicone or saline, is 10 years.

If you’re considering breast augmentation, contact The John Bull Center for Cosmetic Surgery and Laser MedispaBoard certified plastic surgeon, John Bull, has extensive experience customizing patient treatments. The staff would be happy to schedule a consultation and review your cosmetic goals and concerns. Contact us today to get started.

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1307 Macom Drive, Naperville, IL 60564