Are Silicone Implants Better than Saline Implants? (Updated 2023)

Many of the rapid recovery breast augmentation patients we see ask if silicone gel breast implants are better than saline implants. The answer is typically yes, but it depends on each patient’s specific circumstances. I certainly prefer the feel of silicone gel implants, but some women still opt for saline implants.

What Are The Differences Between Silicone and Saline Implants?

Our practice uses the latest generation of highly cohesive silicone gel implants, sometimes called Gummy Bear breast implants. They’re very popular, and probably 95 percent of patients in my practice will choose silicone gel implants based on their feel and longevity. That’s similar to the percentage of breast augmentation patients nationally who choose silicone gel implants, according to statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

However, saline implants are also useful. I’ve done thousands of breast augmentation procedures using saline implants, which are a good product. They don’t feel quite as natural as silicone gel implants. They are also more predisposed to rippling and deflating more often, which can result in more surgery. Saline implants are a good option if you’re hesitant about getting silicone implants. The saline fluid that fills implants is biocompatible with our bodies. There’s little concern about the safety of those implants, while some silicone gel implants have been linked to a very rare cancer. Still, silicone gel implants are perhaps the most widely studied medical device in history, and they’re considered safe.

Silicone Gel Breast Implants

The main advantage of silicone implants is that they feel more natural than saline implants. Gel implants are less prone to rippling than saline, which makes them particularly advantageous for thin patients. The current generation of silicone implants is cohesive, meaning that the gel is viscous enough that even if the implant ruptures, the gel tends to remain in the same place. Cohesive gel is a significant and vital advance in implant technology.

Before & After Rapid Recovery Breast Augmentation Case 502 View #1 View in Los Angeles, CA
Before & After With Silicone Gel Implants
Before & After Rapid Recovery Breast Augmentation Case 502 View #2 View in Los Angeles, CA
Before & After With Silicone Gel Implants
Before & After Rapid Recovery Breast Augmentation Case 502 View #3 View in Los Angeles, CA
Before & After With Silicone Gel Implants
Before & After Rapid Recovery Breast Augmentation Case 502 View #4 View in Los Angeles, CA
Before & After With Silicone Gel Implants
Before & After Rapid Recovery Breast Augmentation Case 502 View #5 View in Los Angeles, CA
Before & After With Silicone Gel Implants

This 23-year-old woman desired breast augmentation-cup-sized D-cup-sized breasts. Dr. Stoker performed breast augmentation with round, textured, midrange profile 401 cc silicone gel implants size placed through areolar incisions into submuscular pockets. She is shown before and 6 weeks following her surgery.

Saline Breast Implants

Saline implants have a long safety record and are less expensive than silicone gel implants. Because they are placed when empty and filled once inside the breast pocket, the access incisions are usually smaller than what’s needed to insert silicone implants. When a saline implant leaks, most of the saline from the implant is rapidly and harmlessly absorbed by the body. The deflation is noticeable, and the patient returns for removal and replacement of the saline implant. This may be done under local anesthesia if the patient is an appropriate candidate. The primary disadvantage of saline implants is that they don’t look or feel as natural as silicone gel implants. This is a critical issue for thin women with decreased skin elasticity.

Request a Consultation

If you’re considering getting breast implants, Dr. Stoker performs Rapid Recovery Breast Augmentation at his Los Angeles-area practice. Request a consultation using the online form to meet with him or call our office at (310) 300-1779 to schedule an appointment.

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