Difference Between Saline and Silicone Implants

Educating themselves on the distinctions between Saline and Silicone implants can allow patients to make more informed decisions. The choice to have breast implants is a major one, so it's vital to talk to a surgeon about any worries or questions you may have before moving forward.

What are Saline Implants?

When compared to silicone implants, the firmness of saline implants is much more noticeable, and they do not have the same texture as real breast tissue. In most cases, individuals who have attempted saline implants have reported discomfort from feeling the implant's borders or filling valves.

Ladies who already have a lot of breast tissue may look better with saline implants since they are less obvious. Saline implants start out as empty bags that are filled with a saline (salt water) solution during surgery.

Saline implants are less invasive than silicone ones − therefore, the insertion process leaves less of a scar on the patient. Most ladies prefer this to be done. To introduce saline implants into the breasts, a tiny incision is made in the skin, and the implant is rolled up like a cigar. After the implant is placed, the surgeon will fill it up, and in this way, doctors have control of the implant’s volume, unlike silicone implants which are already pre-filled. Because silicone implants are pre-filled, they will need a wider incision and are tougher for surgeons to modify.

If a saline implant ruptures, the patient will feel some discomfort, and within minutes, the breast will deflate. However, individuals who opt for silicone implants will have no discomfort and may not even detect a leak. The saltwater used to make saline implants means that even if they leak, they won't cause any harm to the patient. Considering that water makes up around 70% of the human body, any leakage will have no adverse effects on us.

What is Silicone Implants?

Silicone implants are said to be the most natural feeling because patients seldom feel the edges. Thinner women, who have less breast tissue to protect their silicone implants, are the best candidates for this type of implant. Breast implants made of silicone are inserted into the patient's body after they have already been filled.

Diseases linked to silicone migration have been linked to silicone implants. When the silicone leaks, it travels to another place in the body, where it does the same damage. Some people say the danger of silicone migration is lower with modern implants because of the cohesive nature of the silicone. Silicone implants are now less dangerous thanks to this breakthrough.

Pros and Cons of Saline and Silicone Implants

Saline implants can have their size adjusted by the surgeon during the process because of their malleable fill volume. In the unlikely event of a saline implant bursting, the leaked solution would be harmlessly absorbed by the body. In order to get rid of the silicone covering, surgery is required.

Silicone has been praised by many women because they say it looks and feels more like breast flesh. Silicone has less of a threat of falling because of gravity than saline does. They do, however, result in a more extensive scar. It may not be immediately obvious if it ruptures, but it might cause pain or a change in appearance. Regular MRI scans may be necessary for those with silicone implants since this issue may not be evident visually. The FDA has restricted the sale of silicone implants to only two manufacturers − Mentor and Allergan.

Cost of Implant

Prices range from $5,000 to $10,000, but that's just an average across the board. Silicone implants are often more expensive by $900 to $1,000 compared to saline implants.

Differences between Saline and Silicone Implants

The following table highlights the differences between Saline and Silicon implants −


Saline Implant

Silicone Implant

Look and feel

Saline implants have a less natural look and feel. Saline implants are heavier and can potentially cause sagging.

Silicone implants have a more natural look and feel. Silicone implants are lighter.


Saline implants require a smaller incision. A transaxillary (armpit) incision can be used with saline implants.

Silicone implants need a larger incision. About 70% of patients use an inframammary (under the breast) incision.

The periareolar incision (scar around the colored part of the nipple) is also very popular.

Risk after rupture

No. Saline water is absorbed by the body where it poses no risk.

Potentially. Surgery is recommended if a silicone implant ruptures.


$5,000 to $10,000. Saline implants cost roughly $1,000 less than silicone.

$5,000 to $10,000. Silicone implants cost roughly $1,000 more than saline.

Minimum age

18 or over for augmentation, any age for reconstruction.

22 or over for augmentation, any age for reconstruction.


The augmentation of the breasts can be performed as a day surgery or need an overnight stay in the hospital. The surgery is performed while the patient is unconscious for one to two hours. Silicone implants are pre-filled, so they need a larger incision. Typically, this incision is made under the breast or around the nipple. Saline implants may instead use an incision under the armpit. Regardless of implant type, recovery takes two to three weeks.

Updated on: 31-Jan-2023


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