Saline vs Silicone: Comparing Sizes, Cost, and Longevity

an in depth comparison of saline vs silicone breast implants

Are you thinking about getting breast augmentation? There are many things to consider before scheduling your surgery, including what type of implant to get. Many people need help choosing between saline vs silicone implant types. The good news is that both options are quite popular and work well for most people. They are also both FDA-approved for breast augmentation and even restoration. However, one may be better for your particular body type, budget, and treatment goals.

Both saline and silicone implants offer a variety of benefits. Some people prefer saline, while others prefer silicone. To help you choose between them, here’s some critical information about their size, cost, and longevity differences.

Why Get Implants?

There are many reasons you might decide to undergo breast augmentation. Some women are born with naturally small breasts and simply want to balance their figures out with implants. Others may choose augmentation because they want a physique capable of turning heads and attracting attention. In some cases, women may opt for a single breast implant to correct asymmetry due to genetics or breast cancer removal.

No matter what reason you may have for considering breast implants, it’s exciting to experience a new and improved physique. But before you can get the body of your dreams, you need to decide what type of implants you want. Here’s what to know about saline vs silicone implant options.

What Are Saline Implants?

Saline implants have an exterior shell of silicone and an inner material from a saline solution. Silicone is a synthetic material that’s similar in texture to human fat. If you opt for this type of implant, your surgeon will insert the empty silicone shell into your breast tissue. Once it’s in place, your surgeon will fill it to your size specifications with a sterile salt water solution.

What Are Silicone Implants?

Unlike saline implants, which have silicone outer shells and a saline interior, silicone implants have silicone on the outside and inside. Before your procedure, your surgeon will sit with you and help you choose the right implant size and shape based on your preferences. Your surgeon must make a larger incision to accommodate the pre-filled silicone implants.

What Are the Benefits of a Saline vs Silicone Implant?

Both saline and silicone implants can look quite natural when a competent professional inserts them. This is especially true if your surgeon places them beneath the muscles of the chest rather than on top of them. However, each of these popular implant types has unique benefits to offer. Understanding their differing benefits can help you make a good decision regarding which type you want to receive.

Saline Implant Benefits

Many people appreciate the fact that saline implants are empty when they’re first inserted. This means the incision sites are smaller than those required for silicone implants. Another benefit of saline implants is that they are highly customizable. Your surgeon has a great deal of control over how much they’re inflated after insertion. They’ll be able to see if they’re filling the implants too much or too little for your liking and can give you a highly customized final appearance.

Baffled saline implants can minimize any unwanted water sloshing during movement. They’re made with separate chambers that limit the movement of the saline solution inside the implants. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that no one younger than age 18 receive saline breast augmentations.

Silicone Implant Benefits

When comparing a saline vs silicone implant, it’s obvious that silicone feels more like natural breast tissue. They also tend to look more natural than their saline counterparts. Many people prefer silicone breast augmentations for these reasons. Some types of silicone are firmer than others. The firmer types are often called “gummy bear” implants.

It’s legal to receive silicone breast augmentations as young as 18. However, the FDA recommends these implants only for people aged 22 and older. Additionally, breast implant manufacturers may not honor warranties for patients who are younger than 22.

What Are the Potential Drawbacks of Silicone vs Saline Implants?

The FDA approves both saline and silicone implants for breast augmentation and reconstruction surgeries. They are generally considered safe, provided you see a reputable and skilled surgeon. Many women have safely turned to breast augmentation to enhance their figures and reconstruct their breasts. But despite the procedure’s popularity, it doesn’t come without risks. Here are some of the drawbacks associated with both silicone and saline breast implants:

  • Infection
  • Breast pain
  • Changes in nipple sensation
  • Capsular contracture (when the scar tissue puts pressure on the implant)
  • Breast implant associated-anaplastic large cell lymphoma
  • Breast Implant Illness (BII)

Fortunately, serious side effects are rare. Most people don’t experience any problems with their implants, though the risk of complications does increase the longer you have implants. Here are some additional potential drawbacks that are specific to each implant type.

Silicone Implant Drawbacks

Silicone implants come pre-filled, meaning that your surgeon must make larger incisions to insert them into your body. The larger incisions lead to larger scars after the area heals. However, silicone implants are often inserted into the armpit or breast fold to reduce visible scarring. Additional risks include:

Another drawback to consider when deciding between saline vs silicone implant types is what happens when they rupture. Due to the thicker consistency of silicone implants, they are less likely to migrate to other areas of the body. Instead, they tend to remain in or near the breast tissue after rupturing. This may seem positive, but it makes it much harder to identify when a rupture occurs. For this reason, surgeons often recommend regular MRIs for women with silicone plants. An MRI can detect a rupture so the affected patient can have the damaged implant removed.

Saline Implant Drawbacks

Due to their weight, saline implants are more likely than silicone implants to experience downward displacement. This happens when the implant migrates downward due to the natural effect of gravity. When comparing silicone vs saline implants, it’s also important to note that saline implants tend to be rounder in appearance. This may look less natural to some and feel like a water balloon beneath the breast tissue.

When a saline implant ruptures, it’s immediately apparent because the breast immediately begins to deflate. This can be embarrassing, but it isn’t dangerous. The affected patient doesn’t need to fear for their health because the body can safely absorb the saline solution.

Saline vs Silicone Implant Sizes

Both saline and silicone implants come in various sizes ranging from 100 cc to 800 cc. The larger the number, the larger the implants. Your surgeon can adjust your saline implants after insertion to achieve the ideal size and symmetry. Silicone implants, on the other hand, come pre-filled. But don’t worry, your surgeon can help you choose the right size for your preferences.

Silicone vs Saline Implant Cost

Breast augmentation surgery can cost up to $12,000, depending on geographic location and provider. Silicone implants typically cost about $1,000 more than their saline counterparts. Many people think the more natural look and feel of silicone implants are worth the additional cost.

However, it’s also important to keep in mind that doctors recommend regular MRIs for women with silicone breast implants. These should ideally happen every two years after surgery. Regular MRIs are crucial for detecting possible ruptures or breast cancer.

Unfortunately, health insurance doesn’t cover breast augmentation because it’s considered an elective cosmetic surgery. Therefore, you’ll need to plan on paying the entire cost yourself. You’ll also need to pay the full price of any additional implant-related surgeries you may choose to undergo, such as replacement or removal.

What Is the Typical Longevity of a Saline vs Silicone Implant?

Breast implants are not designed for lifetime use. The longer you keep them in your body, the greater your risk of experiencing complications. The life expectancy of breast augmentation differs from person to person. Therefore, it’s impossible to give a guaranteed longevity expectation. However, silicone and saline implants may last between 10 and 20 years.

Medical experts used to recommend removing or replacing breast implants after 10 years. However, most plastic surgeons now agree that there’s no need to remove or replace your implants at a specific time. As long as they remain intact and in place without causing unwanted symptoms, you can leave them in as long as you deem appropriate. If a new and improved implant gets released, you may wish to talk to your surgeon about possibly upgrading to the newer version.

Get the Physique You Want With Customizable and Durable Breast Implants

If you’re still unsure about the pros and cons of saline vs. silicone implants, contact SKINNEY Medspa. We can customize a breast augmentation recommendation based on your unique aesthetic goals and help you understand the benefits and drawbacks of each implant type so you can make the most informed treatment decision. Call us at 305-717-7576 to schedule your consultation.

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By submitting this form and signing up for texts, you consent to receive marketing text messages (e.g. promos, cart reminders) from SKINNEY MEDSPA and SKINNEY at the number provided, including messages sent by autodialer. Consent is not a condition of purchase. Msg & data rates may apply. Msg frequency varies. Unsubscribe at any time by replying STOP or clicking the unsubscribe link (where available). Privacy Policy & Terms.

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