Saline vs Silicone Implants

 In Toronto Plastic Surgery Center

A wide variety of choices will have to be made when you opt to undergo breast augmentation. Aside from deciding on the size and projection profiles, you will need to choose between saline and silicone implants.

Both saline and silicone implants have an outer silicone shell. It’s the filling of the shell that makes the two different.

Fortunately, you will not have to take the decision alone on which type of implant to use. Your Toronto plastic surgeon will be able to give you all the information you need and help you find the right implant to meet your requirements.

Saline implants

Saline Breast Implants

Saline implants, like their name suggests, are filled with a saline, or saltwater solution.

Advantages of saline implants

  • Only a small incision is required as the silicone shells are inserted into the breasts empty. They are then filled with the saline solution once inside a pocket in the breast which has been surgically prepared for them. The incision may even be made under the arm.
  • They can be filled to the right amount to fit your required profile during surgery.
  • Should the saline implant rupture, you will know it immediately, as the shape of your breast will alter as the implant deflates. There will be no threat to your health, as the saline solution which leaks out of the ruptured implant will simply be absorbed and then excreted by the body.
  • Saline implants are cheaper than their silicone gel counterparts.

Disadvantages of saline implants:

Saline implants don’t feel as natural as silicone-gel ones. The saline solution gives them a water balloon feel, rather than the natural fatty feel of normal breast tissue that silicone-gel mimics so well. This balloon feeling is emphasized by the fact that the stiffness of the silicone used in the shell containing the saline solution usually gives the implant a rather obviously round shape.

As the saline solution is heavier than the silicone gel, saline implants may also show a greater tendency to drift downwards, resulting in a drooping effect.

A ripple effect round the edge may be visible, particularly when you bend forward, if the implants weren’t inserted under the muscle, or if you don’t have sufficient breast tissue to cover the edges.

Silicone implants

Silicone Breast Implants

Silicone gel implants are pre-filled with a thick and sticky silicone gel before they are inserted. They are far more popular than the saline ones because they are generally regarded as feeling softer and more like natural breast tissue.

Silicone implants come in two types: The normal round one contains a cohesive gel and feels the most natural.

The form-stable option has a textured silicone shell with a teardrop shape and is filled with a high-strength silicone gel. This implant, often called the “gummy bear” option, is firmer but still pliable, is less likely to shift, and looks very natural because of its shape.

Disadvantages of silicone implants:

They cost more than saline ones and require larger incisions because they are filled before being inserted.

Ruptures can go undetected for years. There may be no immediate visible change in the breast as the silicone may collect in the natural scar capsule around the implant. Studies have shown that leaked silicone shouldn’t pose a systemic or long term health threat, but could cause pain, and possibly change the contour of your breast at some point.