Breast Augmentation


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Breast Augmentation

Breast Augmentation: Silicone vs. Saline Breast Implants

Do you like the look of enhanced cleavage? For anyone who wants to enlarge and improve the shape of their breasts, a breast augmentation is an excellent option. The traditional way of achieving this is with breast implants. An implant is a prosthesis made of an outer elastomer silicone shell. It has an inner filling, which could either be made of saline or silicone gel. Are you wondering which is better? Read on to learn more about saline or silicone gel breast implants.

What You Need to Know

Saline breast implants are filled with sterile saline or saltwater. Your plastic surgeon will insert the implant empty. Once they’re in place, your surgeon will supply it with saline fluid to its desired volume. Silicone implants, on the other hand, don’t come empty. Instead, they are already filled with silicone gel. It’s a thick, sticky fluid that resembles the feel of human fat.

  • Feel

    Saline implants feel different from silicone. The former is firmer. Saline doesn’t feel as natural as real breast tissue. That’s probably why silicone implants are considered to be the more popular implant of choice. Silicone feels softer to the touch and tends to better emulate the natural breast tissue.

  • Look

    In many cases, the look of the saline-filled implant is the same as silicone. But there are instances where the former seems to yield a more dramatic appearance. When saline is implanted into your breast, it can give you a more structured look. Silicone gel implants, on the other hand, tend to appear more natural. There are also fewer chances of visible rippling or wrinkling with silicone than saline. Silicone implants are generally a better choice for those who want the implant placed over their muscles or women with very little breast tissue.

  • Incision

    Besides the feel and look, both implants also vary in terms of incisions. Since saline breast implants are initially empty when inserted into your breast, you will only require a smaller incision. Silicone implants are pre-filled, so a larger incision will be necessary to insert them into your breasts. If you want significantly larger breast implants, your surgeon will likely recommend saline. This is because there will be a smaller incision size and minimal scarring.

  • Size

    Both saline and silicone implants come in a wide variety of sizes. But saline offers more versatility as each size is available in a specific range. For instance, one size may come in a 420 cubic centimeter (cc) to 450 ccs. If you get this size, your surgeon can fill your empty implant with saline within this volume range. Since your implants are only filled with saline fluid once they are inside your breast, your surgeon can adjust the volume. This allows them to address any asymmetries between your two breasts. Unlike saline, silicone implants come in a fixed size. They don’t come in a volume range, which means that alterations during surgery are not possible. If your breasts are significantly asymmetrical, your surgeon will place different implant sizes to compensate for the discrepancies and make them proportional.

Learn more about if silicone or saline implants are right for you & breast augmentation surgery, contact East Bay Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery in Oakland, CA at (510) 451-6950.