Saline vs Silicone: which is the better breast implant?

Posted on the 05 December 2012 at 11:57

Two Florida plastic surgeons have gone public in the saline versus silicone breast implant debate. So which of the two is better, and what verdict did they ultimately reach?

The fact is, which is what they also seemed to conclude, neither option is necessarily better than the other but they have different features and may also be suited to a particular type of recipient. Silicone is the more expensive of the two implants which in itself may be a deciding factor. It is also generally better suited to patients who have a naturally smaller breast size.

This is because saline implants are slightly firmer and less malleable than silicone implants and so with less of the patient’s breast tissue to surround the new insertion, the less natural the final result may be. Of course, as some do, if a patient wants to achieve an obviously fake look then that is up to them! It’s definitely down to aesthetics that it’s better rather than it being medically preferable. There is an added concern that the implant can reduce in time over size and will be more likely to need replacing.

Saline implants tend to better on those who already have a reasonable cup size to begin with, as the breast tissue already there will envelop the implant and give it a softer and more natural outline. In addition to the slightly lower cost if, on the rare chance the implant ruptures, the body will naturally absorb the contents of the implant. It’s also easier to tell if a rupture has happened with saline implants so for these reasons it’s sometimes seen as the safer option.

The history and culture of the implant has probably also contributed to the popularity of one over the other. The States witnessed a 14 year ban on silicone implants which has resulted in the perception that saline is the preferable option - between 1992 and 2006 only saline implants were available. The UK on the other hand has never had such a ban and silicone has remained the number one choice.

Ultimately, it will be down to the doctor and the patient to discuss and decide between them both, based mostly on desired outcomes and personal preference.

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Blog Comment(s) [1]

It is interesting that saline implants are much more popular in the USA compared to the UK, where silicone implants tend to be the common choice.

Jasper Gill