Deciding between silicone and saline implants is just one of the choices that you make on your path to breast augmentation. Both silicone and saline breast implants have various pros and cons to consider. One of the best resources for figuring out which type of breast implants is right for you is to discuss your options with your NJ plastic surgeon based on the type of outcome you hope to achieve. Together, you will be able to make a choice that offers the best possible desired results when it comes to deciding between silicone and saline implants.

Pros of Silicone vs. Saline Implants

New Safer Design

Silicone implants tend to be preferred by surgeons and patients seeking a natural result from breast augmentation. Some people are wary of silicone implants because they remember that in the early 1990s, silicone implants were recalled due to safety concerns. Those types of silicone implants are no longer available. In 2006, the FDA approved a new type of silicone implant for women over 22 years old. The newer silicone implants have gone through extensive testing and research to ensure safety.

Natural Look

Silicone implants have a soft gel feel that is closer to natural breast tissue, thanks to the consistency of the silicone filling, which is similar to molasses. Silicone implants are available pre-filled and cannot be altered for size. Silicone implants have a lower rate of developing ripples and wrinkles and causing capsular contracture, making them more suitable for women that are thin or have very little existing breast tissue as they create a more natural-looking result.

Lighter Weight

Silicone is a lighter-weight material than saline, so they also have a lesser chance of migrating due to gravity. Gravity affects all women’s breasts eventually, so for women that are already experiencing slight drooping before breast augmentation, this might be a factor to consider. Usually, silicone implants are inserted under the breast or through an incision in the area surrounding the nipple.

Cohesive Gel Option

Silicone implants also come in a “gummy” version, which utilizes a cohesive silicone gel. This type of silicone implant is said to hold together better in the event that an implant ruptures. Some types of gummy implants are available in shapes other than round, allowing you to choose a breast shape that best suits your body, such as a teardrop.

Your NJ surgeon can explain the various silicone implants that are available and which types will create the most natural shape for your body. In many cases, silicone implants are recommended for women seeking breast augmentation due to having small breasts but that don’t want a “stuck-on” result that occurs with over-the-muscle placement, often the only option for small frames. The lack of rippling and wrinkling also makes silicone implants a good option for breast reconstruction.

Pros of Saline Implants

Smaller Incision

Saline is a term for saltwater. Saline implants have a silicone shell filled with saltwater, which is similar to the saltwater found naturally in the human body. Saline implants are filled after they are placed in the body, so they may require a smaller incision than silicone. Because they are filled after they are placed in the body, the size can be somewhat customized, even after surgery.

Firmer Feel

Implants filled with saline have a firmer feel than silicone, which is sometimes compared to feeling like filled water balloons. Saline implants are available for all women undergoing reconstruction as long as they are 18 years and older.

Women that have existing breast tissue, or medium- to fuller-sized breasts will likely not notice the “roundness” that can be obvious when saline implants are placed in patients that are thin or have small breasts.


If cost is a concern, saline implants are somewhat less expensive than their silicone counterparts.

Cons of Silicone vs. Saline Implants

Both silicone and saline implants also come with similar risks and long-term implications, including rupture.

Larger Incision

Silicone implants require a larger incision because they are inserted pre-filled. This results in a larger scar than saline breast implants. Usually the scar is well hidden and fades after a while.

Difficult to Determine Ruptures

If silicone implants rupture, you may not know it because it doesn’t deflate quickly, like a ruptured saline implant. To make sure that your silicone implants have not ruptured, it is recommended that you get periodic exams from your NJ doctor and MRIs to ensure their continual safety.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to how long silicone vs. saline implants last, it is somewhat of a guess. Usually, both types of implants last around ten years, but factors such as lifestyle and stress on the implants can mean that they need to be replaced sooner.

Silicone and saline implants have pros and cons that can affect your decision in choosing your implants. It is important to note that, when it comes to safety, most research shows that there is no clear winner between silicone and saline implants. Both have a risk of rupture, but each offers different aesthetic results and has different surgical placements and eligibility requirements.

It is imperative to consider your final goals and your existing breast tissue, along with the size of your breasts as well as other preferences that you may have. Talk to your NJ surgeon about any concerns you have about breast augmentation and to find out why silicone breast implants tend to be preferred by both doctors and patients in many cases.

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About Dr. Cohen

Dr. Cohen specializes in breast lifts, augmentations, revisions and reductions as well as breast cancer reconstructions. A long time dream of Dr. Cohen’s was to travel to developing countries and provide expert surgical care to those who have no other possible access to medical care. This became a reality in 2007 when she became a founding member and Vice President of ISMS Operation Kids.