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Silicone vs Saline Breast Implants

Both saline and silicone implants are FDA approved for cosmetic breast augmentation in the United States. Clinical trials demonstrate similar infection, failure and re-operation rates. Neither type of implant causes breast cancer. Despite lawsuits, and internet horror stories, medical studies do not link silicone implants to autoimmune disease like lupus, scleroderma or rheumatoid arthritis.

Saline vs. Silicone Implants

The major difference between saline and silicone implants is how the implants look and feel. In general silicone implants are softer, lighter and will feel more "natural." Saline implants are firmer, rounder and gives a more augmented or fake look. These can be positives or negatives depending upon your goals. The main downside to saline is increased scalloping and rippling, meaning a higher likelihood of seeing (visibility) or feeling (palpability) the implant in thin patients. The only two things that control implant visibility and palpability are the device itself and the amount, and quality, of tissue above the implant hiding it. Therefore, the type of implant selected plays a large role in your result in terms of both look and feel. The vast majority of my patients select silicone implants.

Interestingly, when we refer to silicone or saline, we are talking about the inner fill material. Both saline and silicone implants have the same silicone shell, so the body is exposed to the exact same material for the majority of woman who never experience a failure. Only if the shell was to fail would the breast pocket and capsule be exposed to the fill material. Saline is absorbed and urinated out, silicone gel remains inert, and except in extraordinary cases, stays within the breast pocket.

One factor that should not be considered when considering the difference between saline and silicone breast implants is price. A few hundred dollars is a small difference upfront, for a device you may have for decades. Additionally, both implants carry a lifetime warranty against device failure, but the silicone implant includes a 10-year warranty to help pay some of the surgery fees (up to $3500) should the device fail. To put it simply, both have a lifetime “parts” warranty and silicone includes a 10 year “labor” warranty while that “labor” portion of the warranty is an additional $200 for saline, thereby negating most of the price savings.


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What Our Patients Are Saying

KH, Houston, TX

"I just wanted to check in with yall hope everything's great & wanted to thank Dr. Feldman again, my boobs are awesome. I wore a swim suit for the first time this weekend and I've had 6 girls asking who did them because they turned out so fantastic!!"

JM, Katy, TX

"It has been 6 months since my BA and I could not be more pleased with my results. Dr. Feldman has truly done an amazing job and I owe you guys everything! I feel so much more confident in my appearance and I just wanted to thank you all there for helping me through my Journey :) I will definitely be back for my tummy tuck consultation (with Dr. Bancroft) as soon as I have the opportunity. Thank you so much again!"

JP, Pasadena, TX

"Dr. Feldman took the time to explain everything to me in detail and to make sure that we chose the best choice of breast implant for me. His bedside mannor is excellent….made me feel very comfortable during surgery and at every appointment. The staff at Bancroft/Feldman is very friendly and helpful…always welcoming questions/concern at any time. I am very satisfied with the service I received at Bancroft/Feldman and with the results of my surgery!"