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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

DH, Katy, TX

"I am so pleased with the exceptional bedside manner of Dr. Feldman. I initially went to him for Botox and recently decided on getting a breast augmentation. I am so pleased with the work and skills that Dr. Feldman has offered me. I have already recommended most of my friends and family. The office is in a great location and the staff is incredible. If you are interested in the best breast out there, Dr. Feldman is the right choice."

ESJ, Houston, TX

"I really am unbelievably pleased with my breast augmentation results. They look and FEEL so real already and its only been a month! Compared to others experiences with different doctors I don't think anyone comes close to how amazing this experience has been for me."

AR, Katy, TX

"Dr. Feldman is a great surgeon and makes you feel very comfortable. I looked online for several surgeons and after visiting for my first consultation, Dr. Feldman and all the staff made me feel very comfortable, so I chose to have my Breast Augmentation at Bancroft Feldman Plastic Surgery. Overall, I would rate my final result as a 10, would recommend them to my friends, and will return to Dr. Feldman if I decide to have additional surgery.

I would like to thank all the staff for their great service! All the staff is awesome, super informative, and helpful!"