Should I Get Saline or Silicone Implants?

Breast augmentation is most popular cosmetic surgery in the U.S. If you have decided to undergo breast augmentation surgery, the next big decision to make is what type of breast implants to get. There are two implant options: saline-filled breast implants and silicone-filled breast implants. Both types of implants have an outer silicone shell, called a lumen.

Saline breast implants

Saline breast implants can be inserted into the breast area empty, and then filled with a saline solution sterile salt water) at the time of the surgery to create the desired size and shape. Alternately, they can also be inserted pre-filled, at a set volume. Saline breast implants are FDA-approved for use in women 18 years of age or older.


Smaller incision. If the saline breast implants are inserted empty, the incision can be smaller than if pre-filled.

Flexible volume. If filled during surgery, volume can be adjusted, allowing for minor modifications to the size and shape of the implants.

Safety. If a breast implant ruptures, the saline solution-which is similar to the fluid in the human body- is absorbed into the body and naturally eliminated, posing no health risk.

Less expensive. Saline breast implants tend to be less expensive than silicone breast implants.

Silicone breast implants

Silicone breast implants are inserted to the breast area at a predetermined size, already filled with a silicone gel. Silicone breast implants are FDA-approved for use in women 22 years of age or older.


Natural feel. Because the gel is an elastic material that mimics natural breast tissue, they may feel and move more like real breasts than saline-filled implants.

Natural look. Many surgeons report that silicone breast implants tend to look smooth, with a more natural slope in the upper breast area, and are less likely to create ripples in the skin.

Lighter. The gel weighs less than a water-based saline solution.

For women seeking breast reconstruction surgery, both saline and silicone are available-regardless of age. Breast implants are not guaranteed to last forever and, before your breast augmentation, you should consider the fact that your breasts will change with age and fluctuations in weight.

Ultimately, the choice whether to use saline or silicone implants is yours and you should carefully consider your options. Dr. Jonathan Hall- a Massachusetts board certified plastic surgeon and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons-can recommend the type and size of your breast implants, taking into consideration your aesthetic goals, your body frame, and your existing breast tissue. Because techniques for breast augmentation surgery are continually being refined, Dr. Hall can advise you about the latest advancements in technology and materials, which may inform your decisions. In the future, there may be new filler material available, so it is important to be as up to date as possible.

Dr. Hall welcomes your questions about breast augmentation and the types of breast implants available. If you are a resident of the greater Boston metropolitan area and are considering breast augmentation, contact us in Stoneham, MA for a comprehensive consultation.