When women come in to discuss breast augmentation, one of the big decisions is whether to go with saline or silicone breast implants. This was not always a choice.
As most of you know, silicone implants were taken off the market quite a while ago (a decision most definitely not based on science — but don’t get me going on this!), but were approved for general use in November of 2006. Before I go any further, I must stress that there is nothing wrong with saline implants. If I thought so, I just wouldn’t use them.
Why I Like Silicone
I do like silicone implants, and if pressed I would have to say that they are better than saline. Does this mean that saline implants are a bad, or a poor second choice? Absolutely not, but placed side by side, in most cases I think silicone is a little bit better. And we have seen this with the increased selection of silicone breast implants by women since late 2006. Currently, the majority (as in 80%) of implants that my patients choose are silicone.
I believe there are several advantages to silicone. These are generalities and do not apply to all cases, but silicone implants usually last longer, are lighter, softer, and less likely to have rippling.
But, do they look better than saline? Good question.
Here’s my take, and I will ask for your corroboration on this: I would suggest to you that silicone implants look “more natural.” By this I mean saline implants look slightly more obvious (more like implants and not naturally larger breasts). Certainly this is not true in all cases but generally, I think that saline implants look more round and are more visible in the upper portion of the breast, which is not how a natural breast looks. Silicone gives a more normal slope to the upper breast. Also, the rippling can be an issue with saline which you rarely see with silicone. Natural breasts don’t ripple. Right?
Which Looks Better? You Decide.
So should you take my word for which looks better? No. On my website there are about 30 photos of women with saline implants (before and after) and about 56 for silicone. (Watch out saline, here comes silicone.) They all look great. I just have a personal preference and you probably will too.
The great thing is that we have options. Some people only want saline, and others only silicone. Fortunately both are available. Have a look and let me know which you prefer.
By the way, if you or one of your friends are wanting to learn more about breast augmentation, our staff has written an informative and entertaining 37-page eBook called A Girlfriend’s Guide to Breast Augmentation. It’s a free download, so you might want to check it out.
All the best,
David B. Reath, M.D.