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You Decide: Do Silicone Breast Implants Look Different Than Saline?

Silicone vs saline breast implants which looks betterWhen 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,

Dr. David B. Reath

David B. Reath, M.D.


7 Responses to You Decide: Do Silicone Breast Implants Look Different Than Saline?

  • Mireya says:

    Hi I’m thinking of getting breast implants. I’ve got two kids, I breastfed both. I was size 36b before I had my second child, and my weight is about 180 lbs. Now my breast seem smaller all my bras are loose from the cup. My question is if I get implants at my current weight will they look any different if I loose weight or vice versa? And wich would you recommend I want something natural looking and feel

  • David B. Reath, MD says:

    Thanks for your comment. Weight gain or loss will not affect your breast implants, but will affect the shape of your existing breast tissue. Sometimes this is an issue and other times not.
    In most people I prefer silicone implants as they look and feel more natural.
    All the best.

  • courtney says:

    Hi, I am 5’9 and very thin at about 135 lbs, two years ago I got saline implants of 450cc in the right and 430cc in left. The results I was initially please with but after 2 years I’m not to thrilled with the very round fake look I’m seeing in the mirror. I’d like to go back and switch to silicone in the hopes that I can not just add another 100 cc to each but that my results will leave me with a less obvious and very round appearance. I also have the issue of being able to feel the implants at the bottom of my breast, they feel like a plastic shopping bag you have filled with water when I run my fingers across the lower part of my breast. Can you feel the very noticeable outline of the saline implants at the bottom of the breast where it is not covered by muscle?

  • David B. Reath, MD says:

    Thanks for your comment. What you are feeling is fairly typical with relatively large saline implants especially in thin women. You will probably be more satisfied with silicone implants. In terms of adding more volume, this is something that you should carefully consider. The larger the implants, the more obvious they may be. But, silicone will almost always look better.
    All the best.

  • kayla says:

    Hi! I’m 15 and have severe assymetric breast. .. left is a DD right is a B.. I’m waiting for my surgery datell now and was wondering if I made the wwrong decision.. my Dr is going to reduce and lift the left on and put an expandable saline implantern in the right one along with a small lift.. we are aiming for a size between full c and full d.. do you think this procedure will end up looking natural?

  • David B. Reath, MD says:

    Thanks for you email. Without seeing you I cannot really comment on how you will look after your operation. However, the approach your doctor is taking seems reasonable.
    Sincerely yours,
    David B. Reath, MD

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