Are saline solution implants safer than silicone ones?

Are saline solution implants safer than silicone ones?

28th Oct 2018

Breast augmentation surgery, also known as mammary augmentation, has the purpose of increasing the volume of the breasts, sometimes using mammary prostheses.

Insufficient development of the breasts can be congenital or secondary to weight loss, pregnancy and breastfeeding, or trauma to the breasts. The underdevelopment of the breasts can be isolated or associated with breast ptosis.

All breasts implants that are FDA-approved are made of a shell and a filling substance. The external shell is always made out of elastic silicone with a smooth or textured surface. When it comes to the contents of the shell, we have cohesive silicone gel and saline solution.

With a lot of options available when it comes to implants, it is only natural for potential patients to have all sorts of questions related to the procedure. One of the most frequently asked questions is whether saline solution implants are safer than silicone implants.

Breast implant safety

When women come to the pre-operative consultation to discuss breast augmentation, one of the big decisions is whether to opt for saline solution or silicone implants.

As some people know, silicone implants have been pulled out of the market for a while in some countries around the world, including France, as they were considered unsafe. The decision was not based on facts, so the implants were soon reintroduced and deemed as completely safe to use and unrelated to breast cancer.

This is probably one of the reasons why some people might believe that saline solution implants are safer than silicone implants. This is not true. When working with a board-certified and experienced plastic surgeon, he will present you with different options when it comes to implants, but all implants should be FDA-approved and of a high quality.

Patients also ask about the migration of the silicone gel in case of implant rupture. When it comes to saline solution implants, people tend to be more relaxed as saline solution is completely safe and can be absorbed by the body without any side effects. But what if the silicone implant ruptures? In the case of a silicone implant rupture, the silicone gel won’t be absorbed by the body, and it also won’t migrate to different areas of the body or get into the blood stream to create complications. The silicone gel is so cohesive that it will stay on the surface of the implant. Of course, this makes the diagnosis of rupture quite difficult. However, nowadays ruptures can be diagnosed when using an MRI device.

While there are no significant differences in terms of safety when having one type of implant over the other, there are certainly differences when it comes to the aesthetic results achieved after surgery.

Some people say silicone implants are better than saline solution implants. Of course, this doesn’t mean that saline solution is not good, but when compared on the basis of the results provided, many believe that silicone implants offer more natural results. This fact is supported by data showing that over 70% of breast augmentations performed use silicone implants.

Silicone implants certainly have numerous advantages. These are general and are not applicable to all cases, but silicone implants generally last longer, are lighter, smoother and less likely to have an undulating appearance.

Silicone implants give a more natural feeling of the breasts when touched. By this, we mean that saline implants are more explicit and obvious. Silicone implants give a more normal slope at the top of the chest. In addition, the rippling of the implants can be a problem with saline solution implants that you rarely see with silicone. Natural breasts do not reverberate.

Which type of implant is better? This is for you to decide, together with the plastic surgeon. Keep in mind that both types of implants are used with a high satisfaction rate all over the world, so we can’t talk about one being better than the other. They serve different purposes and can help achieve different results. In the end, it is all about your desires and expectations from the surgery.

When meeting the plastic surgeon for the pre-operative consultation, ask him to show you implants with silicone gel and saline solution so you can notice the differences in the consistency of the contents. Also, you can ask to see pictures of patients who had saline and silicone implants inserted. But most importantly, discuss all these aspects with your plastic surgeon and pay attention when he makes his recommendations and gives explanations.

Other types of breast implants

Nowadays, only the silicone gel and the saline solution are FDA-approved. If you have undergone a breast augmentation in the past with other types of implants, it is recommended to get in touch with a plastic surgeon for a follow-up consultation and maybe to have your implants removed and replaced with a new generation one.


Saline solution implants are just as safe as silicone gel implants. There are no noticeable differences in terms of their use for the safety of the patient; however, the aesthetic results after surgery are dependent on the contents of the implants in terms of look and feel.

An experienced plastic surgeon that is also board-certified will be able to recommend the most suitable type of implants for your particular case, after assessing your anatomical characteristics and taking into considerations your expectations from the surgery as well.

Silicone implants are said to provide more natural results as the consistency of the gel is more similar to the texture of the natural mammary gland. However, it is only after deciding and describing your goals to the plastic surgeon that the type of implants can be chosen.

Share this article: