Breast Implants Saline or Silicone?

When women are considering cosmetic breast augmentation, they have a choice about breast implants. There are two main breast implants to choose from with breast enlargement: Saline breast implants and Silicone breast implants. It is important to learn the difference about these breast implants and this is the purpose of this educational writing.

Many women ask, “Which implants are best? Should I get breast implants with saline or silicone?” First, it is important to understand that one breast implant is not better than the other! Silicone breast implants are not “better” than saline breast implants or vice versa. There are choices and options. Think of it more like picking your favorite favor. It is not wrong or right. There are advantages and disadvantages to both types. It is important to learn about both to make the best choice!

Saline breast implants are filled with saline. Saline is the medical word for salt water. Humans are about 70% salt water. The implant shell can be thought of as a “plastic bag.” The bag holds the saline. It is, however, an expensive and extensively studied bag! A women who chooses saline breast augmentation for her cosmetic breast enlargement essentially is picking a salt water filled “balloon” that is very natural in shape and feel.

Silicone breast implants are filled with silicone gel. The silicone is a “gelatin” and not an oil that was used in older and out-dated silicone implants in the past. The breast implants silicone gel is sometimes just referred to as “gel” implants. This still means silicone breast implants. These implants are also commonly referred to as “cohesive”, “gummy-bear”, or “gel” implants. They are all silicone breast implants that are FDA approved. The “bag” holding the silicone is the same as for saline breast implants.

Neither silicone breast implants or saline breast implants cause disease. This is a frequent worry of women choosing breast implants. Many people lean towards saline because they heard something about silicone causing disease. I was the principle investigator of the silicone research study at Christiana Care Hospital System. This study was part of the national study examining silicone breast implants.

The conclusion of the FDA study was that silicone implants are extremely safe and do not cause disease! They were taken off the market for almost 15 years to study the safety! After this extensive review they are again available. It is my opinion that silicone implants or breast implants with silicone gel are one of the most extensively studied medical products in medical history!

I do not “push” one breast implant over another. I believes it is a choice. I wants my patients to choose the best breast implant for their breast augmentation that they want and feel most comfortable with!!


Remember, it is a choice (not wrong or right) when picking your breast implants for breast enlargement surgery. Saline implants have the advantage of being psychologically safer because they are salt water. They also are placed with the smallest incision, because they are empty and filled after being placed at surgery. They feel like a water balloon, so they are not as soft and natural as silicone breast implants. Saline implants are natural, extremely safe, feel wonderful to most patients, and give outstanding results frequently.


Remember, it is a choice (not wrong or right) when picking your breast implants for cosmetic breast augmentation surgery. Silicone breast implants are totally safe, have FDA backing , do not cause disease, and have been used and studied for more than 50 years! They require a slightly larger incision than saline breast implants because they are pre-filled. They are more expensive than saline breast implants. Silicone breast implants are the most natural breast implants for feel and appearance. The FDA recommends MRI’s periodically to follow them.

Summary of the advantages and disadvantages:

1- Filled with a natural salt water
2- Less expensive- saline breast implants cost vs silicone
3- Requires the smallest incision to place
4- Slightly less natural feel and appearance than silicone


1- Filled with silicone gel
2- More expensive – breast implants silicone cost vs saline
3- Requires a slightly bigger incision to place
4- More natural feel and appearance
5- MRI recommended periodically by FDA

People interested in saline or silicone breast implants, or breast augmentation cosmetic surgery or breast enlargement cosmetic surgery or other topics such as breast augmentation cost, breast augmentation recovery, or breast augmentation technique should please call the office for an appointment. I will review your breast surgery with you in detail! I will help you figure out which breast implant is best for you!

I am a board certified plastic surgeon who practices exclusively cosmetic surgery. Please check out the breast enlargement before and after photos on our web site. Also, please come in for a complimentary consultation to learn about your choices and options!