Helping You Make the Best Choice: Silicone vs. Saline Breast Implants

a woman in a black dressA question breast implant candidates often ask is whether silicone or saline implants are the better choice. Factors like body type and lifestyle are important to consider, but the answer ultimately depends upon the patient's goals and preferences. Respected plastic surgeon Dr. Oren Lerman can help you make the choice of silicone vs. saline breast implants during an informative consultation at his Manhattan practice. Contact us today to schedule your one-on-one consultation with Dr. Lerman.

Advantages of Silicone Breast Implants

Silicone and saline implants both consist of an outer silicone shell, and are available in a wide range of sizes. Silicone breast implants are pre-filled with a cohesive gel that feels more like natural breast tissue than saline. Patients often choose silicone breast implants for their very natural look and feel. 

For patients with a small to moderate amount of natural breast tissue, or who have a thin body type and little body fat, silicone breast implants may be the best option for achieving a natural appearance. This is primarily because saline implants can ripple, and this rippling can be visible around the borders of the implant and affect the outward appearance of the breast if a woman lacks ample natural breast tissue. It is important to note that patients must be at least 22 years old in order to receive silicone breast implants. Patients should also keep in mind that since their reintroduction to the market in 2006, silicone implants have increased safety features that reduce the risk of rupture or leaking and capsular contracture (a tightening of scar tissue surrounding the implant, which can distort the shape of the breast).

Form Stable "Gummy Bear" Silicone Implants

The latest type of silicone breast implant is a tear drop shaped, form stable, highly cohesive gel implant that is sometimes referred to the "gummy bear" implant. These newer implants have a more cohesive silicone gel that maintains its anatomical "tear drop" shape. They are sometimes used to give a more natural shape to the breast and avoid some of the tell tale signs of breast augmentation such as excessive fullness in the upper pole of the breast . Although this is ideal for some woman, others prefer the softer feel of traditional round silicone implants.

Advantages of Saline Breast Implants

Saline implants offer several unique advantages. First, they can be filled with saline solution after they are placed, so surgery can involve a much smaller incision than silicone implants require. If the implant ruptures, it will become immediately apparent, and the saline solution will be absorbed into the body, making revision surgery relatively simple. Additionally, the saline implant can be adjusted by smaller increments than silicone implants to allow for a more precise size match between the two breasts. Saline breast implants can offer great aesthetic results for women who have a sufficient amount of natural breast tissue, or a larger body frame.

Deciding Whether Silicone or Saline Breast Implants are Right for You

During your consultation, Dr. Lerman will review a number of factors, including your weight, height, body type, and cosmetic goals, to make an expert recommendation regarding the style, shape, and size of your breast implants. You can also view before and after photos of patients who have achieved results similar to what you desire. The decision between saline or silicone implants for breast augmentation patients ultimately comes down to personal preference, and our team will work closely with you to ensure your long-term satisfaction with your decision.

Tailoring Treatment to Your Goals

Breast augmentation can help you achieve a beautiful aesthetic enhancement that boosts your self-esteem. It is a personal choice and a highly personalized treatment that requires many important decisions on your part, and Dr. Lerman will take all the time needed to make sure you are able to make informed decisions. To learn more about breast augmentation surgery and your implant options, contact us today and schedule your consultation.

Dr. Oren Lerman

Oren Z. Lerman, MD

Dr. Oren Lerman performs a variety of cosmetic and reconstructive procedures with a specialty in reconstructive breast surgery. In fact, he is the director of breast reconstruction at Lenox Hill Hospital's Institute for Comprehensive Breast Care as well as the Microvascular and Cosmetic Breast Fellowship. In addition to the hospital, Dr. Lerman is affiliated with:

  • The New York Regional Society of Plastic Surgeons (Past President)
  • The American Board of Plastic Surgery (Diplomate)
  • The American College of Surgeons (Fellow)
  • The American Society of Plastic Surgeons
  • The American Society of Reconstructive Microsurgery

You can schedule a consultation with Dr. Lerman by filling out our online form or calling (212) 434-6980.

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"The one thing that is most important when we're doing cosmetic surgery and aesthetic surgery of the face or the body is to make sure that the patient is happy afterwards..." Dr. Oren Lerman

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