Silicone Implants

Both Mentor and Allergan make high quality implants.  They are both FDA approved. Our plastic surgeons would place either one in a family member. We trust them enough to place them in our patients. 

Silicone Implants  vs Saline Implants

Silicone (gel) and saline (water) implants look identical in pictures, video and real life. Visually, there is no difference between these two implants. In case 1 shown above, there is no way to know if those implants are saline or silicone, however saline and silicone feel different. 

Silicone implants have a feel that’s indistinguishable from normal breast tissue, whereas saline implants feel like water baloons. However, silicone implants are $2,000 more expensive and require a slightly bigger incision. Although saline implants feel less natural than silicone, this difference is not very obvious in most cases because the breast covers the implants anyway. Thus in the real world, the implants are covered by breast tissue anyway, which reduces the differences in feel. 

Case 1: This patient has 380 cc above muscle silicone implants. Although both saline and silicone implants cause lift, saline implants give more lift at the same volume.

Case 2: The patient here has 400 cc silicone implants placed above the muscle, using a periareolar (nipple incision). Notice how 400 cc causes more lift when compared to 339 cc. Also this patient has never been pregnant (unlike case 2) which means she has less ptosis (sagging) than case 2.

Case 3. silicone implants in a patient who is a C cup before surgery.The right breast is about 30 cc smaller than the left breast.  The right areola and this lower than the left.  To correct for this, a 430 cc silicone implant was placed on the right and a 460 cc silicone implant was placed on the left.  The incisions were inframammary.The final result is a D cup.

Should you’ve choose saline or silicone implants?

The bottom line is this. If you want a very good implant and the smallest incision, but do not want to spend a lot of money, a saline implant is the way to go. If you want the most natural implant, regardless of price, then silicone is the best option. the advantage that silicone has all first saline diminishes as the patient’s cup size is larger.  

  • For patients that are A cup, the patient’s own breast tissue may cover only 50% of the saline implant. In these cases, silicone has about a 50% advantage over saline implants.
  • For patients that are B cup before breast augmentation, the patient’s own  breast tissue will be covering 80% of the saline implants.  In this case, the  differences between saline and silicone implants are about 20%.
  • For patients that are a C cup before surgery, the patient’s own breast tissue will be covering 90% of the saline implants. In this case the differences  between saline and silicone implants is only about 10%.