Silicone Gel Breast Implants or Saline? This is one of the most common questions Dr. Weinrach is asked by women who are interested in a breast augmentation, breast lift also known as mastopexy, or a combination of both. The answer is that one is not “better” than the other; there are advantages and disadvantages to both. It is not really completely possible to determine which is the absolute best choice for a particular patient without a physical exam to determine breast tissue quality; however, in a nutshell, it comes down to this:
The advantage of Silicone Gel breast implants is that they feel more like a natural breast. However, they are much more expensive than saline breast implants. Adjustments to size cannot be made during surgery. In the past, longer incisions were needed for silicone gel breast implants because they are already filled before placement. This is no longer the case; with the use of a Keller funnel, much shorter incisions can now be used. Most implants can be placed through an incision the same size as used for a saline implant.
Saline breast implants are less expensive than silicone gel breast implants. Also, adjustments to the size of the implant can be made during surgery and even after surgery in some cases. Saline breast implants tend to not feel quite as natural as silicone gel implants. However, in a patient with plenty of good quality breast tissue to begin with to cover the implant, a quite natural result can be achieved. On the contrary, if a saline implant is placed in a breast with very little breast tissue and thin, poorly elastic skin, a much less natural breast will likely result. So, a good preoperative physical exam to determine tissue quality is critical. This is best accomplished by a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
There are numerous factors that go into the determination of breast implant choice, not only saline vs. silicone gel, but size and shape as well. Of course there are other decisions to be made such as incision location and location of the implant (above or below the muscle). Scottsdale and Phoenix area plastic surgeon Jonathan C Weinrach MD FACS is a board certified plastic surgeon, certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery as well as the American Board of Surgery. He is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He is highly trained and skilled, and is an expert in making these decisions and guiding the patient in the right direction. For a consultation please call (480)634-6014 or email us here.