How To Choose Between Silicone and Saline Breast Implants

By: Dr. Nana Mizuguchi


In 2019, over 300,000 women underwent breast augmentation surgery in this country. It is one of the most popular procedures in the cosmetic industry, and one that requires important decisions to be made beforehand. For one, when considering breast implants, patients have to choose what type of implant they want. Perhaps the most frequently asked question by patients contemplating breast surgery is, "What is the difference between saline and silicone implants?" Both options have their respective advantages when it comes to breast augmentation, and it is important that patients, with the assistance of an experienced plastic surgeon, choose the best option to help them achieve their aesthetic goals.

For patients in Louisville, KY dual board-certified aesthetic and plastic surgeon Dr. Nana Mizuguchi and his experienced team at Mizuguchi Plastic Surgery are here to help patients navigate through the decisions when it comes to breast augmentation. During a consultation, Dr. Mizuguchi can discuss breast augmentation options and answer questions like, “How long do saline and silicone implants last?” If a patient wants to restore lost volume, enhance their natural breasts, or need reconstructive help, breast augmentation can be a life-changing experience. Read on to learn more about silicone and saline implants to help determine which one is the right choice for you.

Saline implants

While typically a less popular choice than silicone implants among patients seeking breast surgery in Louisville, KY, they have their advantages. One of the main differences is related to the way they are surgically placed. An empty implant "shell" is inserted through an incision either underneath or on top of the pectoral muscle. After placement, the saline implant is filled with saline or sterile saltwater. This often requires a smaller incision than silicone implants, resulting in less scarring. It is also uncommon for saline implants to rupture. If that should occur, it is immediately apparent due to a change in breast shape and size. The saline solution is also not harmful to the patient or known to cause any adverse health effects. If a rupture should occur, the saline will be naturally absorbed by the body.

What is the difference between saline and silicone implants?

With advancements in modern medicine, silicone implants are the most sought-after of all implant devices. One of the main reasons patients choose silicone implants is because they are known for their natural look and feel. The silicone gel-like substance closely mimics the movement and weight of a woman's natural breast tissue. Patients must be 18 or older to receive saline implants. However, for silicone implants, patients must be 21 or older. Though rare, if a silicone breast implant ruptures, it may not be noticeable since the size and shape of the breast will not change. It is important to maintain follow-up appointments with your surgeon so he can monitor your implants.

Do breast implants help with ptosis?

Breast augmentation is an effective body contouring procedure to enhance the shape of the breasts and increase volume. However, it will not correct drooping or sagging breasts, also known as ptosis. Regardless of what type of implant is chosen, it is important that patients work closely with an experienced, qualified plastic surgeon. Dr. Mizuguchi is a leading expert with breast augmentation, helping countless patients in the Louisville, KY area obtain the cosmetic results they desire. He is highly skilled in determining and employing complementary strategies during breast surgery, such as a breast lift, to help patients achieve optimal results.

How long do silicone implants last?

Whether a patient chooses silicone or saline, breast implants are not a lifetime guarantee. The implant device will likely need replacement at some point, usually within 8 – 10 years; however, this number varies from patient to patient. Dr. Mizuguchi and his knowledgeable team at Mizuguchi Plastic Surgery will evaluate a patient's implants on a routine basis and advise accordingly. Perhaps the most crucial aspect to keep in mind in terms of longevity is to remember the breasts will continue to change with time, regardless of saline vs. silicone. As we age, lose or gain weight, the remaining breast tissue will continue to lose elasticity and change. Silicone or saline implants will preserve a woman's breast volume but will not prevent the results of time and circumstance. Fortunately, patients can consider additional cosmetic procedures, like breast revision or a breast lift down the road, and Dr. Mizuguchi can help.

The decision between saline or silicone is a personal preference for every patient. The first step in making that choice is scheduling a thorough consultation and evaluation with dual board-certified aesthetic and plastic surgeon Dr. Nana Mizuguchi at Mizuguchi Plastic Surgery in Louisville, KY. We invite you to contact our office and schedule your breast augmentation consultation today to learn more about saline and silicone breast implants to decide which option may be the right one for you.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.