Choosing Between Silicone and Saline Breast Implants

If you’re considering breast augmentation to enhance the size and shape of your breasts, one of your choices is whether to go with saline or silicone implants. Knowing the differences can help you decide which would be best for you. And, once you understand your options, Yaqub Baraki, MD, and his team at Lansdowne Aesthetic Center in Leesburg-Ashburn, Virginia, can also make additional recommendations based on how saline or silicone will work for you based on your body type, breast anatomy, and overall goals.

The similarities between silicon and saline implants

When it comes to breast implants, they both come with an outer silicone shell. This outer shell can either be textured or smooth. When the outer surface is smooth, it gives your implant subtle movement that’s similar to how your natural breast would move. Textured implants tend to move less because they encourage soft tissues to grow into their surfaces.

Both silicone and saline breast implants also come in a wide range of widths, fill volumes, and projections, so you have the ability to find the perfect fit for your body and desired outcome. And, both options are considered safe for breast reconstruction and breast augmentation.

The differences between silicone and saline implants

The differences between silicone and saline implants provide advantages and disadvantages.


Silicone implants date back to the late 1960s, but significant advances have taken place over the decades. A silicone implant comes pre-filled with an inert polymer that’s thicker than saline, so they usually create a look and feel that closely resembles breast tissue. Silicone implants are FDA-approved and have no known sensitivities, allergies, or reactions in humans.

To get a silicone implant, you must be age 22 or older.


Saline implants first gained popularity in the late 1990s. When you get saline implants, we insert an empty silicone shell into your chest cavity and then fill it with saline fluid until it reaches the desired volume. An advantage to saline implants is that we can adjust your breast volume after your surgery to fine-tune your breast shape and size.

Saline implants are available for women 18 and older.

Comparing the risks of silicone and saline implants

No breast implant is guaranteed for life, and silicone and saline breast implants share the same risks, including leakage and rupture.

If your saline implant ruptures, it completely deflates, leading to obvious changes in your breast shape and size. Your body can safely absorb saline without any risks, but we have to remove the saline shell. We can then insert a new one at the same time.

When a silicone breast implants leaks or ruptures, it can be harder to notice, because the silicone gel usually remains contained in the area surrounding your implant. While there aren’t obvious health risks associated with silicone gel, over time it can lead to breast changes, like pain and changes in shape. In most cases, we usually recommend having a breast MRI every 2-3 years to make sure your silicone implants are completely intact.

To see if silicone or saline implants are right for you, call Lansdowne Aesthetic Center or schedule a consultation online today.


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