Breast Augmentation/Enlargement - Saline vs. Silicone!

By: Dr. Shah


For patients in South Denver breast augmentation or enlargement is a very personal decision.  With our athletic population making the decision on the type of breast implant to choose can be difficult.  Here are some thoughts about the two available implant types and their pros and cons so that you can make an intelligent choice. Saline breast implants have a silicone rubber shell that is quite sturdy.  Most patients can expect between ten and fifteen years of duration before implant rupture or breakage becomes more likely.  Saline implants are filled with salt water that has the same makeup as the salt water in our bodies.  Saline implants are adjustable and can be used in situations where a woman's breasts are slightly different sizes. Because of the implant shell design rippling at the edge of the implant is possible.  It can sometimes be felt and even seen. Saline implants have to be overfilled by 10-20% to decrease this rippling and decrease the risk of capsular contracture (scar formation around the implant.)  These implants are great in women who already have thicker breast tissue or are afraid of silicone implants.  I recommend placement under the muscle for these implants.  When a saline implant ruptures it looks like a deflated ball on your chest. Silicone breast implants tend to look and feel more realistic.  They have the same durable silicone rubber shell. Duration is similar to saline implants.  They come in set sizes so it is harder to compensate for slight differences in breast size.  The inside of the implant is filled with a gel material that is thick and more cohesive like a gummy bear or gel toothpaste.  Rippling is not a common problem with silicone implants because of the way they are manufactured.  The FDA is requiring that all women who have silicone gel implants placed after December 2006 have an MRI of the breast at 3,5,7, and 9 years after implantation to check for leaks.  When a silicone implant leaks it is frankly more difficult to tell.  I typically recommend that silicone gel implants be placed under the pectoralis muscle.  This implant however is my implant of choice in women who need the implant placed above the muscle (eg. body builders, fitness competitors, martial artists, gym rats, etc.) I hope this helps those seeking answers to the question "saline vs. silicone?" If you have any questions or would like to obtain a free consultation for breast enlargement in South Denver give us a call at (303) 708-8234.  Or, visit us on the web at
* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.