Pros and Cons of Saline Breast Implants

Nov 18, 2015

Dr. Gerstle performs a number of breast enhancement procedures in Lexington, KY using saline breast implants. Silicone can be a great alternative for a variety of reasons, but here we will focus on the pros and cons of saline breast implants.

A saline breast implant is an implant composed of a silicone outer shell, and filled with a saltwater solution called saline. Saline implants were created in response to an unfounded worry about silicone implants. While this worry disrupted the advancement of silicone-based implant development, we are fortunate that we have more choices to provide patients.

The Pros of Saline Breast Implants:

• Many incision placement options
• Approved for patients 18 years and older
• Saline is sterile and absorbable
• Saline breast implant ruptures are noticeable

Your choice of saline breast implant placement incision

A silicone implant is filled before insertion, whereas a saline breast implant is filled after the implant shell has been placed. This allows Dr. Gerstle to offer more options for placing the insertion incision. The options can include transaxiliary, through the arm pit, and through an incision placed on the boarder of the areola and skin. Both are small, discrete incisions that are well-hidden. A silicone implant is almost always placed through an inframammary incision resulting in a scar near the crease of the breast. While this scar is hidden, some may prefer the even more discrete incision options afforded by saline breast implants.

Saline breast implants FDA approved for youngest adults

Silicone breast implants are only approved by the FDA for use in women 22 years or older. By contrast, you can be 18 and receive saline breast implants.

Saline is a common bodily fluid

There was a panic over the safety of silicone implants which turned out to be unfounded, but saline is an alternative for those who wish complete peace of mind. The saltwater solution that fills the implant is roughly the same as the saline fluid commonly injected into dehydrated people. It’s safe.

Saline is absorbable; if there’s a leak, you will notice it

Implant rupture is a risk, though not common. For patients with silicone implants, a rupture may not be detectable without advanced imaging, like a MRI. If a saline implant ruptures, the body begins absorbing the fluid and soon the affected breast is noticeably smaller.

The Cons of Saline Breast Implants

• Silicone “feels more natural”
• Rippling is more common in saline than silicone

Feel is a matter of preference

While many claim that silicone feels and acts more like natural tissue, it is a matter of preference.

Saline may ripple

Saline breast implants have been at risk of visible rippling, a distortion that can show on the surface of the skin. Because of this, saline implants are often suggested for women who have more breast tissue already present; silicone breast implants are usually recommended for thinner, smaller breasted women.

Are Saline implants right for you?

The best way to learn if saline implants are right for you is to speak to a board-certified surgeon like Dr. Gerstle. During a consultation, Dr. Gerstle will be able to make recommendations that work for your body type and address any concern you may have over the type of breast implant. You’ll even have the opportunity to feel the implants yourself. If you are in Lexington, KY or surrounding area, schedule a consultation with Dr. Gerstle with Lexington Plastic Surgery and get your questions answered.