Difference between Saline and Silicone Breast Implants

November 30, 2015 by Editorial Team

Both silicone breast implants and saline breast implants are used for plastic surgery for breast augmentation. However these two substances differ in numerous ways from one another.


Before 1992, a silicone implant style was used that came into question for safety concerns. Thus, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) put a ban on the sale of these implants. Following this, nonetheless, the group allowed a new silicone gel implant generation to begin in 2006. This was approved after thorough research and proper clinical testing.

Experts suggest that silicone gel implants are safe and good for women with not-so-soft tissue coverage. These implants offer a highly natural feel and look and are provided in pre-filled form by manufacturers. The gel is a thick, semi-solid fluid with a gummy bear candy texture.

Silicone breast implant

Saline breast implants, on the contrary, are filled after implantation. These are filled using sterile salt water when in place. Women of age 18 years or more are generally recommended saline breast implants for increase in breast size. These implants are also used for reconstruction of breasts after surgery for breast cancer.


The major difference between the two types of implants is related to the resulting firmness of the breast. Saline implants provide more firmness as compared to silicone implants. Where the saline breast implants may provide a more rounded shape, the silicone ones give a more natural look. In the case of saline implants, there is a greater possibility of wrinkling, which is not the case if you prefer silicone gel implants. While both implants include an outer shell of silicone, these differ in terms of the material they are filled with. Saline implants are filled with sterile saline solution, whereas silicone implants contain semi-solid silicone gel. A saline gel implant requires a small cut due to post-implantation fill, but a silicone one requires a large incision for being pre-filled.

Comparison Chart

Silicone Breast ImplantsSaline Breast Implants
Silicone breast implants give a realistic feel and provide a natural look.Saline breast implants are somewhat rounded, particularly in those with modest tissue.
This type of implant is available to women aged 22 years or older.These implants are available to women aged 18 years or older.
The outer shell is made up of silicone that has a semi-solid silicone gel in it.The outer shell is made of silicone that is injected with sterile saline solution.
These implants are inserted through incisions below the breast. They can also be inserted through a cut around the dark skin that covers the nipple.These can be inserted by cutting the same locations. Also, these may be placed through a cut in the underarm as they are not filled at the start.
It is a bit more expensive.It is less expensive than silicone breast implants.


The difference between silicone and saline breast implants is described in a simplified way in this video.