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Saline vs Silicone Breast Implants

Saline vs Silicone Breast Implants

Traditional salt water filled breast implants tend to feel less natural and may feel somewhat firm. Depending on the amount of fluid inside the shell, there may be more or less implant rippling or folds.

Silicone implants are considered to have a more "natural" breast-like feel. People also talk about gummy bear implants. These implants are filled with a silicone gel that is more like a semi-solid (gummy bear consistency) than a liquid. Some folks consider these to be anatomic or shaped (tear drop versus circular) implants, when it really more broadly describes the consistency of the filling.

Silicone vs Saline Implants?
During your consultation, Dr. Albright will different implant choices with you. For most people it comes down to their comfort level with the implant fill material.

1. Breast Implants and Rupture - For saline implants, if the implant were to rupture, your body would slowly absorb the salt-water and you would notice a “deflation” or loss of volume in the afflicted breast. Conversely, with newer cohesive silicone implants, implant ruptures are often “silent”, meaning you may not be able to see or feel a difference in the implant after a rupture.  The FDA recommends scheduled MRI surveillance of silicone implants to help detect these silent ruptures.  If your silicone implant ruptures, the FDA recommends having it removed with or without replacement.  The recommended MRI’s are not covered by insurance and will have to be paid out of pocket.

2. Breast Implants Cost - Saline implants are typically less expensive to purchase than silicone implants (typically several hundred dollars) but may have a less extensive warranty, unless it is purchased separately. An exception to the cheaper initial cost for saline-filled implants is the new “Ideal Implant”, which is a “structured”saline-filled implant that is purported to feel more like a gel and has a similar overall cost to silicone implants.

3. Breast Implant Feel - Silicone implants, including gummy bear breast implants, are widely accepted as feeling more “natural” or“breast-like” particularly when squeezed or prodded. However, this is likely an over simplification. The overall implant feel is also affected by implant pocket selection, implant fill characteristics (over-filled vs under-filled saline and more or less cohesive silicone gel), and overall soft tissue coverage. Dr. Albright typically reserves traditional saline-filled implant use to below the muscle (total submuscular) to minimize any unnatural feel or rippling.  Furthermore, he discourages using saline implants in a dual-plane pocket as these implants may migrate more quickly due to a water hammer effect from the saline fluid wave within the shell.

Credit: @William Albright, MD

4. Breast Implant Weight - The implant fill density (typically grams per cc of volume) is very similar between 0.9% Normal Saline, and cohesive silicone gel.  Both approximate 1g per cc.  Since saline implants come deflated and are filled with salt water during the procedure, they have a range of fill volumes that can be placed and are more adjustable during the surgery, whereas silicone implants come pre-filled and have a fixed volume/shape. But even with these variables, differences between implant weight (at least within the range of most implant sizes) are negligible.

5. Implant Rippling - Every breast implant has the risk for rippling/scalloping/waviness/folding in its shell. This is why ensuring adequate soft tissue coverage to “hide” the implant is so important. There are certainly differences in overall risk of seeing or feeling these ripples or folds. Underfilled-saline implants are at greater risk than over-filled saline implants. Less cohesive silicone gel filled implants are at greater risk than more cohesive silicone gel implants.

Check out this link for some
before and after photos with different implants and let us help you choose!

Dr. William Albright taking implants from a nurse

Exceptional. Compassionate. Trusted.

Breast Augmentation
“ I recently had breast augmentation, and I am so pleased with my results. He spent a great deal of time explaining my options, listening to what I wanted, and providing his opinion. I visited other surgeons in the area and didn’t feel any of the others listened or cared quite like Dr. Albright. Not only do I recommend Dr. Albright, hospital nurses said he is the best! ”
Breast Augmentation
“I had a very positive experience. I always felt comfortable and he was very knowledgable and helpful with any questions I had. He helped me understand the procedure at the consultation and during and after the surgery he was available and ready to help if I needed anything. I would highly recommend Dr. Albright and his wonderful staff!”
Breast Augmentation
" All of my life I have been small chested, and when I became a mommy, it only went downhill from there. I didn't know that the smallest "A" could sag and really deflate my confidence. I began working out, and became a Beach Body Coach. I strive to help others feel as confident as possible with exercise and eating right on a daily basis. This became very hard for me to continue to do, when I myself, was lacking confidence in one area. The more chest and arm exercises I did, the more my breasts began to look like "pecks". I came to Dr. Albright for a simple consultation, and left feeling more motivated than ever. His staff was so professional, and despite my want for "cosmetic" surgery, they were very welcoming!! I was in and out at my consult, and also at my second appointment. We scheduled surgery for two weeks later. Everything went great, and I saw Dr. Albright the next day for my follow up. All of the decisions that we chose to make as far as my breast augmentation, were spot on. My recovery time was 4-6 weeks, and I didn't have much pain at all. At 4 weeks, I was cleared to begin working out again, very slowly. This was a quick recovery, and life got back to normal. I would have this surgery all over again, and have already recommended Dr. Albright and his staff to everyone I know!! This was the most convenient, and wonderful experience I could have had with a surgery!!! "
Beach Body Coach
Breast Augmentation
" Dr. Albright spent a great deal of time to explain pros and cons and the best options that would benefit me the most regarding my breast augmentation. The best place to go for honest and open discussions, reality vs misconceptions and the confidence of feeling better about oneself. Highly recommend! "
Breast Augmentation
" Dr. Albright is a very skilled surgeon and a very kind provider. He spent a great deal of time explaining the breast augmentation options and providing his opinion on which option is the best for me along with why. There was a slight mix up (no fault of his) and he worked to ensure my procedure went on as planned. Throughout he stayed in contact and made me a laugh. I am very pleased with my results and the aftercare I have received. The nurses at the hospital shared how much they like him, too! "
Breast Augmentation
" All of my life I have been small chested, and I didn't know that the smallest "A" could sag and really deflate my confidence. I began working out, and with each chest exercise, my breasts began to look more like "pecks". Dr. Albright was very professional, knowledgeable, and believes that his patients should research before making a decision. The staff is so welcoming, and made me comfortable. I went with a small implant, and I would have surgery all over again under Dr. Albright's care! "
Alamo Plastic Surgery San Antonio TX | Team - Dr. Albright, Franchesca Espinosa, Juli Albright
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