Both saline and silicone breast implants feel real enough for most breast augmentation patients (and their partners), but silicone/silicone gel implants feel the most real and the most natural.
Silicone breast implants feel almost entirely like natural breast tissue.
They weigh about the same as natural breast tissue.
They’re as soft as natural breast tissue.
They’re as bouncy as natural breast tissue.
And they’re about as cohesive as natural breast tissue—the implant and natural breast will move as a whole, and (aside from the newly added weight and volume) there will come a time after surgery when your breasts feel perfectly natural to you.
But both breast implant types will be a bit less natural-feeling when:
- …laying on top of something or someone, breast implants will feel a bit unnatural to you.
- …a partner is laying on top of you, implants will feel less natural to you.
- …anything goes wrong with your implants, such as if you were to contract breast implant illness, capsular contracture, or other related problems.
Breast implants made of silicone also feel more natural than saline implants, which themselves feel quite natural already.
Saline v Silicone Breast Implants
Breast implants are available in two popular forms, makes, or models: Saline-filled, and silicone gel.
Of the two, silicone/silicone gel breast implants feel the most like natural breast tissue, while saline-filled breast implants tend to feel and even sound a bit more like water balloons.
The water balloon effect is most obvious if breast implants are large. Silicone and silicone gel are two names for the same product, since silicone, as used in implants, is a gel.
Women who get saline-filled breast implants are unlikely to dislike them due to the “water balloon effect,” providing their breast implants aren’t too large.
But, again, silicone or silicone gel breast implants feel the most real and natural. They are also the most popular style of breast implants, chosen by roughly 90 to 95 percent of women each year.
Here’s what else you need to know about them:
Silicone Breast Implants
- Are called silicone, silicone gel, or gummy bear breast implants, which are all the same thing.
- Feel the most real and natural of any breast implant.
- Are the most popular breast implants used in America and abroad.
- Are used by 90-95 percent of women who get breast augmentation each year.
- Are used by 250,000 – 300,000 women each year for breast augmentation.
- Have more bounce than saline implants, since they are cohesive and move as a whole unit in tandem with the natural breast.
- Can silently rupture; meaning patients will have little to no idea their implants are leaking silicone (if a leak or rupture does occur.)
- Are slightly more expensive, usually by about $1,000.
Saline-filled Breast Implants
- Are called saline or saline-filled breast implants, which are all the same thing.
- Feel natural enough for most breast implant patients.
- Women who’d like larger breast implants should consider silicone implants.
- Feel ever so slightly like water balloons to the wearer/patient, particularly if the implants are large.
- Are the least popular of the available breast implant options.
- Are considered by many surgeons to be the safer choice.
- Immediately alert patients if they rupture (since the saline [salt water] solution drains into and is absorbed by the body in the event of a leak or rupture.)
- Are slightly less costly, by about $1,000. Given the cost of breast augmentation overall, the small difference in cost between implant types is rarely a huge decision point.
- Are encased in a silicone shell: all breast implants include silicone, saline implants simply use less of it, but it does account for the entirety of the implant that makes contact with the body.
Structured saline-filled breast implants
- Combine the best of both worlds.
- Combine the best of saline-filled breast implants with the best of silicone breast implants.
- Use internal baffles to reduce (or entirely eliminate) any unnatural sloshing, as can occur in saline-filled implants without baffles.
- Ideal Implant, Inc., offers these structured saline breast implants and were the first to do so.
- Not all plastic surgeons offer saline-filled breast implants with baffles, but many of those who do say that patients usually prefer them over both saline and silicone implants.
- Are slightly more expensive than silicone breast implants, which are in turn slightly more expensive than saline breast implants.