Saline Vs. Silicone Part III

Part 3 of 3: Dr. Loftus Ties it all Together and Offers Her Advice

Prior to reading Part 3 of this 3-Part Blog, please read both Part 1 and Part 2 which will make Part 3 even more helpful to you.

The question of saline versus silicone breast implants is critical. It is second only to that of size when making decisions prior to breast augmentation surgery. For some women, the decision is simple; for others it is difficult. Many women seek my advice on this issue…and here it is.


Tying it all together:

So, now that you have read Parts 1 & 2 of this Blog, you know all the factors. You are ready to make a decision. Here is my advice…take it or leave it.….

  • If you have almost no breast tissue (as in Example 1 in Part 1 of this blog) with no breast crease beneath the breasts), then you should strongly lean toward silicone, as the difference between silicone and saline with regard to the cosmetic result will be profound.
  • If you have significant breast tissue (as in Example 2 in Part 1 of this blog), then unless you are choosing a large implant, you should feel comfortable leaning toward saline, as the cosmetic benefit of silicone may be nominal.
  • If you are somewhere in-between (as most women are), then…
    • If you can identify which of the issues raised in Parts 1 and 2 of this blog are the most important, then I can tell you whether you should choose saline or silicone. The only problem is that for many women, more than one issue is important. Still, if there is a single issue which prevails, then you will answer this question for yourself.
    • Unfortunately, you simply must ”pick your poison.” Neither saline nor silicone is perfect – just decide which disadvantages you can and cannot tolerate, and make your decision based on that.
    • Do not look upon this decision as a life and death decision. I can (and often do) have two women with nearly identical breasts: one will choose saline, and one will choose silicone, and both will ultimately be happy with her choice. As long as you are aware of the pros and cons and willing to accept them, you will most likely be satisfied with your choice. Keep in mind that prior to November of 2006, only saline implants were available in this country, and even women with nominal breast tissue were pleased with their results.
    • If you are going to lay awake at night worrying about silent rupture of silicone implants, then do not bring this burden upon yourself. No matter how many studies are done, and no matter what the science says, if it will cause you anxiety, then just go with saline.
    • If you still can’t tell whether you want saline or silicone, then look at the issue of feel and how important this is to you. Clearly, all women would prefer to have implants that can not be felt through the skin when the breasts are touched. However, this issue is not as critical to some as to others. If this is a make or break issue for you, then go with silicone. If you are one of the women who says, “Yeah, it would be nice not to be able to feel them through the skin, but if I do, I can handle it,” then the benefits of saline may outweigh the benefits of silicone breast implants, and you should choose saline.

Hopefully this 3-part blog has helped to tie things together for you. If you have any remaining questions about thus topic, PLEASE do not hesitate to post below, and don’t forget to view some Breast Augmentation Before and After Images.

Jean M. Loftus, MD