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Choosing Between Silicone and Saline Implants

Dr. James Murphy can outline the pros and cons of both silicone and saline implants to patients interested in breast augmentation at his Reno, NV, practice. While each type of implant offers certain advantages over the other, the decision between saline and silicone is ultimately up to the patient. Dr. Murphy will go over the differences in aesthetics, surgical procedures, and possible side effects in order to make the best recommendation. To learn more about saline and silicone implants, or schedule a consultation with Dr. Murphy, contact our office today and schedule an appointment.

Surgical Differences

When discussing the differences in the surgical procedures, the saline implant offers a clear advantage. Dr. Murphy fills saline implants after he places them. Since they are deflated when being placed, only a small incision is necessary. The doctor also has the option of using a less conspicuous incision in the underarm, rather than under the breast or around the areola.  Once he has the implant placed, he fills it with saline to the desired measurement.

Many patients prefer the look and feel of silicone implants over saline.

Silicone gel implants come pre-filled, which requires a larger incision for placement. While silicone implants are only available to patients over the age of 22, the doctor can provide saline implants to patients over 18 years of age.

Aesthetic Differences

Many patients prefer the look and feel of silicone implants over saline. The softer feel provides an excellent choice for women with a smaller amount of breast tissue or fat. Silicone implants also offer a lower chance of wrinkles or ripples developing, which makes them ideal for placing over the muscle. While silicone implants can be round or designed to mimic the shape of natural breasts, saline implants are only available in a round shape.

Chart comparing saline and silicone implants

Dr. Murphy can explain the unique benefits of both saline and silicone breast implants to help you make an informed decision.

What Happens if an Implant Ruptures?

When a saline implant ruptures, it typically deflates quickly. The solution from the implant is harmlessly absorbed into the body. You will need to visit your doctor to have the deflated implant removed, and it may be possible to replace it with a new one at that time.

Rupture of a silicone implant may prove difficult to detect. The thick silicone gel in the implant may leak out very slowly, and even then it usually stays contained in the breast capsule. You may not notice the rupture right away, and in some cases leaks have gone undetected for years. For this reason, the doctor typically suggests that women with silicone implants have regular check-ups, so he can monitor the integrity of the implants.

Other Considerations

Silicone implants have the advantage of weighing less than filled saline implants. This means they come with a lower risk of sagging caused by gravity. This is especially important for women who may already experience some drooping of their breasts, because augmentation alone will not correct this issue. You may, however, combine your augmentation with a breast lift to correct sagging.

One of the biggest deciding factors for many patients is the cost of the implants. Silicone implants tend to have a slightly higher price tag than saline implants.

Learn More During a Consultation

During an appointment, Dr. Murphy will perform a physical examination, and based on your body type, age, budget, and aesthetic goals, make a recommendation regarding which type of implant is best for you. The decision between silicone and saline implants, however, is ultimately yours to make. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Murphy.

Reno Office

10401 Double R Blvd
Reno, NV 89521

Open Today 9:00am - 5:00pm

Hours & Info


(775) 322-3446