Silicone vs Saline Implants

Fillable Saline Implant

All Breast Implants consist of an outer casing (called the ‘shell’ or ‘wall’) plus an inner filler material which is either saline or silicone.

Silicone and saline implants have different characteristics as set out in the following table:

Saline ImplantsSilicone Implants
Filler MaterialSaline (Salt Water)Cohesive Silicone Gel
‘Feel’ of the Implants to TouchLess natural
(more of a ‘waterbed’ feel)
More natural because they feel more like breast tissue
Consequences of Wall RuptureSaline Implants simply deflate and breast volume is lost. The saline is absorbed by the body without any harmful effectsCohesive Gel has a shape-retaining memory, so breast volume is not lost. (Silicone could migrate to regional lymph glands but as silicone is an inert material this is not considered a risk to health)
Chances of Spontaneous DeflationPossibleNone
Silicone Gel “Bleed” through the Shell & Risk of Silicone GranulomaNonePossible
Chances of Surface Wrinkling/RipplingGreaterLess
Approximate Chances of Capsular Contracture3%Higher with Smooth & Textured Implants: Reported incidence in different studies varies from 5% to 19.1%*Note: Polyurethane Foam-Covered Silicone Implants (“Furry Brazilians”) have a significantly lower risk of around 1%
*Source: Allergan Core Study, 2010