What are the differences between saline and silicone gel implants?

  • Posted on: Mar 15 2020
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Breast augmentation surgery helps women feel more confident about their body image through the insertion of silicone gel or saline implants that create fuller, shapelier breasts. But how do you know which implant is best for you? Here, we take a more in-depth look at the differences between the types of implants.

Silicone gel

Silicone gel implants tend to be the most popular choice as they feel the most like natural breast tissue due to the gelatin-like silicone gel. These pre-filled implants consist of a silicone outer shell filled with medical-grade silicone gel. They are inserted through a hole on the underside of the breast or along the areola. While technology has improved the cohesiveness of silicone gel, these implants still offer a disadvantage to saline if the implant ruptures. Most of the gel should remain within the shell of the implant, but if any of it leaks into the breast tissue, the patient won’t know. It will only be seen on imaging such as regular mammograms.


Saline implants start as empty shells that are inserted through a small hole and placed in the pocket under the breast tissue and muscle. These are then filled with sterile salt water or saline solution. Saline implants offer many benefits such as flexibility as the surgeon can adjust the size when filling the shell. The most significant benefit to saline implants is that if an implant leaks, the salt water or saline solution will be absorbed by the body naturally with no ill effects.

During your consultation, you will discuss where and how the implants will be inserted and your options for incisions. Incisions are made in the crease on the underside of the breast or made around the areola to be more inconspicuous. Typically, the implants are placed underneath the pectoralis major muscle.

If a breast augmentation is something on your wish list, book a consultation online or call 403.571.3141. Let Dr. Dawes and his team help you get the fuller, larger breasts you desire.

Posted in: Breast Augmentation

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“My role, in part, is to assist patients through the process of determining which surgical or non-surgical options would help them meet their aesthetic goals and realistic expectations”

Jeffrey C. Dawes MD, FRSC


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