Saline Vs. Silicone Implants: What are the Best Breast Implants?

Saline Vs. Silicone Implants

Many women who feel dissatisfied with the shape and size of their breasts look to implants as a way to achieve greater volume and contour. Given that there are both saline and silicone implants, which are the best breast implants? Breast augmentation surgery can be transformational – it increases the size of the breasts and shapes them according to the patient’s aesthetic goals. 

The decision between saline and silicone implants can be a challenging one. This article will help you explore the advantages and disadvantages of the two implant types and discuss some of the most common queries that patients have about breast augmentation in general.

The CREO Clinic’s Medical Director, Dr. Omar Tillo, is a specialist in body contouring surgeries and has performed many successful breast augmentations over his career. In his hands, you can be sure you’re being treated by a highly experienced practitioner with a proven record of high-quality outcomes.

Contact the CREO Clinic today to book an initial consultation with Dr. Tillo and find out the many benefits of breast augmentation.

What’s The Difference Between Saline And Silicone Breast Implants?

Both silicone and saline implants are highly effective at enhancing the size and shape of the breasts. However, when trying to figure out which is the best breast implant for you, there are some differences between the two types worth discussing in more detail. 

Saline Implants

The outer shell of saline breast implants is made of silicone, but the shell is filled with sterile saline liquid. One of the main advantages of saline implants is that they are cheaper than the silicone gel alternative, but they can have certain drawbacks, such as greater visibility under the skin, a ‘sloshing’ effect, and visible rippling created by the folds in the implant.

An important aesthetic advantage of saline breast implants is that the incision required to insert them is often smaller, as they can be filled with water once they are in position rather than filled before. This means saline implants can result in less noticeable scars.

Silicone Implants

Silicone breast implants consist of a silicone shell that is filled with a silicone gel. The main advantage of these implants is that the gel used is designed to mimic human breast fat, meaning that it looks and feels closer to real breast tissue. It does have some disadvantages compared to saline implants, such as requiring a larger incision for insertion, leading to a slightly more noticeable scar.

Another important point to remember is that silicone breast implants are more expensive than their saline alternatives.

Who’s A Good Candidate For Breast Implants?

Any adult wishing to increase the size and improve the shape of their breasts is a good candidate for breast augmentation. The CREO Clinic does have some criteria that should be met for an ideal candidate:

  • Must have a BMI of 30 or below. You can check your current BMI with our BMI checker.
  • Must be in good physical and psychological health.
  • Must have realistic expectations of breast augmentation.

Who’s A Good Candidate for Saline Implants?

Saline implants do provide excellent aesthetic enhancement, but they can be more susceptible to wrinkling, meaning they are sometimes less suitable for low BMI women with less breast tissue or thinner skin. For example, women whose skin has become stretched due to childbirth may find this breast implant can be more likely to ripple beneath the skin.

Women who are particularly concerned with the size of their breast augmentation scars may prefer saline implants as the incisions used are smaller and typically leave a less noticeable scar.

Who’s A Good Candidate for Silicone Implants?

Any woman can be an ideal candidate for silicone gel implants – they provide natural-looking and feeling enhancements to the breasts. Women with low BMIs and less breast tissue may find that silicone implants lead to less rippling under the skin, making the effect of the implants more subtle and more likely to accurately mimic natural breasts.

Benefits Of Saline Implants

There are many benefits offered by saline implants, such as:

  • Less expensive than silicone implants
  • Leave a smaller scar from insertion
  • Rupturing can be diagnosed through physical assessment by a doctor
  • Long lasting, natural-looking enhancements to volume and contour

Benefits Of Silicone Implants

Silicone implants also have many aesthetic and clinical benefits, such as:

  • Feel and look more like natural breast tissue
  • Come in many different sizes and shapes
  • Long-lasting enhancements to volume and contour
  • Less prone to rippling than saline implants

What Are The Risks Of Breast Implants?

As with any surgery, breast augmentation does incur some risk of complications, however unlikely they may be. Some possible complications from the surgery are:

  • Asymmetry
  • Infection
  • Delayed wound healing
  • Loss of sensation in the nipple
  • Capsular contraction
  • Aesthetic complications such as wrinkling or feeling the edges of your implants
  • Rupture or displacement of implant

The Risks of Saline Implants

One of the additional potential risks of saline implants is the sudden loss of volume after rupturing (1-2 days to total loss). However, the saline liquid that is released from a rupture will be absorbed harmlessly into the body.

Saline implants are also more likely to wrinkle than their silicone alternative.

The Risks of Silicone Implants

Silicone implants do not provide as obvious a sign of rupturing as saline implants, which means an MRI or ultrasound scan may be necessary to identify a rupture. Although the silicone gel will remain inside the implant capsule and is not damaging to the body, some people prefer the knowledge that saline will disappear harmlessly.

Saline Vs. Silicone Implants Look And Feel

Saline Implants Look And Feel

The shape of saline implants is uniform, and their feel and look cannot be altered. They are usually round and provide fullness to the breasts without feeling as close to breast tissue as silicone implants. There are some saline implants that have a structure within them to help them feel more natural to the touch.

Silicone Implants Look And Feel

The gel inside silicone implants is designed to feel more like natural breast tissue than the saline alternative. In terms of appearance, silicone implants are less likely to cause rippling. In general, silicone implants can offer subtle, authentic-looking enhancements to the breasts regardless of body type or the desired increase in volume.

Are There Required Incisions?

One incision per breast will be necessary to insert your implants and position them firmly so that they are safe and long-lasting. The incisions are generally made along the breast crease, disguised along the natural contour of your body.

A skilled surgeon will work to ensure that incisions are made carefully and will create minimally visible scars in the long term. Laser scar removal can also help to reduce the appearance of scarring with a course of short, unintrusive treatments. 

How Long Does Each Type Of Implant Last?

There is some debate regarding the length of time breast implants last. A common timeline for  revision surgery is around 10 years. Over time, breast implants become worn down, and the likelihood of complications such as capsular contracture and rupturing grows. In addition, many women simply desire to change their aesthetic by altering the size of their implants or removing them entirely. 

With that in mind, it should be noted that many women experience no complications and keep their breast implants for twenty, sometimes thirty years.

How Long Saline Implants Last

In general, there is no evidence to say that saline implants do not last as long as silicone implants. However, saline implants are more likely to begin to show signs of rippling earlier than silicone implants – this may mean they require replacement.

Though there are few studies with hard data on differences in rupturing between saline and silicone implants, saline implants do appear to rupture earlier.

How Long Silicone Implants Last

Silicone breast implants are thought to be less likely to rupture than saline implants, meaning they should last longer. Furthermore, a leak from a silicone implant is less likely to be noticeable or make any significant aesthetic change – this means you should have less need to replace them.

What Happens If An Implant Ruptures?

Saline and silicone implants behave differently when they rupture. Although it is important to note that neither saline implants nor silicone implants will cause you harm if they rupture – they can cause the breasts to look deflated and/or misshapen. For this reason, you will need to remove or replace the implants to restore their effect.

Ruptured Saline Implants

When a saline implant ruptures, it is highly noticeable – the implant will deflate completely over the course of 1-2 days. The saline liquid will be absorbed into your body, causing you no harm. The silicone shell that remains will then need to be surgically removed.

Ruptured Silicone Implants

Ruptured silicone implants are more difficult to spot. Leaks do not always make a significant difference to the aesthetic of your breasts and usually need to be diagnosed by an MRI or ultrasound scan before they can be removed and replaced.

What Should I Consider Before Getting Breast Implants

There are a few considerations worth keeping in mind as you plan your breast augmentation surgery:

  • Routine mammograms may be more complicated – Your general practitioner should be aware that you have breast implants so that they can organise specialised scans where necessary.
  • Implants can sometimes affect breastfeeding – Some women find it more difficult to breastfeed after having breast implants, although many women have no issues at all.
  • Revisions are sometimes necessary – Ruptures or displacement of implants can mean that a breast revision surgery is necessary in the future to make adjustments.
  • Breast implants do not prevent future sagging – Breast implants can provide volume and contour, but over time, the breast tissue around them can begin to sag.
  • Implants aren’t guaranteed to last forever – Both saline and silicone implants can last for a long time and can sometimes continue in situ for 20 or 30 years. However, this time frame is not guaranteed.

Are There Different Types Of Saline And Silicone Implants?

There are some different types of saline and silicone implants. For example, saline implants generally come in around shape and are uniform, but some saline implants can include an internal structure that helps improve the way they feel.

Silicone implants come in more shapes and sizes than best saline counterparts. The two most common shapes are round and teardrop shaped, but they come in many different increments of sizes. They can also be made into custom shapes and personalised to the chest of the patient.

Comparing The Cost Of Saline vs. Silicone Implants

The price of breast augmentation at the CREO Clinic begins at £6,900. Dr. Tillo does not perform augmentations using saline implants, as silicone implants are industry standard in the UK and EU.

For a breast composite augmentation – a combination of breast implants and fat transfer – prices begin from £10,900.

Your quoted price includes:

  • The cost of your implants
  • Surgeon fees
  • Nurses fees
  • Compression garments
  • Anaesthetist and anaesthetic fees
  • Personalised treatment plan
  • Follow-up appointments with Dr. Tillo

It does not include:

  • The price of prescriptions 
  • Any additional medical scans/tests
  • Chaperone fees

Should you wish to spread the cost of your breast augmentation over multiple instalments, our financing partner, Chrysalis Finance, offers 0% APR loans over a twelve-month period. Longer instalments are available at varying rates.

Are Breast Implants Permanent?

The enhancements made by breast implants cannot be said to be permanent, but they are long-lasting – sometimes staying in position for twenty or thirty years. Many women find that the aesthetic improvements continue as long as they keep the implants, and revisions can be made, should it become necessary.

How To Decide Between Saline And Silicone Implants: Which Are the Best Breast Implants for You?

Deciding between saline and silicone implants is not easy, as both options provide long-lasting, transformational change. The main differences are in price, appearance, and feel – silicone implants are generally more expensive, but saline implants, while often cheaper, are more likely to result in aesthetic complications like wrinkling or visibility of the implant.

If you are not sure which implant would be best for you, make sure to express your concerns to Dr. Tillo during your initial consultation – he will assess your needs and help you understand the advantages and disadvantages as they apply to your case.

Before And After


Will the results of my implants look natural?

Breast augmentation creates improvements in volume as well as contour, and the results will look natural, provided your surgeon has the skill and experience needed to plan and perform the surgery correctly.

How long is the recovery period?

Most patients find they are able to return to work after one or two weeks after the initial swelling has subsided. Strenuous exercise should be avoided until six weeks have passed – at which point you should have fully recovered and feel comfortable returning to your full exercise routine.

What’s the difference between breast augmentation and breast lift?

The main difference between a breast lift and breast augmentation is that breast lifts are designed to remove lax skin and give the breasts an uplift – restoring perkiness and a youthful projection of the nipples. Breast augmentation is highly effective for increasing the size and improving the contour of the breasts.

Will I have to wear a compression garment after getting breast implants?

It is vital to wear your compression garment for six weeks after getting breast implants, as this will help to minimise swelling.

How soon can I begin to workout again?

Dr. Tillo encourages patients to start walking as soon as possible to help improve circulation, but more strenuous exercise should be approached with caution. Generally, it is best to avoid strenuous exercise until six weeks have passed.

Schedule A Free Consultation With CREO Clinic Today

Contact the CREO Clinic today to book an initial consultation with Dr. Omar Tillo, our breast augmentation specialist. Dr. Tillo’s patient-centred approach means he prioritises the health and well-being of his patients as well as achieving the highest quality aesthetic outcomes.

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