When considering breast augmentation, patients face numerous choices. Collaborating with their surgeon is crucial in deciding the desired size increase, the preferred breast shape, and the appropriate incision location. Selecting the most suitable breast implant type is central to these decisions. Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. David P. Rapaport provides a range of options, including both saline and silicone breast implants, and works closely with each patient to determine the ideal choice.

Breast Implant Options

There are two primary categories of breast implants: saline and silicone. These implants are comprised of a silicone shell, but they differ in their internal contents, which can either be filled with silicone gel or saline.

However, within these categories, there are several variations available. These include smooth or textured implants that can be round or teardrop-shaped. They also come in multiple sizes. Dr. Rapaport prefers to use smooth implants because he believes they are safer and longer-lasting. When selecting the ideal implant, the size and shape depend on your anatomy and aesthetic preferences.

Benefits of Silicone Breast Implants

Silicone breast implants are the more popular choice and offer numerous benefits. Approximately 70% of
Dr. Rapaport’s patients choose silicone implants for their breast augmentation. However, Dr. Rapaport does
recommend saline implants as a better option for patients with certain goals and circumstances, so it’s essential
to understand all your options and consider the pros and cons of each implant type. Patients often choose silicone
implants for the following advantages.

Natural Look and Feel

For those who value a “natural feel” above everything else, silicone will almost always be their choice. These implants are softer than saline implants, allowing for more natural movement and feel. However, Dr. Rapaport reminds patients that saline implants can be just as natural-looking for the right patient. “A saline implant, when placed behind adequate breast tissue such as a B cup breast, can appear absolutely identical to a silicone implant,” says Dr. Rapaport. 

Having examined both kinds of implants for over 25 years, Dr. Rapaport says the look and feel are virtually identical. If the patient has adequate fat and breast tissue, any differences are subtle and would not be noticeable to most people. In fact, when he examines a woman with a good saline result, he often cannot tell if it is saline or silicone. In general, Dr. Rapaport likens a silicone implant to the feeling of squeezing a down pillow and a saline implant to squeezing a foam pillow. They are both soft, but the saline bounces back more quickly.

The problems with saline implants relate mainly to people who are thin or have very little breast tissue. In these cases, one can feel the ripples of the implant more clearly and may even see ripples through the skin. For this reason, Dr. Rapaport does recommend silicone implants for most patients who have little breast tissue or body fat.

Less Risk of Rupture

Another advantage of silicone implants is that they are much less likely to rupture than saline implants. And though there has been significant discussion on the topic, according to the FDA, ruptured silicone implants are not associated with breast cancer or other diseases. 

Though a benefit of silicone implants is their low risk of rupture, patients should still consider the flipside disadvantage. Removing a ruptured silicone implant requires a more complicated surgery than removing a ruptured saline implant.

Silicone vs. Saline Implants

Overall, the best implant choice will depend on the patient’s unique anatomy, circumstances, and aesthetic goals. Dr. Rapaport discusses these in detail and offers experienced recommendations based on a thorough evaluation and examination. While he may recommend saline implants for women seeking scarless breast augmentation, he most often recommends silicone implants, particularly for thin women with very little breast tissue.

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*Individual results may vary.

Take the Next Step

Every patient’s transformation journey at Rapaport Plastic Surgery begins with a detailed consultation with Dr. Rapaport. To learn more about breast implants and determine if it’s the right choice for you, fill out the form below or call us at (212) 249-9955 to schedule an appointment. Our team is dedicated to providing the best plastic surgery NYC has to offer.

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