Differences between silicone prostheses and saline solutions

When a breast augmentation is to be performed , cosmetic surgery presents numerous options related to the type of prosthesis to be implanted . When the patient visits the plastic surgeon, he will give his recommendations according to the result that he wishes to obtain, the shape of the body and breast, the age and the characteristics of the skin among other factors that must be taken into account.

Currently prostheses or breast implants are made of different materials. A breast prosthesis is a pouch formed by a coating that is filled with a product. The coating is the same in all and is formed by one or several layers of elastic silicone, with different finishes that give rise to smooth and rough prostheses . The fillers can be of two very different types of products: saline or silicone.

Saline serum prosthesis

In these prostheses the serum is a mixture of water and salt , also known as physiological solution , which has a concentration similar to that of the human body. The main characteristic of this type of substance is the harmlessness, since in case of spill it is perfectly absorbed by the body of the woman. In this aspect saline implants are biologically less dangerous.


The weight of the saline filling as well as its volume is less than the silicone filling. This lower density makes it possible to manufacture the outer shells or layers provided with a valve in such a way that the plastic surgeon can place the deflated implants inside the chest and then introduce the indicated amount of filling to achieve the desired aesthetic effect in each case. The advantage of using this technique is that the cut or incision through which the prosthesis is inserted is a little smaller .

Saline serum prosthesis

Saline serum prosthesis

But not everything can be perfect, the disadvantage is that being a very fluid substance and inconsistent can escape more easily by porosities, fissures or holes that may appear in the envelope over time. And in the case of a major breakage caused by wear with the years oror by some blow or trauma the implant remains empty immediately, causing the breast to remain with a very soft consistency. Also in certain cases leakage occurs through the valve when it deteriorates. When this happens, the patient is usually subjected to a new surgery to remove the prosthesis and thus replace the implant with a new one. There is no danger because the saline solution is reabsorbed by the body in a few hours without causing harm.

On the other hand, for the implants to be filled it is necessary to subject them to their manipulation on the operating table and this manipulation can produce bacterial contamination as well as dust particles on the surface, which in rare cases causes unwanted infections.

Perhaps, the biggest drawback is the sensation of a water balloon when feeling the breast and the sensation of coldness . Both characteristics are a disadvantage for the quality of the sexual life of the patient, as well as the possibility of feeling the implants in cold climates and in winter. Another problem is the appearance of air bubbles in the interior and when the patient makes movements or manipulates the breasts in some cases can generate unpleasant sounds.

Another disadvantage is that the folds and waves of the prosthesis are more visible and pronounced. One way to combat this problem that manufacturers use is to make the prosthesis with a double bag where the saline goes in the interior and on the outside it is covered with silicone gel between the two walls. When wrinkles are formed in the prosthesis they become visible and can even be felt. In some cases it is possible to feel the valve where the implant is filled. Some patients state that feeling the valve and wrinkles on their skin makes them uncomfortable.

The technology of the prosthesis is constantly evolving and currently manufacturers design multi-layer wraps to reduce the filtrations described . There is a type of implant that is covered with silicone and saline inside, and they are already filled and sealed by the factory, therefore it does not have the risk of being infected, forming bubbles or having premature leaks.

Silicone prosthesis

Silicone has been the traditional filling of implants and is a substance in the form of gelatin that has a consistency similar to that of the breast. It can be soft and firm. The softness provides a more natural finish and the firmness is achieved by being a fairly cohesive gel. It has certain advantages, since it is more difficult to produce folds and its consistency prevents it from being filtered by the small breaks or pores that may appear in the envelope or in the valve.

Saline silicone cohesive gel prosthesis

Silicone cohesive gel prosthesis

Silicone is not a product that the body can absorb and if for some reason, as a strong accident, the silicone is spread through the tissues would produce inflammation and other side effects so you should perform surgery to remove it. Many years ago there was some reluctance or fear when using silicone gel because it was thought that it could lead to an autoimmune reaction and that caused it to work only with saline implants. Currently, studies show that these fears are false, and silicone implants are perfectly tolerated by the body if they are removed in case of leak or spill in a prudential time.

It is normal for the human body to develop a membrane or protective capsule around an implant. In many cases, the capsule can be too thick and hard and causes the so-called capsular contracture . Several factors intervene in its formation but the certain thing is that its appearance is less and less frequent. The capsular contracture affects the aesthetic result of the breast and may cause discomfort. Sometimes it can be corrected with medication but in others it is necessary to resort to a new plastic surgery. To prevent its appearance, many surgeons advise using the implant with a rough covering and its placement behind the pectoral muscle.

In some cases, the implants are manufactured without finishing completely filling to prevent them from becoming too tight. This achieves greater malleability and more natural result similar to that of the breast. But in the outer covering can form ripples that are manifested in the skin of the chest, although it is very rare.

Finally, it is important to know that silicone implants are manufactured in standard sizes , because their wrapping is completely closed since its manufacture and therefore can not modify the amount of gel they contain inside. Therefore it is very important that the patient decides exactly the size you want and the aesthetic results you expect.

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