Are Silicone Breast Implants Better Than Saline?

Q: Dr. Eppley, Are silicone breast implants better than saline? Which one will look better and feel soft? Can you get a warranty on your implants?

A: Silicone is always a better breast implant because it feels more natural and will not deflate should the shell (outer containment bag) get a hole or a tear. Because saline is essentially water, it will go completely flat when the containment bag loses integrity. When a silicone implant gets a hole or tear, it does not deflate because the material is more like ‘jello’ or gummy bear candy. Because nothing comes out, the implant does not lose volume and there is not an immediate cosmetic crisis. This is why silicone breast implants last longer as well, it usually takes a lot longer to discover that it has ruptured.(there is no medical harm in this delay) The manufacturers provide immediate warranties at no extra cost based on how long the breast implants have been in place. If a breast implant fails in the first ten years after surgery, the patient is entitled to a new pair of implants at no cost and up to $3600 reimbursement for the surgery to replace them. After ten years, the patient has lifelong free implant replacement but no compensation is provided for the surgery to replace them.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana