Does A Silicone Breast Implant Look More Natural Than A Saline Breast Implant?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in having breast augmentation. I have had several plastic surgery consults and they have left me confused. One doctor told me that silicone implants do in fact appear more natural (less rippling on the breast) than saline after surgery. Another doctor told me that it doesn’t matter and I should get saline implants because they are cheaper and he could do it through a periareolar incison. Is the appearance difference between silicone and saline implants real or is this a myth?

A: What constitutes a natural appearance after breast augmentation is largely a matter of one’s viewpoint. Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder. But the definition of what a naturally-appearing breast augmentation result is aside, the more natural appearance of a silicone implant compared to a saline implant is largely a myth. But as in all myths there is usually a kernel of fact hidden in them and this is equally true of this breast implant issue. With good breast tissue and a submuscular position, both types of breast implants will have a similar appearance and one could not tell the difference. However, differences in their appearance may be seen in very thin patients with little breast tissue particularly if they are placed above the muscle. The real differences in these implants is how they may feel, with saline implants having a higher risk of rippling which can be felt in the bottom and sides of the breasts where there is no muscular cover. I always tell my patients that choose saline implants that they can expect to feel riplping in their implants which affects show they may feel but not how they look.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis Indiana