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Patients often ask what is the difference between saline and silicone; which one is better? Both saline and silicone have advantages.

The outer shell of each implant is the same. The implant shell is made of a silicone elastomer. So whether you have saline or silicone, you have a silicone shell in your body. What differs is what goes inside the shell. The saline implants are filled with saline in the operating room. The silicone implants come pre-filled with silicone. Treating asymmetric breasts may be easier with saline implants than with silicone implants.

Both saline and silicone ripple. Silicone tends to ripple less. The ripples that patients feel are simply a characteristic of the implant folding on itself and the patient feeling those ripples through the skin.

Saline implants tend to be less expensive. Patients who have silicone implants should get periodic screening with MRI to make sure there implants are not ruptured. I have given prescription forms for patients to get MRIs after implants, but they often do not go. In these scenarios, I encourage patients to get an MRI at the 10 year mark to make sure there implants are OK.