Saline vs. Silicone: The Rupture Risk

When deciding between saline and silicone implants, many consider factors such as price, placement and which will feel and look more natural. However, one serious aspect to take into consideration is what would happen if the implant ruptured.

Silicone and saline implants react differently when punctured, and because they contain different chemical components, the body also reacts differently to the rupture of each type of implant. Studies have shown that, over the course of about a decade following the procedure, silicone gel implants are more likely to leak than saline implants.

If a leak occurs within a saline implant, the released fluid will be absorbed by the body and flushed out by the kidneys. That’s because saline consists of a sterile saltwater solution that the body can easily break down.  When a saline implant ruptures, its smaller, deflated state is often very easy for the patient to notice, and they can immediately address the leakage, either by having the implant replaced or removed.

In the case of a silicone implant rupture, leakage may be harder to detect than with a saline implant because silicone gel seepage is more “silent”. Initially, there is usually no major or noticeable change in the implant’s feel or size, as the silicone implant tends to retain its shape and most of its volume even as it slowly leaks out over time. An MRI scan may need to be performed for the doctor to confirm that a silicone implant has ruptured.

Although silicone is biodegradable, a silicone leak may be harder for the body to absorb and “flush out” because the compound is thicker and harder for the body to absorb than saline, so silicone particles may migrate outside of the breast tissue and into other parts of the body. It should also be noted that both saline and silicone breast implants have an outer silicone shell.

To prevent a silicone or saline implant from rupturing, a patient must go to board-certified plastic surgeon who is able to identify which type of implant best suits the patient’s breast size and tissue. An experienced plastic surgeon will also make sure that the implant is properly placed either above or below the pectoral, or chest, muscle in order to further decrease the likelihood of a rupture.


Breast Augmentation in Okatie

If you are interested in learning more about different types of implants and breast augmentation procedures, contact us today at 843.705.8940 to schedule an appointment.  We look forward to hearing from you.



Ready to Schedule Your Appointment?

* All indicated fields must be completed.
Please include non-medical questions and correspondence only. No solicitations please.

Smith Plastic Surgery

Mon-Thurs 8:30 am - 5 pm
Fri 8:30 am - 2 pm
Sat & Sun Closed

Accessibility Toolbar

Scroll to Top