Breast Implant Options



For women having breast augmentation, one of the most important decisions is which breast implant to use. There are two types of breast implants: saline breast implants and silicone breast implants. Both are made of an outer silicone shell. Where they differ is the substance that is inside the implant. Saline implants are filled with a sterile salt-water solution, while silicone implants contain a thicker silicone gel. Both types come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and textures. Each has its own benefits.

Houston breast implant surgeon Dr. Ciaravino uses both saline and silicone implants with great success. During your consultation, he will discuss all implant options and help you decide which is best for you.


Saline and silicone breast implants were both developed in the 1960s. Because of their natural look and feel, silicone became the implants of choice for millions of women. However, in 1992 the Food and Drug Administration restricted the use of silicone implants to investigate the safety of these devices. After two decades of intense study and research, the FDA declared silicone gel breast implants safe and approved their use in the United States. This is great news for patients and plastic surgeons who now have a choice of implants.

Saline Breast Implants

  • Filled with sterile saline (salt-water). Since saline is like normal body fluid, it is safe and easily absorbed if the implants were to leak
  • Leaks easily detected due to implant deflation
  • Saline is filled after the breast implant is placed
  • Unfilled saline breast implant is able to fit through Dr. Ciaravino’s extremely small incision (less than one-inch in length)
  • Volume of saline can be adjusted to meet your desired goal or to correct a size difference between the two breasts
  • Less expensive than silicone implants
  • Rippling may be felt or seen in thin patients, but rarely occurs due to placement behind the chest muscle

Over the years, Houston breast implant surgeon Dr. Ciaravino has made thousands of beautiful breasts using saline implants and they continue to be a large part of his breast augmentation practice today.

Silicone Gel Breast Implants

  • Look and feel very natural due to silicone gel’s thick, cohesive material that moves and feels like real breast tissue
  • New generation of silicone gel implants made by Mentor and Allergan Corporation are far superior than those used in the past and have a proven track record of safety
  • Silicone implants are also preferred if there is a need to place implants on top the muscle
  • Unlike saline breast implants which are filled during the surgical procedure, silicone breast implants come pre-filled with gel from the manufacturer’s factory. Because of this, they require a larger incision
  • Inability to adjust the volume during the procedure
  • While the cohesive gel material found inside the implant will not migrate into the body if the shell leaks, it may be more difficult to detect a leak

Houston breast implant surgeon Dr. Ciaravino often recommends silicone implants to those women seeking the softest, most natural breasts, especially if they are very thin.

With both saline and silicone breast implants available, Dr. Ciaravino will use his experience and expertise to help you make the right choice to achieve the breasts of your dreams.

If you would like more information on the breast implant options available to you in the Houston and Sugar Land, Texas area, please contact Dr. Michael Ciaravino to set up a consultation.

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