Breast Implant Comparison: Saline vs. Silicone vs. Gummy Bear

Written by Chuma Chike-Obi, MD, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon on July 11, 2014 5 Comments

breast implants

Breast augmentation is a highly popular procedure in Austin, and in the United States at large. We enjoy offering this service to the Austin community and find it very important to educate interested women on the available options and the most up-to-date techniques.

We offer three different types of implants at Westlake Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery: saline, traditional silicone, and cohesive gel silicone. Each implant has different characteristics which are important to understand. Here is an overview of each implant type:

Saline Breast Implants

Saline implants are generally the lowest priced breast implant option. These implants are filled with saline after being placed within the body, and therefore require slightly smaller incisions to place. Rupture poses no medical risk as the saline solution is naturally absorbed by the body.

  • FDA-approved for women over 18 years of age
  • Filled with saline: a sterile saltwater
  • Offers a firmer feel compared to silicone implants
  • Available in different projections to suit most breast dimensions/shapes
  • Typically less expensive than silicone implants

Silicone Breast Implants

Our plastic surgeons describe silicone implants as having a more natural feel compared their saline counterparts. The latest generation of traditional silicone gel implants features a thicker outer shell, enhancing their overall safety. Generally the risk of silicone implant rupture is low, and increases with the age of the implant.

  • FDA-approved for women 22 years of age or older
  • More natural compared to saline implants
  • Pre-filled with silicone gel
  • Available in different projection options to suit most breast dimensions/shape
  • Typically more expensive than saline implants

Both saline and silicone implant types typically come with a manufacturer’s warranty for rupture or deflation. If an implant ruptures or deflates, the manufacturer will typically provide financial assistance to defray the cost of new devices and/or a portion of surgical fees.

Cohesive Gel Silicone Implants

Cohesive gel implants (commonly known as ‘Gummy bear’ implants) are filled with silicone gel that is thicker than that found in traditional silicone implants. In fact the silicone has a gummy bear candy-like consistency, hence the nickname. Gummy bear implants are designed to provide a natural breast appearance in terms of shape and slope. The thicker filling allows these implants to keep their shape for a longer period of time than the other options.

For more information on cohesive gel implants please see my article

  • FDA-approved for women 22 years of age or older
  • Filled with thick silicone (cohesive-gel)
  • Yields a natural looking results
  • Lower chance of capsular contracture compared to traditional silicone or saline implants
  • Available with different projection options to suit most breast shapes
  • Generally the most expensive implant.

Update (January 4, 2022):

Since textured breast implants have been associated with a low risk of an uncommon and highly treatable type of lymphoma (BIA-ALCL), most plastic surgeons are not currently offering textured implants. The FDA does NOT currently recommend removal of textured breast implants in asymptomatic women.

Smooth implants (silicone or saline) continue to demonstrate an excellent safety and satisfaction record and continue to be recommended.

Please reach out to us with any questions!

Chuma Chike-Obi, MD

Chuma Chike-Obi, MD completed a 6 year residency with the Division of Plastic Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine and Affiliate hospitals in Houston, Texas. Dr. Chike-Obi specializes in cosmetic surgery, including facelift, blepharoplasty, breast augmentation, liposuction, rhinoplasty, and reconstructive breast surgery.

5 Responses to “Breast Implant Comparison: Saline vs. Silicone vs. Gummy Bear”

  1. Avatar Stacy C. says:

    Are the gummies the same price as the silicon ?

    • WD Staff WD Staff says:

      Hi Stacy, typically gummy bear implants are slightly more expansive than their Silicone counterparts. However, they are well worth it. Please contact us if you are interested in coming in for a consultation, we can show you the difference!

  2. Avatar Rachel says:

    Informative! I’m going for a breast implantation from Toronto’s surgeon Dr. Marcus Neissen…. if I was in Austin I would have selected you 🙂

    Hope everything goes well as planned! I’m started following my initial week diet chart now. I’m getting silicone implants and the op is scheduled after a week.

  3. Avatar Vetra says:

    I would like the Gummybear implants. I need prices and an appointment. I’m in the Memphis Area

  4. Avatar Jenee says:

    Really interested in gummy bear implants, looking at before and afters they seem more natural result!

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