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What are the two general types of breast implants?

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There are two general types of breast implants available in the U.S. -- saline and silicone gel. Both are made of a silicone outer shell. The difference is what's inside the implants.

  • Saline implants are filled with saline or sterile saltwater.
  • Silicone gel breast implants are filled with silicone gel.

From: Breast Implant Safety WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES: The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) Breast Implant Safety: "What is Saline?" American Society of Plastic Surgeons: "Breast Augmentation." Araco, A. , 2007.  Brown, S. October 2000.   Crerand, C. , July-September 2007.  Fryzek, J. , May 2007.  Holmich, L. July 2003.  Sarwer, D. , July 2007.  FDA: "Breast Implant Questions and Answers." WebMD Medical News: "Breast Implant/Suicide Link Confirmed" and "Silicone Breast Implants Get FDA Nod."









Aesthetic Plastic SurgeryAmerican Journal of Roentgenology,Plastic Surgical NursingAesthetic Plastic SurgeryArchives of Surgery,American Journal of Psychiatry

WebMD Medical Reference: "Breast Enlargement" and "Breast Augmentation."  

Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner on January 28, 2017

SOURCES: The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) Breast Implant Safety: "What is Saline?" American Society of Plastic Surgeons: "Breast Augmentation." Araco, A. , 2007.  Brown, S. October 2000.   Crerand, C. , July-September 2007.  Fryzek, J. , May 2007.  Holmich, L. July 2003.  Sarwer, D. , July 2007.  FDA: "Breast Implant Questions and Answers." WebMD Medical News: "Breast Implant/Suicide Link Confirmed" and "Silicone Breast Implants Get FDA Nod."









Aesthetic Plastic SurgeryAmerican Journal of Roentgenology,Plastic Surgical NursingAesthetic Plastic SurgeryArchives of Surgery,American Journal of Psychiatry

WebMD Medical Reference: "Breast Enlargement" and "Breast Augmentation."  

Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner on January 28, 2017

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How do silicone and saline breast implants look?

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