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CIARAVINO Plastic Surgery

Breast implants are available in a wide array of sizes, shapes, and levels of projection. Your options include round, smooth, textured, or “anatomical,” or teardrop-shaped. Silicone implants are filled with silicone gel, and saline implants are a silicone shell filled with saline solution. Silicone implants feel more natural, while saline implants require a shorter incision.


The implant decision – be thorough.

For women undergoing breast augmentation, one of the most important decisions they’ll need to make is which breast implant to use. There are two general types of breast implants: saline breast implants and silicone gel breast implants. Both are made of an outer medical-grade silicone shell, but where they differ is the substance that is inside the implant.

Saline implants have a silicone shell that is filled with a sterile saltwater solution once the implant is placed in the breast, while silicone implants come pre-filled with a thicker silicone gel. Both implants offer options in shapes, sizes and textures, and each has its own benefits.

Mentor Breast Implants Houston
Mentor Breast Implants Houston

We take the time to explain your options fully.

Houston breast implant surgeons Dr. Ciaravino and Dr. Mohan use both saline and silicone gel implants with great success. Scheduling a consultation with our surgeons is the best way to determine whether breast augmentation is right for you.

During your consultation, he will evaluate your health history, assess your existing breast tissue, listen to your concerns and consider your breast augmentation goals to help you determine which implant is best for you. The information listed here can also give you a general understanding of the implant options available to you and how implants can transform your breasts into the size and shape you desire.

The history of breast implants: From the 1960’s to now.

Saline and silicone breast implants were both developed in the 1960s. Because of their natural look and feel, silicone soon became the implant 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 for patients 22 years of age and older. This is excellent news for patients and plastic surgeons who again have a wider choice of implants. Today, the majority of implants used worldwide are silicone breast implants.

Mentor Breast Implants Houston

Looking for a natural feel, softness and weight for your new breasts?

Silicone gel breast implants look and feel more natural due to silicone gel’s thick, cohesive material that moves and feels like real breast tissue. Silicone implants are lighter and give the breast a more natural-looking slope. They are preferred over saline implants if you decide to have them placed on top of the pectoral muscle instead of underneath. In addition, Dr. Ciaravino often recommends silicone implants to women who are seeking the softest, most realistic breasts, especially if the patient is very thin.

Should I choose saline implants?

Saline breast implants are placed into the body empty and then filled to the desired fullness. Because of this, saline breast implants can fit through extremely small incisions (less than one inch in length). In addition, because saline implants are unfilled and therefore smaller before being inserted, there are more incision placement choices. Traditional incision sites near the armpit or on the underside of the breast can be used to place saline implants. But other insertion sites, such as the border of the areola or even the belly button, can be used to hide incisions and decrease scarring.

Should I choose silicone implants?

Because of the size difference of saline and silicone implants, they require different incision sizes and placement. Because the silicone gel implant comes from the manufacturer pre-filled, traditionally a larger incision is required. However, with their many years of experience, our surgeons have created their own safe and highly effective technique for minimizing the length of the incision needed. They use a Keller Implant Funnel which allows them to place the implants through a smaller incision. Their incisions are much shorter than most surgeons’, and usually measure 1 to 1.5 inches in length for gel implants.

Beautiful Results Patient Models

Beautiful Results Before & After

Beautiful Results Before & After

Precision surgical technique means more beautiful breasts.

Our surgeons' breast augmentation technique is extremely gentle and precise. He uses much smaller incisions than you would find elsewhere, and special instruments which allow for accurate implant placement. With his technique, patients can achieve beautiful breasts with an easy, comfortable recovery. Most patients have no bruising and there are no bandages or sutures to remove, drastically minimizing potential scarring. Patients LOVE it.

What’s the difference in cost between saline and silicone implants?

On average, silicone implants cost about $1,000 more than saline implants. Note that many factors determine the price of a procedure, so your surgeon will review the costs associated with saline and silicone implants and help you weigh the cost against the benefits of each.

Breast Implant Options

When implants fail: Thankfully, it’s rare.

The risk of a leak or rupture is low for both saline and silicone breast implants. However, detecting a leak or rupture is different for each implant. A leak in a saline implant is easily detectable because the implant will deflate, making the breast appear smaller. A saline implant leak doesn’t pose a threat to your health because the saline is made of a saltwater solution that is similar to regular body fluid. Your body will easily absorb the saline that is leaked out of the implant. For silicone rupture, the gel is usually contained within the breast implant capsule and is removed at the time of surgery.

Watching over your implants: What do you do?

A leak or rupture in a silicone implant is sometimes called a “silent rupture” because the silicone gel stays in the implant area and doesn’t migrate to other parts of the body.

Because there isn’t a visible deflation of the breast, you often do not have any way of knowing that a rupture has occurred.


Eventually, a rupture in a silicone implant can cause changes in the shape of the implant or breast pain. For patients with silicone gel breast implants, an MRI is recommended every two years to check for ruptures and ensure that your implants are functioning properly.

Watching over your new breasts.

Saline and silicone breast implants have similar risks that are primarily associated with surgery and not the actual implants. Possible risks include:

  • Pain in the breast
  • Infection at the incision site
  • Temporary loss of feeling in the nipple or breast
  • The development of scar tissue that can alter the shape and position of the implant (called capsular contracture)
  • Rupture or leak of the implant

The perfect breasts for you – learn the pros and cons.

Our surgeons have used both saline and silicone gel breast implants to provide their patients voluptuous, beautifully proportioned breasts. They will use their experience and expertise to help you evaluate the pros and cons of saline and silicone gel implants and will 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, Texas area, please contact Ciaravino Total Beauty at 713.999.6775 to schedule a consultation.

One of the world's leading breast implant surgeons

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