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May 14, 2010

Silicone Implants Now as Popular as Saline

In June 2009, I blogged about my surprise that the vast majority of Board Certified Plastic Surgeons still prefer saline to silicone breast implants....


I am a big fan of silicone implants because...

  • the newest generation of silicone implants have a safety profile equivalent to saline
  • silicone implants definitely feel more natural
  • silicone implants exhibit less rippling
  • silicone implants usually look more natural
  • silicone implants will probably be more durable

It looks like my colleagues are starting to agree.  According to statistics just released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, rates of use of saline and silicone implants are roughly equivalent.

  • Saline Implants in 2009 - 139,221 pairs
  • Silicone Implants in 2009 - 137,915 pairs

However, if you compare the numbers from 2009 to the 2008 data, the numbers are even more compelling.  In this tough economy, obviously there are fewer elective surgeries; the total number of cosmetic surgeries is down in 2009 relative to 2008.  However, interest in silicone continues to rise, while saline use declines.

  • Total number of breast augmentations in...
  • 2008 - 294,284
  • 2009 - 277,136
  • Saline Implants
  • 2008 - 167,125
  • 2009 - 139,221
  • Silicone Implants
  • 2008 - 127,159
  • 2009 - 137,915

I use 10 silicone implants for every 1 saline implant.  I don't mean to disparage saline implants; they remain very good products.  They still have their niche because....

  • saline implants are cheaper
  • the incisions for saline implant placement are smaller
  • the volume of saline implants can be very precisely adjusted

However, silicone is still going to be superior for most women, and I'm glad that my opinions are increasingly shared by other Board Certified Plastic Surgeons.



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CAPlastic Surgeon

Well, the improvements in silicone implants in the last decade have really made a big difference. However, I personally like saline more.

Andrew Wolfe, M.D.

Dr. Pickart, I can't agree more. I explain the relative merits and drawbacks of both saline and silicone implants, and my patients overwhelmingly prefer silicone based on the naturalness of feel. Interestingly, I find that younger patients don't have the innate fear of silicone that seems to prevail among older women.

Michael Pickart

Thanks for the support! I agree that silicone is superior but that fear lingers....

Michael C. Pickart, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Pickart Plastic Surgery, Inc.

428 Poli St.,#2C, Ventura, CA 93001
(805) 648-4567 | fax (805) 641-0811

To: info@pickartplasticsurgery.com

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