Both implants have been around for decades and have an established safety profile. Gel implants were taken off the market between 1992 and 2006 as there were reports of possible side effects. However, they were reintroduced when studies did not show correlation with autoimmune disease.
Saline implants are essentially a shell filled with dilute salt water! They feel less natural and ripple more. Gel implants feel very natural and soft like breast tissue and ripple less. The older gels were similar to a thick liquid and had the potential to seep into breast tissue when the implant was ruptured. The newer gels are cohesive and do not freely flow like a liquid if the implants rupture.
Besides, there is a more cohesive version of gel implants that are shaped; these are called anatomical or gummy bear implants. There is also a newer saline implant that has multiple shells inside which gives it a softer feel that is closer to that of a gel implant. Besides, there are many versions of gel implants that are filled differently and have a varying thickness of gel giving more fullness to the upper part of the implant.
The choices are numerous and can be tailored to fit an individual patient. At Solomon Plastic Surgery we spend a lot of time with patients to understand their goals and find the right implant for them!