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Why Does Silicone Breast Augmentation Cost More Than Saline Breast Augmentation?

3 Minute Read: 

If you want to improve the fullness or size of your breasts, breast augmentation surgery would be the approach to pursue. Though fat injections to increase breast size may be an option for some, virtually all of these procedures are performed using breast implants, with silicone implants being far more popular than saline. This is true even though silicone implants cost significantly more than saline ones. 

The overwhelming popularity of silicone implants compared to the saline ones, despite the cost premium, speaks volumes regarding their substantial superiority. 

When you think about it, there are very few things in real life where a great majority of people are eager to pay more when a less-expensive alternative exists.

Woman touching a silicone breast implant in a doctor's office

Why are silicone breast implants more expensive than saline ones?

Silicone Implants Are Made From More Expensive Materials

While both implants have an outer shell made of silicone rubber, the fill material inside makes the difference — cost-wise and aesthetically. Silicone implants are filled with a high-tech cohesive silicone gel that holds together uniformly and feels like natural breast tissue. They come from the manufacturer pre-filled and are painstakingly tested for quality that involves numerous parameters. 

This makes them more expensive to manufacture and distribute.

Saline breast implants, on the other hand, are filled with … nothing.

Not even saline.

That’s right!

Obviously, there is no additional cost here.

These implants leave the factory completely empty. They are just a shell. Their filling with sterile saline solution occurs during the surgical procedure.

So — shell versus shell and high-tech, medical-grade silicone. 

Now that is a big difference in cost!

Miscellaneous Costs

It isn’t only the materials and the manufacturing costs that lead to the sizable disparity in price. Other factors do have a substantial impact. Among these include far greater research and compliance costs, legal issues and liability expenses.

Are Silicone Implants Worth the Expense?

In my opinion, the way to look at this is not really whether silicone implants are worth the extra expense. It is more of whether someone would settle for an “inferior” version in the form of saline implants that lack the superior replication of aesthetics, including feel, appearance and durability as embodied with the silicone implants — all because they are cheaper. 

Many years ago, the cost differential between saline and silicone was more of an issue for women considering a breast augmentation. Nowadays, it is truly a non-issue.

However, some women choose saline implants for other reasons — not just because they are less expensive. That is a personal decision based on their needs and concerns and should generally be made only after full disclosure.

Interested in Learning More?

If you want to learn more about breast augmentation surgery, including information relating to breast implants, please contact my office at (480) 451-3000 or fill out our online contact form, and we will be more than happy to guide you through the decision-making process.