Brand Info

Breast Implant Brands




McGhan but now known as INAMED Aesthetics

Mentor Corporation


Poly Implant Prothèse (PIP)


Silicone or Saline?


That has been the question since the introduction of the modern breast implants in the 1960′s. All the latest breast implants are made with a silicone shell. The difference is what is placed inside the shell to give the desired boost in breast volume.


The first breast implants were developed in 1962 by two Texas plastic surgeons Thomas Cronin and Frank Gerow with Dow Corning. These were smooth tear dropped shaped silicone implants filled with a cohesive silicone gel. They had a Dacron patch on the back to fix the orientation. This was necessary because they were smooth and could spin, thus losing the desired orientation.


Saline filled implants followed a few years later. A French plastic surgeon, Henri Arion, was the first to use them. He was trying to make an implant that could be placed through a smaller incision. Unlike silicone breast implants which are pre-filled, saline filled breast implants are filled after insertion. The shell can be inserted through a smaller opening without the risk of damaging the implant. A filling tube is left attached to add the desired volume. A valve built into the implant allows the tube to be removed without the saline leaking.


Since the mid sixties little has changed. The shells are more durable and less leaky. Texturing was added, eliminating the need for the Dacron patch for shaped implants. The cohesiveness of the silicone gel has been modified. The implants have received ongoing FDA approval and remain safe and effective for augmenting the breast.

Saline Breast implants

Saline-filled breast implants are filled with sterile saline (salt water). They come in both smooth and textured shells and can be round or anatomically (tear-drop) shaped. Saline breast implants are also available in low and high profiles, and in many sizes. A saline-filled breast implant is usually empty before implantation. The doctor moves it into place during your surgery, and then fills it. The saline is administered via a process that ensures the implants remain sterile.


  • Peace of mind for those who are unsure of silicone gel
  • Leaks are easily detactable
  • Increased projection when desired
  • For purely cosmetic breast augmentation can be used at age 18
  • Slightly lower capsular contracture rate


  • Higher risk of rippling
  • More easily palpable (feels less natural in most cases)
  • Stiffer result
  • Slightly higher leakage rate

Silicone Gel Breast Implants

Silicone-filled breast implants are filled with a silicone gel. Over the years, the consistency of this silicone filling has changed. The first silicone breast implants were filled with a very thin, oily silicone. Currently, the silicone used in implants is a gel; making it less likely to leak out of the shell if it ruptures. This gel is referred to as “cohesive.” The FDA is currently reviewing clinical trial data on a highly cohesive silicone gel option called the gummy bear breast implant that has the consistency of a marshmallow or gummy bear.

In general, silicone-gel-filled implants are smoother, softer and feel more like natural breast tissue than their saline-filled counterparts. Silicone implants feel like a semisolid gel, while saline implants are often likened to water balloons. Silicone-gel implants are also less likely to wrinkle and ripple than saline breast implants. Wrinkling is actually considered one of the major disadvantages of saline implants. The thinner the woman and the less breast tissue she has, the more likely the saline implants crinkles and wrinkles will be felt and even seen.

If a saline implant ruptures it typically deflates within four hours. Silicone ruptures, on the other hand, can be silent. As a result, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exams of your breasts are needed three years postoperatively, then every two years.


  • Softer more natural feel
  • Lower risk of rippling
  • Decreased projection when desired
  • Moves more like a natural breast
  • More profiles (shapes) available


  • Leaks are harder to detect
  • Slightly higher capsular contracture rates
  • Body makes scar in response to a leak
  • For purely cosmetic breast augmentation can be used at age 22 or older in the USA
  • Unexplained Illnesses


Breast Implant Manufacturers & Surgical Products

Listed below are companies that produce or did produce Breast Implants & Surgically related products.


Mentor Corp.
201 Mentor Drive
Santa Barbara, CA 93111
Tel: 800.525.0245
Tel: 805.879.6000
P.O. Box 19534
Irvine, CA 92623 USA
Tel: (714) 246-4500
Fax: (714) 246-4971
Hutchinson International, Inc.
(no longer in business)
Sientra, Inc.
6769 Hollister Avenue, Suite 201
Santa Barbara, California 93117
Tel: (805) 562-3500
Fax: (805) 562-8401
Eurosilicone S.A.S
Z.I. de la Peyrolière BP 68, 84402 APT CEDEX, France
Tel: +33 (0)4 90 04 30 30
Fax: +33 (0)4 90 04 60 06
Cloverleaf Medical – supplier of Surgical Garments etc
6-10 Church Farm Courtyard
High Street
Chalfont St Giles
Tel: +44 (0) 1494 876990
Fax: +44 (0) 1494 876991
Poly Implant Prosthese PIPClosed – no longer in business
129 Deerdykes View . Westfield Ind. Estate . Cumbernauld . Glasgow . G68 9HN . British Isles
Tel: +44 (0) 1236 780780
Fax: +44 (0) 1236 781234