Saline implants have a silicone shell. They are filled during surgery with pure saline (sterile salt water). They are inserted while deflated, then expanded once they’re inside the breast pocket. Saline implants have the advantage of being adjustable intra-operatively. This can help in cases with marked asymmetry. Some patients also find comfort in knowing that if these implants leak, the saline fluid inside them can be harmlessly absorbed by the body.
Saline implants may not be suitable for patients with thin skin. This implant type is more likely to create visible wrinkles or ripples. Saline implants also look less natural than silicone ones. Their main disadvantage is the presence of the valve used for filling. Because it is glued to the body of the implant the valve is the most frequent site of leakage. This thankfully remains an infrequent event.