Medical Devices

Saline-Filled Breast Implants


Saline-filled breast implants contain a silicone outer shell filled with a sterile saltwater (saline) solution. Some are pre-filled and others are filled during the implant operation. Saline-filled implants come in different sizes and have either smooth or textured shells. The FDA approved saline-filled breast implants for breast augmentation in women age 18 or older and for breast reconstruction in women of any age. They are also used in revision surgeries, which correct or improve the result of an original surgery.

FDA-Approved Saline-Filled Breast Implants:

Ideal Saline-Filled Breast Implant (Premarket Application Number: P120011)

Allergan (formerly called McGhan and Inamed) Medical RTV Saline-Filled Breast Implant (Premarket application number: P990074)

Mentor Saline-Filled and Spectrum Breast Implants (Premarket application number: P990075)

Summary of Safety Information:

Breast implants are not lifetime devices. The longer a woman has implants, the more likely it is that she will need to have surgery to remove them.

The most frequent complications and adverse outcomes experienced by breast implant patients include capsular contracture, reoperation, and implant removal (with or without replacement). Other common complications include implant rupture with deflation, wrinkling, asymmetry, scarring, pain, and infection. In addition, women with breast implants may have a very low but increased likelihood of being diagnosed with anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL).

There is no apparent association between saline-filled breast implants and connective tissue disease, breast cancer, or reproductive problems. However, in order to rule out these and other complications, studies would need to be much larger and longer than those conducted so far.

The safety information known at the time of approval is detailed in the Summaries of Safety and Effectiveness. As the FDA learns of new safety information, it requires that companies update their product labeling. The most current safety information about saline-filled breast implants can be found in the labeling.

For more information about the safety of saline-filled breast implants: 

Advisory Panel Information:


Page Last Updated: 04/06/2018
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