Can I Increase the Size of my Existing Saline Breast Implants?

I have had Saline implants for about 4 to 5 years now. I had a baby about 3 months ago. I dont know why but it feels like my breasts have gotten smaller. I did breast feed for about 2 weeks only and I really dont know what is going on. Also my weight is still the same as it was before I got pregnant. I want to make my breasts bigger but I just dont want to go under again at least not now. Is it possible to just add more saline to my exisisting implants?

Doctor Answers (40)

You will need to change your implants

+4

Unfortunately there is no other option but to replace your current implants with larger implants. Adding saline to current implants is not recommeneded. 

Kao Plastic Surgery


Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

Unfortunately, you will have to get new breast implants

+3

The volume of saline implants is adjustable during surgery. Now that you have had the implants in place, you would need to undergo another procedure to replace the implants if you want another size. While there is a valve on the implants, it is not standard of care to re-open the valve and add more saline.

Additionally, to access the implants, you would need to undergo a procedure. It would be dangerous and virtually impossible to try and change the volume of the existing implants without a procedure. Finally, the implants are likely filled within the manufacturers recommended range. So, if you want more volume, you will need a larger implant.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Adding Volume to Old Implants? Don't Do It!

+2

Congratulations on the new baby!

First: it is important you wait at least 3 months after pregnancy or after you stop nursing to allow your breast to recover, before any surgery.

Then, consult your plastic surgeon to see if more volume will achieve your goals; after pregnancy, sagging may also warrant a lift for proper treatment.

Lastly, adding volume to an old implant may create problems: it still requires a trip to the operating room, and you will be best served by replacing with an implant of the proper volume.

I hope this helps!

Paul C. Zwiebel, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

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Breast implants and going larger

+2

Usually, breast implants have a range of what they can be filled to. Depending on the type of implant used and company, that can range. But in general you will not get a significant enlargement just by filling up your implants. Most patients will need to change out the implants to larger ones to achieve the desired affect. Hope that helps.

Farbod Esmailian, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Breast Augmentation After Pregnancy

+2

While I agree with what the other plastic surgeons have said here, there are some important issues to discuss.

Breast volume post-partum can change significantly. In addition, the skin on your breasts may undergo significant change. It is important to give your breasts a chance to recover after your pregnancy and breast feeding.

Typically, patients should wait 6 months to one year to see the final shape of your breasts. Patience will significantly improve the chance of you being able to accurately assess what (if any) changes need to happen.

Congratulations on the new addition to your family.

I hope this helps.

Steven H. Williams, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Not usually.

+2

Hello,

If you are looking for much of a change in size, new saline implants are usually required. Fill tolerance for your current saline implants can't be much more than 25-75cc which doesn't amount to much of a change in cup size. Re-filling the implants can also void their warranty.

Best Regards,

John Di Saia MD

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

You may be able to add saline depending on your implant type

+2

The process of breast atrophy or shrinkage after pregnancy can be worsened by breast feeding, but doesn't necessarily require breast feeding, so don't beat yourself up over having breast fed for 2 weeks. It is mostly hormonally determined.

If your implants are purely saline, then you will not be able to increase their size without having surgery to replace them. Four or five years ago an implant type called a "Becker" or "post-operatively adjustable" implant was available. This implant type contains both silicone gel and saline, and as the name suggests is adjustable after surgery to different sizes by adding to or removing the saline component. Your plastic surgeon should have records of the type of implants that you have. Check with him/her to find out if they are "Beckers", and if so, perhaps you can indeed have them increased in size.

Kenneth R. Francis, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Increasing the size of your saline implants

+2

I won't rehash what has been said already, except to say that I agree -- the only way to get a meaningful size increase is to put in new, larger saline implants. However, since you already have a pocket for the implant, the second operation should be much easier than the first operation.

David Berman MD, northern VA plastic surgeon

David E. Berman, MD
Sterling Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Can you increase the size of your implants? Not without surgery

+2

The only way to increase your breast size will be to change your implants to new ones. Adding fluid to your current implants is frowned upon and really doesn't make as much difference as you probably will need.

Also, overfilling your present implants to an extreme degree just makes them feel hard and look very round and tight.

I have often used post-operatively adjustable saline implants and these have a small valve under the skin which can allow for the addition or subtraction of fluid for months after surgery. This is done in an exam room with no anesthesia. This is the only situation where you could change size without surgery. Eventually the valves are removed.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Cannot increase size of existing implants

+1
Adding saline to your existing implants violates the manufacturers warranty because the valve was only meant to be cannulated once.  This would put you at an increased risk of later deflation, with no warranty coverage.  The effects you are seeing are from postpartum breast shrinkage, which is normal.

Gary Lawton, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.