Do Saline Breast Implants Cause Any Weight Gain or Retention over Time?

I had saline breast implants 18 years ago, which boosted my chest size to 36 C. At that time I was 117 lbs. Now I'm 140 and my chest size has gone up tp 38 DD. I am in good-shape--excercise, the works--but my chest doesn't seem to lose any weight. Is it possible that the implants have caused weight gain and maybe weight retention on my chest area?

Doctor Answers 44

Breast Implants Will Not Cause Weight Gain Over Time

Thank you for your question.

Neither Saline nor Silicone Breast Implants will cause you to gain weight over time. There are many metabolic changes as we age that do cause weight gain. You certainly can lose fat in the breast after dieting and exercise. However the fact that you have Breast Implants likely is the reason that you breasts do not decrease in size.

Breast implants and weight gain

Breast implants do not cause weight gain other than the actual weight of the implant itself. Typically the weight of an implant in grams is equal to the size of the implant. There are many reasons for weight gain to occur throughout life, fortunately having breast implants won't be one of those contributing factors.

Richard Bendor-Samuel, MD
Nova Scotia Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Weight Gain and Breast Implants

The changes in your breast sound like changes due to weight gain and aging rather than some effect of the implants.  Saline implants do not cause water retention.

  • As we age, changes in our metabolism can lead to weight gains.  Hormone changes with age play a significant role in weight change and fat distribution.
  • The pattern of breast size changes with aging does vary: some women slowly gain more fat and size in their breasts with age; others develop thinning of breast tissue and loss of volume.
  • We also see a lot of variation in breast size change with weight gain or loss among different individuals. Some women see relatively little change with weight fluctuations; others notice significant changes in the size of their breasts as they gain or lose weight.

It is very unlikely that your implants are contributing to the changes you've been seeing, but if it bothers you, it is worth a visit to your plastic surgeon to evaluate your options for getting back to your preferred size.

Paul C. Zwiebel, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Breast implants cause weight gain? Absolutely Not

Breast Implants (saline or silicone) will never cause weight retention.

If you are dissatisfied with the extra weight in that area, removing the implants and a possible breast lift could lighten you up, without the natural sagging which normaly occurs with age, especially if you have had children.


Darrick E. Antell, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

It's unlikely that the implants have directly caused...

It's unlikely that the implants have directly caused weight gain to your chest. If you have gained weight in general, chances are that the fat that has always been present on your chest has also grown in size, causing the increased cup size. As you may know, the number of fat cells we have is more or less set after puberty, so weight gain for the most part is due to an increased size in these cells. Since all women have some fat on their chests, regardless of how thin they are, this is likely the culprit.

Shahram Salemy, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 133 reviews

450 CC Implants Would Account For Approximately 2 Pounds

It wouldn’t be unusual for patients to gain 23 pounds over the course of 18 years.This can occur for a variety of reasons, but not because of breast implants.
It’s important to note that two 450 cc saline implants would weigh about two pounds.Furthermore, breast implants wouldn’t cause a generalized weight gain.For this reason, your weight gain is probably not related to your breast implants, but instead to normal factors that occur throughout an individual’s life.

Not related to breast implants

As a woman gets older, it is common for their breasts to get larger with the accumulation of fatty tissue. Since you mention that you also have gained weight, this may have increased your bust size naturally. However, breast implants do not cause weight gain or retention. 

Weight gain and saline filled implants

A saline implant will only add weight of the implant itself. An implant will not cause any fluid retention after the initial swelling decreases after surgery.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Breast Implants and Weight Gain or Retention

There is no correlation between breast implants, both saline and silicone, with gaining or losing weight over time. One does see over time, however, the female breast tissue may increase in size normally and also have more drooping or ptosis, but that does not relate to the implant.


Rod J. Rohrich, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Breast Implants Don't Cause Longterm Weight Gain!

Hi Nitty Gritty,

Your breast implants are not the cause of your weight gain, or your growth in your breasts over the last 18 years.  However, your weigh gain, along with your own genetic predisposition, is responsible for your breast growth over these years.

Like most other americans, you are gaining about a pound a year.  Unfortunately, it is very common for people to feel like they are doing everything right with their diet and exercise program, yet they cannot get the results they were hoping for.   We seem to get innundated with information about diet and exercise from everywhere we look, but rarely do people get the right information.  A quick word about getting lean:  it's 85% diet related.  Exercise is important, but just as a backdrop for a life long healthy diet which can get you to the weight you want to be.  The evidence is growing regarding what the diet should be.  The New England Journal of Medicine just published an article last week about the superiority of a high protein/low glycemic diet.  Call it what you will: Atkins, Susan Summers, South Beach, or Zone.  They are all variations on the same theme, and you don't need to follow them to the letter. 

As for your breasts, your options depend on their appearanc and the level of your desire to change them.  The simplest thing to do would be to remove them and replace them with smaller implants or not to replace them at all.  Depending on their appearance, a breast lift might be indicated as well.  If you are interested into looking into your options, you should have a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon that specializes in breast revision surgery.

I wish the best of luck to you!


Dr. Minniti

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 60 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.