Can Anatomical Implants Be Overfilled to the Same Extent As Round Implants?

Like when the round 800cc implants get filled to 1000cc+?

Doctor Answers 4

Why would you want to overfill an implant?

From your question, it appears you are simply not happy with your size as 800 cc implants have traditionally been the largest "on the shelf" size.  Besides distorting the shape, overfilling voids your warranty, produces more rippling, increases your risks for implant failure, and becomes much firmed to touch.  Is that what you really want?  Consider having custom implants made if available.  And if absolutely necessary, you can travel to countries that do not have regulations on the implant industry, realizing that such sizes will be detrimental to you in the long run. 

Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Round Saline And Contoured (Anatomical) Saline Implants Cannot Be Overfilled To The Same Extent

No, anatomical (contoured) saline implants cannot be overfilled to the same extent that round saline implants can.

The most commonly used contoured saline implant for breast augmentation is probably the Allergan Natrelle 468. The largest size available is 620-650cc.  Mentor offers the Siltex Contour High Profile implant. The largest size is 650cc, with the maximum fill volume listed at 725cc. So, if you are seeking an 800cc implant or larger, a contoured saline is not an option for you.

Round saline implants can be over filled – usually 10% (of the specified implant volume) is a rough guideline for the maximum overfill volume. Using this guideline, a 300cc saline implant could be overfilled to 330cc without ill effect. Round implants can accommodate more than a 10% overfill, but at some cost. As the volume of a saline implant increases over its recommended fill volume, the implant becomes firmer. The more the implant is filled, the harder the implant becomes. If the overfill is pushed to a greater extreme the implant shell will develop scalloped edges as a result of the internal pressure.

The reason round implants can accommodate a reasonable overfill is that they are roughly spherically symmetric – meaning that two identical halves exist for any bisection plane that runs through the center of the implant.  This is not true for a contoured implant which has only bilateral symmetry.  The contoured implant is shaped to have less upper pole volume and greater lower pole volume and projection, mimicking the shape of a breast. As a contoured implant is overfilled, pressure forces more volume disproportionately into the upper pole, expanding it further; subsequently, the implant begins to lose its anatomical shape. Anything greater than mild overfilling of a contoured implant therefore defeats the purpose of using this implant because the intended shape is not maintained. A contoured implant should therefore be filled within the volume range specified by the manufacturer, and not beyond.

The implant volume you mention is very significant, and there is morbidity that accompanies large implants. I recommend that you discuss your concerns with a board certified plastic surgeon, and perhaps more than one opinion may be helpful in guiding your decision.

Best wishes, Ken Dembny

Kenneth Dembny, II, MD
Milwaukee Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Anatomic implants and overfilling--what is your goal!

Since anatomic implants have a shape that must be maintained in a certain position (upside-down would look silly, for example), they must have a textured surface that adheres to the adjacent tissues much like Velcro. Positional sensitivity is one concern I have about the use of textured implants, as well as a higher leak rate, higher cost, thicker shell (potentially being more likely to be felt as an "edge"), and less natural feel.

Which of those is attractive to you?

The most natural look is achieved with teardrop-shaped breasts when upright, and round and slightly flatter profile when reclining, but if you are seeking 1000cc volumes, "natural" must by definition be low on your list. Not judging, just making an observation.

Any overfilled saline implant will be more firm, and may have scalloping around the edges of the implant. Soft round smooth (appropriately overfilled) saline implants would be my best recommendation regardless of desired size, but even more so with very large implants.

You need to talk to several ABPS-certified plastic surgeons and get multiple opinions about what sounds like too much personal research and too little experience-based information. Best wishes! Dr. Tholen

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 255 reviews

Anatomical saline implants might not stay that way

The shape of an anatomical implant depends on the shell and the laxity of the pocket to maintain its shape. Overfill of a saline implant will push it to a round shape, just as will any degree of tightness in the capsule. If you stick with round in a saline rather than anatomic at least you will know what you will get.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 42 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.