Saline Breast Implant Size Similar with Silicone?

I am having a hard time deciding between Saline breast implants and Silicone breast implants. My plastic surgeon has already given me a cc measurement for Silicone. If i choose to go with the Saline, does the same number of cc's Silicone apply? I've heard that you have to add 50cc or so when getting Silicone to equal with the Saline. Also, would bringing the size bra I would like be helpful so I dont end up too big? I am downsizing and am not wanting to be over a small D.

Doctor Answers 4

There is no exact science to this

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 As others have said, you need to unlock from any exact cup size requirements as the cannot be promised.  In my opinion, after 20 plus years of doing this, a cc for cc matching gel and saline implant will look slightly bigger in the silicone.

We can never promise a cup or bra size

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Although silicone is less dense than water, only in larger implant sizes will it make much of a difference between the 2. I use saline sizers when I place saline or silicone implants knowing that for a given volume the silicone implant will be a little smaller. I do not believe it will be a cup size difference so the 50cc point you discussed could apply to larger volume implants, i,e. mid to high 400cc and up. It is a bit tougher when you are down-sizing because you can look at the implants out of your body side by side but it is difficult to compare what your result may end up being using in a sports bra.

Dr Edwards

Saline and silicone implants of the same volume are comparable

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Given the the volume of a particular breast implant, a saline implant of say 300cc and a silicone implant of the the same 300cc are quite comparable. In fact in the procedure we often will use a generic sizer, a gel implant which can be reused to give an estimate of the necessary implant volume, and estimate of the pocket size. The comparison is of a general one however and the implant style such as a high profile silicone, or a cohesive gel silicone may alter the look substantially.

It is difficult to understand how your surgeon knows the "cc" of the implant to be used when you have not been able to show him the size you wish to be. I suggest you forget about the "cc" number and instead focus on how you would like your result to be. Most certainly bring in the bra you hope to wear, and also bring in many pictures which show the size, fill, cleavage, projection, so he clearly understands what you would like. I suppose it is nice to know what he would like, but the result should be all about you.

Concerning saline, if it will work for you it can be an attractive alternative. In short there is no need for MRI studies, the implant can be worn until it wears out, and the capsule contracture rate can be lower. Also it can be placed with a very small incision, is very easy to replace when worn, and cost can be considered as well. Do take time to look into both options.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Dimensions more important that volume

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Implants with similar volumes come in different dimensions and implants with the same width come in different volumes. It is more important to do a dimensional analysis that is confirmed with the volume. Saline and silicone implants are not manufactured with easily interchangeable dimensions and volumes. FIrst decide on whether you want silicone or saline, then have your surgeon do the dimensional analysis.

Bringing in the bra you would like to wear is always quite helpful so the surgeon can actually do some measurements on it, such as width.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

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.