How Do Dr.'s Measure Cc's of Implant when Replacing?

I did not know my cc amount before a replacement surgery. My surgeon removed the implants, checked the size and then replaced them with the new implant. My question is how did he know the cc amount? Does he have a way of actually measuring the liquid? What if the implant was one size, yet it wasn't not completely filled or perhaps it was over filled? Is there a way for him to know the exact cc's of an implant by measuring the saline?

Doctor Answers 14

Measuring Cc's of Implant when Replacing?

Thank you for your question. Implants are measured to the cc when putting them back in.  A syringe measuring every cc is used to fill the implant.  Implants are made to be filled to a certain cc per manufacturer. The shape of the implant is a factor and some profiles have reduced range of cc to be added. The implants are usually hyper filled say a 325cc implant should have 350 or 375cc per manufacturer to reduce the wrinkle risk. There are kits available to put fluid in measuring every cc.  It is a very accurate procedure. There is no guesswork. I hope this helps.

Danville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

How Do Dr.'s Measure Cc's of Implant when Replacing?

     If the volume of a saline implant is not known, the amount of water displaced when the implant is submerged in water reveals the volume of the implant.                                                                                                                                Kenneth Hughes, MD                                                                                                                Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 492 reviews

Archimedes' Principle

Dear Anna,

Look up Archimedes' principle.  The water in the implant will displace exactly that amount of water in a measuring cylinder.  This will tell the surgeon the exact amount of fluid in your implant.

Best Wishes,

Pablo Prichard, MD

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Breast implant size

With saline implants If you can find the filler tube that fits in the implant, then the saline is removed and measured. If the right equipment is not available, to remove the saline,then try to remove the implant intact,which is not always easy. The saline implant is placed in a canaster with sterile saline, and the displaced saline matches the implants volume. Gel implants usually have the size on the posterior surface of the implant.

Terry A. Cromwell, MD (retired)
Lafayette Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Figuring out implant size

Most of the implants will have an identification mark on them.  For gel implants this is exact.  For a saline filled implant the fluid can be removed and measured or the implant can be weighted to get the right size.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Determining the size of an implant during removal

This is a good question. Silicone gel implants have a "stamp" which tells exactly the size. Saline implants do not. The saline however can be removed with a special tubing and then measured.

Ronald Schuster, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Breast implant size

Most surgeons doing revision surgery look to see if any record exists from the previous surgery.  In planning for an operation, it is harder to know what "bigger" or "smaller" is without some written record of what was inserted previously.  

Sometimes we have to go into surgery not knowing exactly what is already there.  Implants used in the last 20 years or so have a number on the implant.  If they are gel implants then this is the actual size.  If they are saline, then the amount in there should be fairly close to that number if they are McGhan (now called Allergan) implants.  If they are Mentor saline implant then some of those can be filled anywhere between the number on the implant and up to as much as 80cc larger.  

Water displacement can be used to measure the actual fill amount, or the fluid can be suctioned out and measured.

In the absence of an operative report the surgeon can determine the volume of the implant in the operating room.

Most breast implants have the volume stamped on the silicone envelope. If this is unavailable provided the implant is intact water displacement study can determine the volume of the prosthesis.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Easy to Measure CC's in Implant

The size of the implant is written on the implant.  Implants size can also be determined by weight.  The surgeon can empty the implant and measure, also.

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Easy to measure the volume of an implant in the operating room.

Once an implant is removed, there a number of ways to directly measure the volume.  Saline filled implants are simple since the liquid can be withdrawn and measured.  Silicone filled implants either have the volume marked on the shell or can be measured by weight or volume displacement.

Michael S. Hopkins, MD
Albuquerque Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 83 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.