My Implants Are Too Big. Can Saline Be Withdrawn?

I just had breast augmentation with Natrelle saline filled implants. My left breast is a 168-330 filled to 330cc and my right breast is a 168-360 filled to a 420cc. I am post 1 week exactly, as I know my breasts have not settled, a lot of the swelling has gone down. My right breast hurts under my arm and to my back and feels and looks a size larger than my left. I feel that it has been overly overfilled. I'm a sporty girl who started with a 38A and am confidant that I'm better off a B than a C.

Doctor Answers 22

Removing saline from an implant too large

The implant on your right has been overfilled beyond the recommended fill volume and may indeed be stiffer than the implant on the left. If the implant remains too large and unbalanced with that on the left it is possible to reduce the fill volume to 360cc, or at least to 390cc to keep the implant within the normal fill range. You can wait, and the pains will subside, though if the look is wrong it is OK to remove saline on the right.

Best of luck,


Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Healing of breast augmentation

At one week you are nowhere close to the final result and it will be smaller than you are now.  Give it 4 months and see where you are.  Work with your surgeon but it would be a mistake to take fluid out right now.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Too big one week post-op

At one week post-op, it's way too early to judge the final shape and size.

Let the swelling go down for 3 weeks.  Let the tissues relax for 2-3 months.  Then look at how things are.  If you still feel you are too large at that point, then it would be reasonable to consider a size change.


Hang in there!

Thomas Fiala, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 79 reviews

Removing saline from a saline breast implant

If you have a 360cc implant filled to 420cc, you can have 60cc removed-but no more. I would not do anything right now since your surgery was so recent. I would wait several months before any attempt at removing the volume. Discuss this in detail with your plastic surgeon; but for now, be patient and allow yourself to heal.

Best wishes,


William Bruno, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 377 reviews

Swelling and Asymmetry after Breast Augmentation

It is typical to have swelling and even some degree of breast asymmetry during the first several weeks after breast augmentation surgery. Also, keep in mind that you are not use to having larger breasts. There is a psychological adjustment that many women have to make because your body image is changing. Allow several months for the swelling to resolve and for you to mentally adjust to the body changes. Ultimately, if you still wish to reduce the implant size, speak to your surgeon. The right implant can have 60cc of saline removed but the left one is at the recommended minimal fill volume for that implant. In that case, you might have to consider new implants if you still wish to reduce the breast volume.


Behzad Parva, MD, FACS

Behzad Parva, MD
Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

One week post surgery?

Dear Bear,

One week after surgery is not time to be critically evaluating your result in any aspect.  Your implants will settle over time.  Swelling will resolve over the next few weeks.  Your skin will relax over the next several months.  You really need to be patient and let the healing process take place.  Good luck!

Kenneth R. Francis, MD, FACS
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Post-op breast augmentation

Thanks for your question -

In our San Francisco office we perform breast augmentations very commonly.

It is not uncommon for there to be some asymmetry and swelling at one week.  This usually takes about 3-6 weeks to resolve more completely.  You should talk to your surgeon but don't be in too much of a rush to reduce the size at the one week post-op point.  Things will likely continue to get smaller as the swelling resolves.

Unfortunately the volume can't safely be changed without risking rupture to the implant and will require replacement of the implant.


I hope this helps!

Steven H. Williams, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Withdrawing saline from an implant

To withdraw saline, a surgical procedure would be required to open the breast along the suture line, put the fill tube into the valve and then withdraw fluid. You should not go below the recommended volume of the implant as this would increase risk of wrinkling and crease fold failure. You are correct that you need to wait for healing to progress before making any decisions as to decreasing the volume in your implants or to replace them with smaller ones.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Withdrawing saline from a saline implant

There is a small range for filling saline implants of any particular size.  Changing that fill within that narrow range will not be satisfactory to relieve an asymmetry.  Having said that, you are WAY TOO EARLY to make any adjustments or decisions about changing the implants.  Give it three months and then reassess.

All the best,

Talmage J. Raine MD FACS

Talmage J. Raine, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Withdrawing saline from implant one week post op

One week post op is too early to tell.  I would inform your plastic surgeon of your concerns, but I would wait for the swelling to go down and some of the spasm that some patients have to subside.  At a certain point after things have settled, together you can determine if anything needs to be done

Jeffrey J. Roth, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 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.