Why Do Natrelle Saline Implant Shell Have a Small Amount of Cc Fill Comparing to Mentor?

Mentor seems to have around 80cc's where as natrelle only has 20cc fill. Anything over that is considered overfill. I'm getting 320 natrelle HP implants. my doctor wants to either fill it up to 350 or fill it up to 370. I'm a little worried filling it to 370 to make the implant feel more firm and look too fake. I am opting for the natural look but want around 375 cc's Would getting a 330 mentor HP implant and filling it to 370 make a difference? (in look and firmness)

Doctor Answers 7

Filling saline-filled breast implants

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There is no solid evidence for any of the filling options and I cannot prove my opinion but it appears to me that saline-filled implants should be filled to their rated volume and no more than 10% more. If a saline implant is under-filled (below its rated volume) or overfilled (beyond 10%) I think the risk of palpable or visible rippling goes up. There is also some issue of what the implant was designed for and whether long term failure is higher in improperly filled saline implants. I do not see any consistent difference in look or feel of either Allergan or Mentor saline-filled breast implants within the rated fill range. Natrelle (Allergan) tends to have a fill range within the 10% limit and Mentor's range of fill exceeds the 10% fill range somewhat. It is also the case that 25cc's is borderline noticeable in average volume implants. I fit the width of the implant to the width of the patient's breast and the patient chooses the forward profile of low (Allergan), medium (Allergan or Mentor), moderate plus (Mentor) or high (Allergan -- Mentor's is not scaled to the width). If the patient's breasts are relatively equal volume then the patient can choose minimum or maximum fill or I split the difference. If the breasts are slightly unequal volume then the fill range is used to offset this as the width of the implant should be the same on both sides. 

Boulder Plastic Surgeon

Saline fill in implants

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I overfill saline implants to help minimize rippling.  Usually this is just 10 - 20 cc.   Significant overfilling of the implant will make it rounder (higher projection) and firmer to the touch.  Make sure you have been carefully sized by your surgeon.  There are a variety of projections that can selected to accomodate almost any chest wall and usually just about any woman's imagination.  Preoperative sizing is very important.  Also, DO NOT get hung up on the numbers - either in the cc's or the bra size.  All that matters is that the breasts look and feel nice. 

Lisa Lynn Sowder, M.D.

Lisa Lynn Sowder, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Differences between Mentor and Allergan implants

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There are slight differences in the manufacturing processes for Mentor and Allergan, and if you examine the empty shells of the implants you will find the Allergan (Natralle) implants slightly thicker than the Mentor. Thus they offer more sizes with smaller fill variances than Mentor. They are both good implants when used according to the manufacturers recommended specifications.

Terry Zimmerman, MD
Folsom Plastic Surgeon

Fill range for Natrelle vs Mentor saline implants

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You are correct that Mentor saline implants have a somewhat larger suggested fill range than Natrelle (Allergan) saline implants.  Occasionally, plastic surgeons will fill the implants beyond the suggested fill range (Over fill).  As long as this is not excessive - More than 10 to 20 cc beyond the suggested upper fill range - this should not result in excessive firmness of the implant.  Above this range, most surgeons will consider going to the next larger implant.

Vincent D. Lepore, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

Implant filling

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Most surgeons will overfill the implants slightly, to lessen the risk of rippling.  It is true that a great deal of overfilling will result in a firm implant...but the amounts here are not that great.  I would discuss this further with your surgeon.

David A. Lickstein, MD
Palm Beach Gardens Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Fill of Saline Breast Implants

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It is a difference in philosophy. Under-filled implants cause more "rippling." Overfilled implants cause the implant to feel firm and appear round. Many people like the round appearance, but many, like you, prefer a "natural" look and feel. The latter is achieved by not overfilling the implant. Allergan marks their breast implants to the optimal fill to achieve the most natural appearance. Mentor marks theirs to allow the surgeon to achieve various looks depending on patient preference. To achieve a natural look, pick the implant closest to the size you desire and do not overfill it.

Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands Plastic Surgeon

Staying within the manufacturer’s parameters is a good idea

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Staying within the manufacturer’s parameters is a good idea as it will preserve your warranty.  I would not worry about the range difference between the two companies as all these implants are over engineered to be filled multiple times beyond their designated volumes.  What usually fails is the shell from cracks at folds or from valves that leak.   The footprint design and projection are what matter to your look and not the degree to which implants are overfilled. So probably not such a good plan to choose the lower designated volume Mentor to overfill.  Overfilling to prevent ripples is overrated. 


Chen Lee, MD
Montreal Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 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.