Breast tissue expanders to implant exchange surgery. Does the same size give the same results?

I currently have breast expanders in and I am filled to 240cc. I really like the look and size and think I want to stop fillings and schedule the exchange surgery. Because breast implants are softer and move will getting the same size (240cc) give the same result in terms of how they look? Should I go slightly bigger to achieve the same look? Or will getting 240cc high profile implants give me the same look as these expanders? Any input is welcome. Thanks in advance!

Doctor Answers 6

Sizing of implants based on expander volume

The final appearance of your implants may be different from the appearance of the tissue expanders.  In my experience, a round implant of approximately the same volume as the tissue expander will often look smaller than the expander looked.  A shaped implant of the same dimensions (width, height, projection, and volume) as your expander will probably look about the same as the expander.  As others have mentioned, depending on the implant your surgeon is planning to use, they may decide to overfill or underfill the expander to create a pocket of the best dimensions for that particular type of implant.  Since you like the look you have at this point, talk to your doctor about your preference and discuss their recommendations about how to proceed with regard to further expansion and implant type to try to achieve that look.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Implants after expanders

It depends on if you are going with round or shaped implants. If shaped, I plan on underfilling by about 30-50 cc that way the new implant fits snugly in its pocket. 

If round, then expanding a little past where you want to be, is advised in most cases, or at least to the same volume.  If you're happy with that size though you should have a great result and communicate with your PS. The real implants will look even better and feel so much better than the expanders

Cain R. Linville, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Same implant, same size?

If you are happy with the current look then most likely you don't need to go any bigger and you are ready for your next surgery.

There are two issues really.  Firstly volume, secondly shape.  If you are happy with both I suggest simply exchanging to your definitive implant.  Your expander will dictate this somewhat and without knowing the specifics it's hard to guess if high profile or moderate plus profile implants will be better.  The other decision is round or anatomical implants.  

I suggest you consult with your plastic surgeon in person and go over these decisions with them.

All the best,


Dean Trotter, MBBS, FRACS
Melbourne Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Implants after expanders

I will often overinflate the expanders after I get to the volume the patient desires. I will then go back in and place implants at the volume preferred.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Breast tissue expanders to implant exchange surgery. Does the same size give the same results?

Thank you for the question.

Ultimately, careful communication of your goals (in my practice I prefer the use of goal pictures, direct examination/communication in front of a full-length mirror, and computer imaging) will be critical. This communication will be critical in determining breast implant size/type/profile will most likely help achieve your goals. 

In my practice, the use of photographs of “goal” pictures (and breasts that are too big or too small) is very helpful. I have found that the use of words such as “natural” or "B or C cup" etc means different things to different people and therefore prove unhelpful. Also, as you know, cup size varies depending on him who makes the bra; therefore, discussing desired cup size may also be inaccurate. Again, the use of computer imaging has been very helpful during the communication process, in our practice.

Once you feel you have communicated your goals clearly, allow your plastic surgeon to use his/her years of experience/judgment to guide you or choose the breast implant size/profile that will best meet your goals. Again, in my practice, this decision is usually made during surgery, after the use of temporary intraoperative sizers.

I hope this (and the attached link, dedicated to breast augmentation surgery concerns) helps. Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,486 reviews

Expanders to implants

Typically expanders are overinflated in preparation for an implant exchange, sometimes 10-20%.  This allows enough laxity in the pocket to properly place the implant.  Expanders and implants fill the pocket differently, and it's difficult to predict exactly which implant will fill the pocket best.  Thus,  in most cases different implant sizers will be placed in the breast during surgery and the best fit will be chosen.  

Best of luck,

Keith M. Blechman, MD

New York, NY

Keith M. Blechman, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 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.