Does Overfilling Saline Implants Void Warranty?

Why do doctors often overfill? How much overfilling is too much?

Doctor Answers 11

Saline volume warranty

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Saline implants are overfilled to increase projection.  The manufacturer states the filling volume on the box containing the implant.  Technically, you would be violating the warranty.  However, if the implant is ruptured there is no way the manufacturer will know the actual amount that was placed.

Best of Luck,

Gary Horndeski, M.D.

Texas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 230 reviews

Overfilled Saline Implants, does it void the warranty?

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

First, I would like to say that saline implants only make up about 10% of most busy plastic surgeons breast augmentation practice because of this type of issue. Saline implants should, in my opinion, be filled to their maximum fill volume as this tends to decrease the amount of rippling that is associated with saline implants, but this also tends to increase the "firmness" of the implants, a trade off. I would not recommend filling an implant beyond the recommended maximal fill as this will increase the likelyhood of the implant rupturing and then having to perform another operation, not an ideal situation.

Jonathan Weiler, MD
Baton Rouge Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

Overfilling saline breast implants

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

I have spoken to our company rep about this issue.  First of all, what is "overfilling"?  As an example, a 300 cc saline breast implant actually has a recommended "fill range" of 300-325 cc.  So anywhere in that range is not "overfilled".  Above 325 cc is overfilling and they are getting me clarification on that amount of "overfilling" that would void the warranty.  Personally, I don't like to overfill as the implants become too hard (=fake) and the rippling on the sides (I call it scalloping because it looks like a scallop shell) increases. 

saline breast implants

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Saline breast implants are primarily sold empty and filled by the doctor during surgery. The implants have a fill range say 400cc to 475cc for a 400cc implant. Placing more then what is recommended by the company may void the warranty. Of course, I have never done that but I have removed  a ruptured saline implant that was under filled by the original doctor and the company replaced the implant at no cost. I hope this helps. Please see a board certified plastic surgeon for your consultation.

Gregory T. Lynam, MD
Richmond Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Overfilling Saline Implants

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Thank you for your question.

Overfilling the saline implant to reduce the chance of rippling is common practice. During my 15years of private practice and many breast augmentation surgeries, I have not seen an implant company not honor the warranty for an implant that has been overfilled.

If you feel that you still have questions, you may find more information on the implant company's website.

Overfilling of Saline Implants and Warranty

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

In being in practice for 20 years, I have yet to experience an implant company not honoring the warranty when the implant(s) have deflated. Check with your surgeons office to see what their experience has been.

Overfilling saline implants

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Many plastic surgeons over the years of using saline implants will overfill slightly in an effort to reduce the possibility of wrinkling and rippling. This usually on the order of 5 - 10% or so not dramatically overfilling the implant.  I don't know of any case where the breast implant manufacturer did not honor the warranty for a saline implant.

Thank you for your question.

Ralph R. Garramone, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

"Overfilling" is an incorrect term--proper fill for saline implants is always more than the number on the box!

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Some surgeons have been wary of filling a 300cc implant, for example, with anything more than 300cc of saline for fear of "voiding" the manufacturer's warranty. These may be surgeons who do few breast augmentations and fail to see the increased prevalence of visible implant rippling, as well as the higher overall deflation rate (due to ripple creasing with each breath of the patient that eventually "wears out" a tiny pinhole in the implant shell). Furthermore, no implant manufacturer has refused warranty replacement for an implant that leaks, though they would question a surgeon who consistently has patients with implants that leak because of incorrect fill practices (like putting 400cc in a 300cc implant)!

Any surgeon who has extensive experience with saline implants learns that proper fill (for smoothest surface and most natural "feel") is actually 5-15% more volume than the stated implant size, and that the final exact number depends on the patient's tissue characteristics (tension and elasticity of the skin and muscular coverage). Thus "overfill" actually reduces rippling, decreases risk of deflation, and enhances the overall result.

The reason overfill is necessary is that years ago when implant manufacturers first began to offer two types of breast implants (saline AND silicone), saline implants were made from the same mandrels (molds) that silicone implants were fabricated with.

300cc of saline does not fill an implant the same way 300cc of silicone gel does, but to relabel and re-approve the entire saline implant line would have caused the need for extensive and expensive FDA re-review, so the implant manufacturers did not do this, and the labels remained the same, at least until several years ago when the labeling supported a + or - amount of saline fill, and the specifications charts for saline implants listed dimensions for nominal, moderate, and maximum fill volumes.

It is true that although proper "over"fill for a 300cc implant is about 330cc or so, surgeons cannot simply take an implant and overfill to any amount they wish. Filling a 300cc implant to 400cc WOULD increase firmness, cause scalloping around the edges, and overstress the filler valve and manufacturer's patch (needed during the fabrication of the implant), increasing the risk of leak or rupture. So overfill of any degree over 15% or so is truly overfill, and is neither recommended nor wise. And it doesn't look or feel good either! That is why implants come in so many different sizes, each with its own proper degree of (over)fill! Best wishes and thanks for asking!

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

Overfilling implants

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Technically overfilling the implant past the manufactures suggested fill volume will void the warranty.  But the manufactures have not enforced this policy for slight overfills.  I am sure that they may not be so good with large (over 20-25 percent) overfill.   Overfilling does help with ripples to a certain amount, but then past that amount you start to get scalloping on the sides of the implants. 

Dan Mills, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Over Filling Saline Implants

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Saline implants have a range that is recommended by the implant manufacturer.  Over filling is when the surgeon adds past the highest recommended fill range.  Most surgeons say you should not add more that 10% above the recommended fill range.  It is not good to add much past the upper fill recommendation because the saline implant becomes firmer. 

The warranty will no be voided if you do a reasonable overfill.

Best Wishes

Dr. Peterson

Marcus L. Peterson, MD
Saint George 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.