Removing Saline from Implant?

I had a breast augmentation 4 weeks ago and my surgeon did not correct my symmetry problem. I have the same amount of saline in each implant. I do not have the post operative adjustable saline implants but my surgeon said she could go back in another procedure and remove some saline. What are the risks in repuncturing the valve to remove saline. I believe I have 575 implants, and I am sure of the overfilled size of 640. How much can be let out and not be underfilled and will this damage implant?

Doctor Answers 10

Overfilled implants

Yes you can decrease the volume, but they should not be under filled.    This revision,would likely void your warranty, so be careful about the decision to do this.  You may also find that you may have slightly more rippling on that side as well.  65 cc is only a little more than a shot glass...factor that into your decision.  The wisest choice would be to wait and give things several more months to heal before making a decision.

Maui Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 27 reviews


Is it possible to remove saline from implants? yes it is. Now you need to make sure that your warranty is not affected by doing this. Make sure you ask your surgeon. If your surgeon knows what he is doing you should be ok. But then again he/she is human anything can happen.

Stuart B. Kincaid, MD, FACS (in memoriam)
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
3.3 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Removing Saline from Implant?

To answer your question it would be helpful to see some before and after photos to see how much difference there is and was from one side to the other. 


It is not without risk, including to the validity of guarantee, to remove saline, but it can be done. 575cc would be a true minimum, because less than that is too likely to cause ripples.65 cc is the maximum therefore to withdraw. At that size I am not sure there would be a noticeable difference.  If you can see a difference now (or better at a minimum of 3 months after surgery) you may do better to consider a smaller implant on that side.


I would urge you ta wait at least for 3 months to pass after surgery before making a decision.

Thanks for the question.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Removing Saline From Implant?#breastaug

Yes, you can have saline removed from your implants. I strongly agree that your warranty can be voided so triple check before you proceed. Call your implant company. It is still so early in your process. I would wait at least 3-6 months before I considered any revision at all. Four weeks post op is not that long. You may find that things settle a ton over the first 3 months. I overfill my saline implants according to manufacture guidelines. This usually is between a 10-20% overfill. If you under fill an implant you can create fold flaws in the shell and make it more prone to rupture and visible rippling. The guidelines are well known to all surgeons and are printed on all implant size sheets that we get from the companies. You can google it and most likely find the chart you need with those facts.

Richard J. Brown, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Saline implant volume removal?

The answer to your question specifically is that the valve is not a needle-punctured valve, and inserting the filler tube into the fill port does not damage the implant nor does it void warranty. The issue is just how asymmetrical you are, and how much saline you would want removed to improve symmetry.

Your 575cc implant should contain at least 600cc volume to minimize rippling and decrease risk of eventual rupture/leak. But a 40cc difference is not really visible. 40cc is just 2 teaspoons more than an ounce (or 2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons volume). You really don't' start to see volume discrepancies until you have about 2 ounces (60cc) difference or more. Anything less than this is really not visible. Thus, if you see a difference now, you probably have at least a 60cc or more difference, and would benefit from a properly-filled different size implant.

Sorry, but this is really the best advice, and unfortunately the one that costs the most. Talk with your surgeon to determine the best compromise between cost and the result you really want (and have to live with long-term). Best wishes! Dr. Tholen

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 255 reviews

Taking saline out of implants may or may not help your symmetry

Saline implants typically come with a manufacturer's recommendation in terms of fill range.

For example, a 360cc implant can be filled to 360cc minimum and 390cc maximum.  Typically, maximum fill is done to avoid rippling.  The idea here is that more you fill an implant, less baggy it will be and you will feel less bagginess (rippling) with your saline implants through the breast tissue.  If you remove a certain amount of saline from a particular implant, you will not damage the implant if a "fill" tube is inserted correctly and the saline is taken out.  But, taking too much saline out will cause the implant to be under-filled and you will feel more rippling.  By the same token, if an implant is overfilled, the breasts will start to feel hard.  Underfilling and overfilling are not ideal in saline breast implant surgery.  If you have a size mismatch and you want to correct it, different sized implants should generally be used.  Temporary implants called sizers are used during surgery typically to see which different sized implants are the best to correct asymmetry. 

Richard H. Lee, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

You can remove saline from overfilled implants

We always fill saline implants within the manufacturers fill range, and for a 575cc implant the range is 575cc + 50cc. Anything under or over will affect the feel and performance of the implant and can reduce the implant life. It is possible to reduce the fill in your implant, and it  may be desirable if the implant was indeed over filled.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Removing saline from implants

I think that you need to ask yourself if the asymmetry that you have is really bad enough to warrant another surgery. Almost all people have some asymmetry with their breast size. It has only been 1 month post op and there will continue to be changes with your results for another 2 months. If your implants really are 575cc implants filled to 640cc, then you theoretically could have the additional 65 cc removed without significantly risking fold flaws or rippling. You would be potentially increasing the risk of infection or capsular contracture but would not likely have a problem with the valve. I would wait for another few months before making your final decision. 

Wm. Todd Stoeckel, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 84 reviews

Removing saline

In general removing saline is not advised. Implants should be overfilled to decrease rupture rates. Nominal or underfilling is thought to increase the rate. How much depends on the implant style and manufacturer which you have not included.

Michael Hueneke, MD
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

Removing Saline

Unfortunately the valves on the saline implants are one time use only. If you want a different volume you will need a new implant.

Scott Loessin, MD
Key West Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 105 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.