Do Saline and Silicone with the Same Cc's Look the Same? Is HP the Best to Option? How Many Cc's to Achieve in the D Range?

I'm 5'2 117 pounds. I have had 275 cc filled to 300cc round saline for nine yrs now. I have been on a consult but am a little confused on what size to go to know to achieve the size I want. I am going with silicone and have little breast tissue...which is one reason I decided on the silicone..besides the look and feel. I am currently a 34 C and would like to go up a cup size. One doc suggested 375 filled to 420 if I had saline with high profile. But with silicone she said 325 or 375.???Confused.

Doctor Answers 10


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Hello and thanks for your post. I suggest you sit down again with your PS and review the differences between your options including how these different shapes can affect your breasts. On the other hand, silicone breast implants tend to be softer and lead to a more natural result. Move forward with surgery when you are confident about the plan and know what to expect. Best wishes, Dr. Aldo.

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 215 reviews

Changing from gel to saline filled implants - how to determine size

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Typically a gel implant of the same size will look about 50 ccs smaller than a saline filled implant.  If you currently have 275 cc implants filled to 300 cc saline filled implants then to go up one cup size and use a gel implant I would estimate that you should use in the 450 to 475 cc range.  Of course, a complete physical examination is necessary. 

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Implant size change

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Hi Jmcook321,

thanks for the question. You already have implants in the 300 cc range. This makes "test driving" a pair of implants in your bra difficult, since you already have an implant inside. Generally, the silicone are more natural feeling and tend to have less ripples on the sides. If you have little natural breast tissue, this is definitely the better option. 

I would suggest the rice test: place a ziplok bag full of dry rice inside your bra, and see how many ounces of rice brings you to the size you would like. Generally a full cup size difference is going to be about 150-250 cc increase from where you are now, depending on your frame and build. ( generally one ounce of dry rice = 30 cc of volume approximately) 

silicone implants tend to look less "pointy" than saline, only slightly. this is because if you compare the two side by side, a high profile saline is going to have more projection and a slightly narrower base compared to the silicone equivalent. For a full D cup, i would generally recommend a silicone High profile. it will look great and not be as broad or wide as a medium profile silicone in the same size range. Hope this is helpful to you. 

Best to you. 

Bennett Yang, MD
Rockville Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Do Saline and Silicone with the Same Cc's Look the Same? Is HP the Best to Option? How Many Cc's to Achieve in the D Range?

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   The smaller the amount of breast tissue, the more likely silicone is a better choice due to smaller chance of noticeable rippling, particularly in a revision where the tissue has already been thinned.  For a size increase, at least 100 cc if not 150 cc would be appropriate, particularly if you want to increase one cup size.  HP will probably be necessary.  The volumetric increase should be the same for either saline or silicone in most cases.  Find a plastic surgeon with ELITE credentials who performs hundreds of breast augmentations and breast augmentation revisions each year.  Then look at the plastic surgeon's website before and after photo galleries to get a sense of who can deliver the results.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Breast Implant Selection?

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You ask very good questions,  the answers to which  are not as simple as one would think. For example, dependent on a specific patient's situation, the use of saline versus silicone breast implants may not matter. For another patient,  for example one with less breast tissue coverage,  the type of breast implant used can make a big difference. In other words, there are many variables to consider when selecting breast implant type, size, profile etc. for a specific patient.  This is why “online consultation” can never be as useful as in-person consultation. 

 Furthermore,  there are many variables besides body measurements that come into play when deciding upon the best implant type/size/profile to help achieve a specific patient's goals. This is where plastic surgery becomes "an art”, not just a science.

Generally speaking, I do find that it takes different volumes using saline versus silicone gel breast implants to achieve the same “look”.   Usually, a larger volume silicone gel breast implant is necessary to achieve the same look that is achieved with a saline breast implant (at least in my experience).

  Also, generally speaking, the best online advice I can give to ladies who are considering  breast augmentation surgery ( regarding breast implant size/profile selection) is:

1. Concentrate on choosing your plastic surgeon carefully.  Concentrate on appropriate training, certification, and the ability of the plastic surgeon to achieve the results you're looking for. Ask to see lots of examples of his/her work.

2. Have a full discussion and communication regarding your desired goals  with your plastic surgeon. 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 “C or D cup” or "fake look" 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.

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

I hope this (and the attached link) help.

Do Saline and Silicone with the Same Cc's Look the Same

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Or maybe the surgeon is confused. 375 cc is 375 cc, whatever the material. Some feel that saline implants may project more, but whether that looks larger or just different is quite subjective. 

As a rule to see a difference in upsizing, at least 100 increase is needed. There are no fixed criteria that define cup size, and I have numerous patients who can wear B's C's and D,s, so what is their size? 

Many surgeons on this size  estimate that for a one cup size increase you need from 150-250 cc of implant. 

With a size as large as you want you will be happier with silicone, I would hold. And I don't think 375 cc would be enough of a change to suit your goal. Think about 450 or more. 

Without photos, and measurements, it is hard to give any precise advice. All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Silicone and saline implants do not look and feel exactly the same.

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A 300 mL silicone implant outwardly looks the same as a 300 mL saline implant. The large the implant the more likely contour irregularities are to be seen with saline implants and they tend not to feel as natural the silicone gel.

Saline vs silicone?

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Yes they look the same for equal volume and profile, but silicone requires a much longer incision. It takes 150 cc more to go up one cup size. I have placed 600 cc implants in patients of your height and weight and they don't require more than a D cup bra. Dr Foster 

Lawrence Foster, MD (retired)
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon

Breast size after augmentation

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It has been my experience that it takes 100 cc larger implant to make a significant differance in breast size. So going from 325 saline to 425 silicone gel would be appropriate. When swithing implants be sure that both saline implants were filled the same and not filled slightly different to correct asymmetry.

Terry A. Cromwell, MD (retired)
Lafayette Plastic Surgeon

Saline vs silicone

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A volume is a volume.  The shape depending upon the choice of implants may be a different shape. The +'s and -'s of each are many.  Best to discuss in the office during consultation.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 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.