How Much Can Saline Implants Be Overfilled?

I had my saline breast implants replaced 6 months ago to 450cc's filled to 475 and 525. I am not pleased with the results. They are full on bottom but not on top. I was advised that I can have them refilled to 700 cc's or replace them again for a bigger size entirely. I know overfilling is not recommended my the manufacturer. However, I am seeking the big, round fake look as I had before as opposed to big and natural as they look now. The scars will be removed later along with moving down and minimize my nipples.

Doctor Answers 25

Change to high profile

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That look is best achieved with high profile implants filled to the upper end of their volume range.  It sounds like you have moderate profile implants, which are too wide and flat for the look you are trying to achieve.  I would not overfill a 450 to 700.

Breast implant size

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Thank you for asking about your breast implants.

  1. The photos suggest that your first breast implants stretched the skin.
  2. If so, it may be hard to get the fake look you want. 
  3. Excessive implant overfill shortens the life of the implant and can rupture it. 
  4. If you accept that risk, you and your surgeon may come up with a plan, e.g. trying excessive overfill and if the look is wrong, going to a bigger implant.
  5. But the bigger the breast implant, the more your skin eventually stretches. 

How Much Can Saline Implants Be Overfilled?

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Hi Brooke007, I think you've seen your answer about over filling your implants. It's not recommended for the increase in size you are desiring. Moreover, I don't think what you want is achievable by just increasing your implant size. Women who are unhappy with sagging in their breasts often mistakenly think getting larger breast implants will magically lift and reposition their breast to a higher place on their chest. Unfortunately, this just isn’t how our anatomy works. Breast implants will add volume, but only a Mastopexy will lift the breast back into position.You have to understand your body has aged and changed since your original augmentation. There are many causes of breast ptosis (sagging) including pregnancy, cigarette smoking, high body mass, gravity and the natural aging process. Back then it's clear from your photo, your own breast tissue was stretched to accommodate your implants, giving you the " new" and "fake" look where you can see the implant shape under the skin. To regain something similar, you would need a breast lift and possibly reduction of your own breast tissue, even then you have to be realistic. The quality of your skin has changed and that compromises outcomes long term. A highly skilled surgeon can get you close, but you have to embrace your anatomy now. Good luck!

William Aiello, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

How Much Can Saline Implants Be Overfilled?

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Thank you for the question.  Based on significant experience, I can tell you the saline breast implants can be overfilled far beyond the upper limits of manufacturer's recommendations. You will find many examples of such cases on the attached link. Best wishes.

Overfill in Breast Implants

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                  The manufacturers of breast implants produce implants that have fill ranges which are designed to give surgeons latitude in the operating room. These implants allow adjustments in volume which can help deal with problems such as asymmetry. These guidelines generally allow implants to have an additional 15% of volume. Excessive overfill can result in device failure and resultant deflation. It would be inappropriate to inflate a 450cc implant to 700cc and this would probably result in implant failure.

                  Since you had your surgery six months ago, your result won’t change without further intervention. Your post-operative pictures suggest significant breast sag and this appears to be your primary problem. This is the origin of your lack of upper breast fullness. Correction of your breast sag represents the best solution to your current problem. With a breast lift you might not need new implants, but this could be accomplished easily in combination with breast lift if it were necessary.

                  It’s important that you discuss this issue with your surgeon, so an appropriate treatment plan can be formulated. If you still have concerns a second opinion may be necessary. 

Stick with 10%.

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The manufacturer’s recommendation is not to overfill more than 10 percent. Some surgeons may choose to push this up to 20 percent or so, but nearly doubling the size isn’t a good idea. This would put a lot of strain on the implant shell, which it is just not designed to handle. Also, simply adding more volume is not going to position your breasts higher on your torso, which I think would help you better get the look you want. A breast lift combined with high profile implants in a larger volume than you currently have is probably the combination that will come closest to helping you reach your goal.

David N. Sayah, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Saline Implants Overfilled

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The company recommendation is not to overfill more than 15%. Surgeons tend to do no more than 10-12%. Do not consider more than 20%.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Overfilling saline implants

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Per Mentor Corporation, implants should not be overfilled by more than 15 percent more than the designated size. In theory, they could be filled more but this would void the warranty. It would be preferrable for you to replace the implants with a larger size, also taking into consideration the profile and shape which best fits your needs.

Overfilling saline breast implants

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Many plastic surgeons routinely overfill saline implants to about 10% of their labeled volume.  There is a range on each implant that the manufacturer has for that particular implant.  The actual fill is up to the surgeon trying to achive the goals that you set out upon to achieve.  In your case, there are a few variables at play  Achieving the significant upper pole fullness that you have in the first photo may be difficult, depending on your skin resilience, how much extra skin you may have, etc.  One would have to examine you to determine this.  Typically one would also remove and replace the implant if you are going significantly larger, again that is for your plastic surgeon to determine.

Jeffrey J. Roth, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Overfilling of saline implants beyond the recommended range is not advised

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Hi there-

Based on your photos and the goal you describe, I would think your chances of achieving success are much higher with a new, larger implant.

However, my opinion is that the real problem with the shape of your breasts, and the reason you have not achieved the outcome you desire, is that your breast lift outcome could be a lot better.

Correcting your current breast outcome to the shape and size you want requires a higher level of understanding of breast surgery and implant dynamics...

If your current surgeon is not able to confidently provide you options for achieving your goals, I would recommend you find a surgeon with a great deal of experience and a reputation for excellence in breast surgery and visit for an opinion- these problems can become more difficult to correct after multiple procedures (not to mention that you would probably like to achieve your goal after as few operations as possible).

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.