How can I determine number of CC's?

I had breast augmentation done 20 years ago. They are saline, placed above the muscle. I do not know the number of CC's and unfortunately the surgeon is deceased. Will an ultrasound help to determine the size, volume, etcetera? How do I move forward with a revision, without this info? Thank you

Doctor Answers 12

Saline volume Guess

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Thank you for your question. A Plastic Surgeon who is very experienced with revision will be able to make a good guess however the only way to truly know the volume is to measure/drain the implant volume. I recommend that you meet with your Plastic Surgeon in person and discuss in detail the goals you have in mind. They will examine you and plan, perhaps for a few different implant options.

All the best

How can I determine number of CC's?

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Having dealt with this so many times before, the volume can easily be ascertained by water displacement techniques or direct measurement.  Find a board certified plastic surgeon who has performed thousands of these procedures and has hundreds of pictures and reviews.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Beverly Hills, CA

You have several options

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Hello ShellsBells75 and thank you for your question. Based on my experience with patients similar to your situation, I have several pearls for you to keep in mind:

1) go over your goals and expectations with your plastic surgeon: let them know if you want bigger, smaller, more natural or obvious looking, more or less cleavage, more or less projection, etc.

2) meet with your surgeon so that they can measure you and go over your implant choice and size options

3) for a very accurate determination of what implants would fit you best, I would numb your skin and puncture your saline implants in the office and see what you look like 2 weeks later with your implants deflated; the saline that I am not able to evacuate in the office will safely have been reabsorbed by then.  I would then have you try on implants in a bra based on your measurement and let you see how they improve the look of your breasts in addition to your native breast tissue.

For your optimal outcome, I recommend you seek consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon with expertise in aesthetic breast surgery who is experienced performing these types of operations.  I wish you the best of luck and hope I have helped to alleviate your concerns and to answer your questions.


Dr. Sean Kelishadi

Sean Kelishadi, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Knowing cc's of implant from imaging

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There is no published protocol to determine breast implant size from imaging; how it works is that you have to tell your surgeon how large you want to be and then trust him/her to remove your implant at the time of the operative and adjusting your size accordingly; you will have to choose a surgeon who has all of the implant sizes at his/her surgical center to accommodate you.

Arian Mowlavi, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

Old Saline Implants

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It is not really possible.  Physical exam by an experienced surgeon can determine a ball park estimate of size, and that's sufficient to move forward with a revision surgery.
Best of luck!

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 100 reviews

How can I determine number of CC's prior to revisionary breast surgery?

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Thank you for the question.  Given your situation, it may not be possible to determine the  volume of your breast implants, without extensive efforts ( outlined by my colleagues earlier).   In my practice, pre determining the volume of the saline that you currently have is not critical;  this information will be readily available during surgery as the  current breast implants are removed. Having the entire range of breast implants available for re augmentation in the operating  room makes life easier.  Careful pre-operative communication of your goals, the use of intraoperative sizes, and careful selection of appropriate breast implant size/profile will be key to success.

Generally speaking, the best online advice I can give to ladies who are considering revisionary 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 are 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” etc means different things to different people and therefore prove unhelpful.
Also, as you know, cup size varies depending on 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 ( after the use of temporary intraoperative sizers). Viewing the patient's chest wall in the upright and supine positions, with temporary sizes in place, help select the best breast implant size/profile for the specific patient.
I hope this, and the attached link (dedicated to revisionary breast augmentation surgery concerns), helps. Best wishes.

How big is my implant?

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If you can get your operative note from where the procedure was done, hopefully the amount of saline in the implant would be in that. If not, some of us who have done this for a while can, by feeling ,guess within a reasonable amount, how much volume that implant is. I can usually get it within 50 mL. You can certainly have a range of implants available knowing whether you want to go larger or smaller ,and then measure the implant as it comes out with displacement in a large vat of saline to see how much volume is actually in the implant. We seem to do this all the time as it's not uncommon that your situation is presented where the volume of the prior implant is unknown. I would recommend you see a board-certified plastic surgeon in your region with experience in cosmetic breast surgery. Good luck. 

Marc J. Salzman, MD, FACS
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Secondary breast augmentation without knowing cc's

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Thank you for your question; I'm sorry to hear you're having difficulty getting the information you need regarding cc's. Since your plastic surgeon is deceased, you can try to contact the manufacturer of your implants, if you know who the manufacturer was i.e.: Mentor, McGhan, etc. You can also contact the surgical facility or hospital where you had the surgery done since they keep a copy of your operative note.

I hope this helps. Best of luck.

Mennen T. Gallas, MD
Katy Plastic Surgeon

Implant volume

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Thank you for your question. If you are certain you will have the revision surgery with new implants you can deflate one implant and use the vectra 3D imaging system to estimate the volume difference between one breast and the other. You would also want to deflate the second implant at the same time for symmetry. 

Best wishes. 

Theodore Nyame, MD
Charlotte Physician

Implant size

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First, although your plastic surgeon is deceased, if the surgery was done in the hospital, you might consider requesting the operative note.

Kiran Polavarapu, MD
Fort Worth 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.