Can I Add Saline to My Implant?

I now live in another state and the doctor I saw wanted to replace them with silicon and did not want to fill them to a greater amount saying that the warranty would be effected. But what difference does it matter if it doesnt work I can then put in new ones. These are only 3 yrs old and I was told that I could always have more cc's put in with a minor surgery in the office under local. Can that be done? The original plastic surgeon said that I WOULD be able to. I want them a little larger.

Doctor Answers 17

Adding Saline to Breast Implant

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Saline can be added secondarily and yes it will void your warranty. Despite the ability to add saline it doesn't make sense in the vast majority of patients. That is because each saline implant has a relatively narrow range of volumes it will accommodate without distortion, rippling that can be visible and increased hardness. For all these reasons and because you are going to be living with these implants for some time it does certainly justify the increased cost of placing new implants. Local Anesthesia is not recommended as the procedure is a bit more complicated then you imagine

Breast Implant adjustment

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You are playing with fire.  I would not try to add volume to a saline implant.  The chance of leakage afterward is very high.  Any time you are returning to the OR for another surgery there are risks.  The chance of bleeding or infection is present.  The risks of developing a capsular contracture is real.  I would reconsider.

Jay H. Ross, MD, FACS
Palm Harbor Plastic Surgeon

Adding Volume to Breast Implants After Surgery

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Boy, you have opened a can of worms!

The most common reason for breast implant surgery re-operation is the SIZE.  For the past 5 years, I have my patients try implants (which I feel they can have safely) with a bra in front of the mirror.  This has significantly decreased this issue (what you see is pretty much what you get).

Most styles of saline implants used in this country have conservative fill volumes.  Most of these implants will have less chance of rippling if slightly overfilled.  However, the amount of over-fill cannot be more than 10%.  For example, a saline implant with a maximum recommended fill volume of 300cc can only be overfilled to 330cc.  Typically, in my experience, this is not a large enough volume increase to give a noticeable change in the breast size.  So, the question is, at what volume will you be pleased with your result?  Obviously, the most scientific way is to remove your implants and wait 3 months for the breasts to settle in.  Then you can try implants with a bra and see which size you truly want.  This, in the long term, may save you more money and headache, than to try to over-fill an implant.  I also would not recommend doing this in an office setting, as sterility is of utmost importance.

Michael A. Jazayeri, MD
Santa Ana Plastic Surgeon

Adding saline to breast implants

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Adding saline to existing saline implants beyond the maximum recommended volume is not a good idea.  This may void the manufacturer's warranty, cause rippling of the implant edges, and damage the implant valve.  The best option is to replace your implants with larger ones.

Andrew P. Giacobbe, MD
Buffalo Plastic Surgeon

More saline

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Yes you can put in more saline but I think it should be done in the sterile environment of the operating room and not in the office.Obviously there is a limit of what you can put in.

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Filling current saline implants with more volume.

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If you are unhappy with your current implant size, my recommendation is to exchange your implants for larger new implants. Unless you have adjustable saline implants with an external valve, it is unwise to attempt an office refill due to a substantial risk of infection. Also, overfilling an implant beyond the recommended volumes can negate the warranty of the device.

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Adding small amount not recommended

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The range of "overfill" is usually relatively small and is unlikely to make a significant difference.   Overfilling beyond the recommended range also causes distortion of the implant, which causes wrinkling at the edges.   I agree with others who recommend either going with a larger implant, or, possibly switching to silicone.   The other issues, regarding warranty and valve compromise are also valid points.

Marc Klein, MD
Alpharetta Plastic Surgeon

Filling Saline Breast Implants at a Second Procedure

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Hi beth 1953,

There has been a sea change with the term "overfilling" and most saline breast implants are now labeled differently than they were a few years ago.  They used to indicated a range (for example, a 300 cc implant might say 300 in larger numbers, and then 275- 300-325 in smaller numbers.  In that case, it was considered that filling that 300 cc to 325 would be overfilling it.  With time, though, as overfilling became widely accepted, the labeling changed - now a similar implant would be considered a 325 cc implant, meaning that's what it should be filled to, while going smaller than that would be underfilling it.  I know it's a bit complicated, but that's the issue with overfilling it.

However, you didn't say "overfill" them, you said fill them some more.  Whether or not they're filled to the correct amount depends on which implant it was, and exactly how much was put in at that time.  Most manufacturers recommend not going about the overfilled amount (I won't get us started on THAT one again!); the specifics of voiding a warranty would have to be discussed, again, when you know exactly which implant it was.

I don't generally like the concept of adding saline at a later time.  Once the valve is sealed I would prefer to leave it alone.  And I would be even less thrilled about doing so under local anesthesia alone.  You never know when there may be excessive bleeding or any other complication, regardless of how"simple" the procedure appears to be.  If your previous surgeon was willing to do so that's one thing, and he/she may have experience doing that.  Expecting a new surgeon to do that is likely asking too much.

So, if you're working with a new surgeon - you're working with a new surgeon.  Have a frank and honest discussion with him or her and, if necessary, go see a few surgeons so that you know what your options are.  At that point, you'll be able to make an informed decision with regard to all of these issues.

I hope that this helps, and good luck,

Dr. E

Increasing Implant Size

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Eventually you will have to have your saline implants replaced. I would recommend going with silicone now if you wish to increase your size. Best wishes!

Christine Sullivan, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Can I add More Saline to my Saline Implants?

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What is the incidence of Re - operation from breast implant surgery - approximately 25%.  The most common reason is change of Breast Implant Size.  That is why it so important to work on the appropriate size BEFORE surgery.  I find that having the patient place a soft cotton bra on and then placing implants in it to look at what size - looks as though it fits your body habitus.

Implants have a mximum and minimal fill.  Usually we place implants with close to the maximal fill in order to reduce the changes of rippling.  If one overfills the implant - it increases the projection, and feels unnaturally firm.  One would have to evaluate your operative note, implant model and size, as well as implant fill to decide if more volume can be added.

Richard Greco, MD
Savannah Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 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.