Lately I’ve seen some confusion among breast augmentation candidates at my Boston office regarding “overfilled” breast implants.
Saline implants, unlike silicone-gel implants, are filled by a surgeon during the procedure itself. This allows for smaller incisions and gives some women the option of later adding or subtracting a small amount of volume without a second revision surgery. Technically, many implant types can be filled 25 to even 50% above their stated capacity, though filling the implants this much is highly inappropriate.
Part of the difficulty about “overfilling,” though, is confusion over the term. Surgeons typically fill a saline implant slightly fuller than the minimum recommended fill volume to help minimize the rippling that may occur on the implant surface. A fuller implant also accounts for the normal, slight changes in your natural breast tissue volume during recovery. This standard practice is entirely different from actually “overfilling” the implant past its FDA-approved safe capacity.
Filling an implant well beyond its stated capacity in most cases will void the implant manufacturer’s warranty, which means that if your implant should rupture as a result of being overfilled, you will be solely responsible for any cost or side effects of having the failed implants removed and/or replaced.
The bottom line: Before undergoing a breast augmentation in Boston using saline implants, ask your cosmetic surgeon to clarify his or her approach to filling this implant type. Steer clear of any surgeon who proposes to significantly overfill your implants, because this can lead to added cost and additional surgery in the event of a rupture.