Overfilled breast implants are one method of achieving a particular look and feel from breast augmentation surgery. However, not all breast implant styles can be overfilled. Saline breast implants are the only style which is filled directly by the surgeon, once they are inside the body. Silicone implants come pre-filled and cannot have their fill volume changed. Therefore, the scope of this article addresses saline filled implants only.
This treatise will examine the benefits and risks of overfilling implant prosthetics.
Overfilled Breast Implants Defined
The volume range of any saline breast implant is determined by the manufacturer and has been approved by the FDA and other governing bodies, to hold a given amount of filler solution.
An implant is typically named for the lower end of its fill recommendation, but can hold between 10% to 20% more and still be considered filled to manufacturer’s recommended specifications.
For example, a given implant might be sized as a 350cc shell, but can hold a range of 350cc to 400cc, according to manufacturer’s recommendations.
Any amount over the maximum recommended capacity is considered overfill.
Reasons for Overfilling Breast Implants
Not all breast implants will benefit from overfilling. Older implant styles, which received FDA approval longer ago, have a reduced fill range, which is not considered optimal by many experienced surgeons. These styles usually benefit from conservative overfill.
Newer style implants usually have a more realistic fill range and can be filled within the manufacturer’s recommended limits with excellent results.
A doctor’s experience will guide them in determining how much filler solution to use in your selected implant shells.
Benefits of Overfilled Breast Implants
Overfilling a breast implant will make it firmer and less likely to ripple or wrinkle. This can reduce the chance of noticeable skin rippling, especially when the woman bends forward or lies on her back.
Overfilled implants can also perform better and last longer than lesser filled implants of an identical style.
Wrinkling in the implant is one of the most common factors in causing rupture, due to shell failure.
Preventing significant folds in the shell, by overfilling, will extend the life of the implant in many cases.
Drawbacks of Overfilled Implants
Overfilling can void certain breast implant manufacturer’s warranties. Although it is difficult to prove overfill exists, it might be a problem if you ever file a claim to have an overfilled implant replaced.
Overfilling certain implant styles might actually cause shell rippling or compromise the integrity of the shell, leading to premature implant failure. This is precisely why a surgeon’s experience and knowledge is so important to your final operative results.
Additional fill in the wrong implant style will have the exact opposite effects as those hoped for.
Evaluating Overfilled Breast Implants
Overfill is a highly individual case by case choice, which has to be made by the cosmetic surgeon during your procedure. If you have an opinion concerning fill volumes, you had best discuss it with your doctor prior to surgery, to avoid any surprises or potential warranty issues.
Overfilling is industry standard in some types of implants and can certainly produce incredible results. Just make sure your doctor is experienced with the technique, since overfill in the wrong implant style can ruin your results and lead to significant post-operative disappointment or even implant failure.
Talk to your doctor about the possibility of using overfill to achieve the breast enlargement results you dream about. Just be sure to learn all the facts, so that you can make an informed choice when it comes to saline breast implant volume and the aesthetic results it will produce.