ultimate guide to breast implants, surgery, overfilling and risks

There are many benefits for choosing plastic surgery. Some of those benefits are increased self-confidence, improved physical health, and enhanced mental health to name a few. At the top of the list of reasons someone chooses plastic surgery is self-confidence. To put it simply, when you look good, you feel good. You are more likely to try new activities, wear certain types of clothes and become more open during social occasions. Of all the different plastic surgery options, breast augmentation/implants is one of the most popular procedures being performed.

Why Implants

As one of the more popular plastic surgery options, there are also a number of reasons that a woman may choose to get breast implants. As mentioned above, the number one reason for breast augmentation is to boost ones self-esteem. Another reason could be due to a medical condition called macromastia where the breasts do not fully develop after puberty and are disproportionately small. Micromastia and/or uneven estrogen levels may also cause one breast to grow larger than the other. When a woman loses a lot of weight either through diet and exercise or after pregnancy, breasts can change in shape and lose their perkiness. The list goes on and on as to why someone would want or need breast implants.

Different Types of Implants

There are 2 FDA approved forms of implants. The first is silicone. The silicone gel in these implants feels more like natural breast tissue. Should the implant leak, the gel will remain in the shell or breast implant pocket and the leaking implant will not collapse. Routine MRI’s are suggested to monitor the implants, and if a leak occurs you may experience some tenderness or pain in the breast area. The other type of implants are saline breast implants. They are filled with sterile salt water. The saline breast implants are firm in feel, and provide a uniform shape. If the shell should leak, the implant collapses and the saline is absorbed into the body and expelled naturally. The surgeon can fill the saline implants during the procedure. This means that a smaller incision can be used and breast asymmetry can also be addressed during the procedure.


It is important for your plastic surgeon to evaluate your body and determine the correct placement of the breast implant. Every woman’s body is different, therefore there is no one technique fits all procedure for breast implants. Placement can affect how the breasts look, recovery time, and what possible complications may occur.

Implants can be placed either subglandular or subpectoral. When an implant is placed subglandular, it is placed just under the existing breast tissue. Post operative discomfort is very minimal since there is no trauma to the underlying musculature. When an implant is placed sub-pectoral, it is placed beneath both the breast tissue and the pectoral muscles. This procedure is more invasive and will require longer recuperation and recovery time. For women with little to no breast tissue, it is more advantageous to have subpectoral placement of the implants. Other advantages of subpectoral placement are:

  • a more natural breast slope appearance
  • less chance of implant becoming hard or contracting
  • the edges are not as visible, so the result is a more natural looking breast
  • less risk of visible rippling or implant distortion


Saline implants come with recommended maximum fill levels. A 300cc implant will have a minimum fill level of 300cc and a maximum of 325cc for example. Filling an implant to it’s minimum or maximum level will depend on the desired look, the placement of the implant, and the amount of breast tissue among other things. If a surgeon chooses to fill the implant over 325cc, then the implant is considered overfilled.

Why would a surgeon choose to overfill an implant? Think of a saline implant like a water balloon. The more water you put into the balloon, the less squishy and sloshy it will be. Not filling it enough can lead to rippling or wrinkling, particularly when a woman lies on her back or bends forward. It is widely believed that the technique of overfilling saline implants will leave less space for rippling. Women with little to no breast tissue are more likely to experience rippling, and may benefit from having their implants overfilled.

The implants also tend to perform better and last longer when overfilled. A wrinkle in the implant is a leading cause in ruptures due to shell failure. It stands to reason that preventing folds and wrinkles from occurring in the shell by overfilling can extend the life of the implant and prevent the need for a second procedure. While overfilling is industry standard, it is also a case by case choice and should be discussed with the surgeon prior to the procedure.

About Doctors Plastic Surgery

Doctors Plastic Surgery consists of a group of prestigiously trained surgeons who are committed to providing you with the safest and most natural looking results in the comfort of your own backyard. They have two conveniently located beautiful facilities in New York City, and Chicago. The doctors and staff at Doctors Plastic Surgery provide you with world class treatment from your very first free consultation, discussing different finance options, your procedure, and the recovery process. So, choose your location and come experience the most modern treatments available using state-of-the-art technology provided by a team of caring and experienced plastic surgeons. Visit www.doctorsplasticsurgery.com for more information.

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Written by Anshulika Chawla

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