How Saline Breast Implant Sizing is Different than Silicone

Both saline and silicone come in different volumes (the ‘size’ of the implant), measured in cubic centimeters (cc’s).


Because there is an array of saline breast implant options (sizes, shapes, types, etc) it would be quite a task to detail every implant option out there! But, where volume is concerned:

The range of sizes for both silicone and saline implants roughly ranges from <100cc to 850cc+.

Picking the right size

Knowing what size implant is right for you is determined by an assessment with a Board Certified plastic surgeon to establish your existing breast anatomy and discuss what your augmentation goals are. And lastly, you’ll nail down which implant type (silicone or saline) is best for your aesthetic goals.

There’s one big difference in the sizing of silicone and saline implants….

…when you see a cc size for a silicone breast implant (e.g. 295cc) it represents the size of the WHOLE implant: the implant shell + implant filling. When you see a cc size for a saline breast implant (e.g 250cc) it represents just the filling (the saline solution inside).

So, a saline breast implant will be another 15-20cc bigger than the stated size when you include the shell volume.

Shell volume or Fill volume?

Saline breast implants are inserted in to the breast pocket as an empty shell with no filling in them. Once in place the surgeon decides how much saline solution to fill the implant shell with via a valve - which is sealed when the surgeon has finished filling up the breast implant.

If you think about it like a water balloon…

Water balloon.gif

Imagine the empty balloon is the implant shell and the water is the saline solution.

There is a range with every saline implant of how much filling can be added.

  • The ‘shell’ volume = this is the volume of saline the surgeon should put inside that saline implant size

  • The ‘fill’ volume = this is the maximum volume of saline the surgeon can put inside that saline breast implant

There can be between 25cc-75cc difference between the minimum and maximum volume that a saline implant can be filled with (depending on the implant manufacturer).

What about overfilling a saline implant?

If you’ve been looking in to saline breast implants you may have heard of women ‘overfilling’ their saline implants. All this means is that they have their saline implant shell filled to the maximum volume (the ‘fill’ volume)! The fuller the implant shell the firmer the implant will feel but the less chance of breast implant shell rippling (which is more common with saline implants).

When you’re considering a breast augmentation surgery you have several choices to make. One of which is whether to opt for a saline or silicone breast implant. To help you make the right choice that meets your augmentation goals make sure you communicate your wants and desires with your surgeon so they can point you in the right direction during your consultation.