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How to Find the Right Breast Implant Size for Breast Augmentation

Breast augmentation is a personal and significant decision that many women consider for a multitude of reasons, ranging from aesthetic desires to reconstructive needs. At the core of this process is one vital decision: choosing the right breast implant size. This choice is crucial, not just for the surgery’s success but also for the patient’s postoperative satisfaction and comfort.

At Berkeley Square Medical, we have found that choosing the right implant size involves a comprehensive consultation process. This includes an evaluation of numerous factors, the patient trying on different implant sizes, and detailed discussions about desired outcomes.

In this article, we will guide you through the intricacies of choosing the right breast implant size. We will also debunk common misconceptions, elaborate on important factors to consider, and share insights on our unique approach to help you visualise and understand the path to your ideal result. It is our belief that equipping you with the right information will empower you to make the best decisions for your body and health.

Please note that while this article aims to provide a comprehensive guide, it is not a substitute for a professional medical consultation. Always consult with a certified plastic surgeon when considering breast augmentation.

The Basics of Breast Implants

Before we delve into the process of choosing the right size, it’s important to look at the different types available.

There are two main types of breast implants: saline and silicone.

Saline Implants: These are filled with sterile salt water. They provide a firm, uniform shape and are filled at the time of surgery, allowing for minor modifications in implant size.

Silicone Implants: These are filled with a silicone gel that feels more like natural breast tissue. If the implant leaks, the gel may remain within the implant shell or may escape into the breast implant pocket.

Implants also vary in terms of their shapes (round or anatomically shaped), textures (smooth or textured), and profiles (low, medium, or high), which refers to the degree of forward projection from the chest wall in relation to the base width of the implant. These variables play a significant role in the final appearance and feel of the breast after augmentation.

Please note that no single type of implant is superior to others. The choice depends on individual factors like your body type, the amount of natural breast tissue you have, your personal preferences, and the professional recommendation of your plastic surgeon.

When it comes to sizes, breast implants are not measured by cup sizes as bras are. Instead, their size is typically measured in cubic centimeters (cc), which is the unit of volume they hold. Implants can range in size from as small as 100cc to 800cc or larger. The right size for you will depend on your personal aesthetic goals, body measurements, and lifestyle, which we will delve into in the following sections.

Misconceptions About Choosing Implant Size

When deciding on the right breast implant size, there can be several misconceptions that can steer patients in the wrong direction. These misconceptions often result in unrealistic expectations and unsatisfactory results. One of the most common misconceptions is the over-reliance on pictures as a reference.

The Problems with Using Pictures for Reference

It’s quite common for patients to bring pictures of celebrities or even friends who have undergone breast augmentation, hoping to achieve a similar look. While it’s beneficial to have a visual goal, it’s critical to understand that the same implant size can look vastly different on different individuals due to variations in body proportions, chest wall structure, and existing breast tissue. Therefore, using pictures to decide on your implant size can often lead to misleading and inaccurate conclusions.

Importance of Physical Consultation and Trials

Choosing the right implant size is a highly personalized process that depends on various physical and personal factors. Therefore, the process must go beyond mere photos. At Berkeley Square Medical, we emphasize the importance of physical consultations and trials. We believe in a hands-on approach where you can try on different implant sizes during the consultation. This approach allows you to visualize how each size feels and looks on your body, which is a more effective and realistic method.

measuring breast implant size

What to Consider When Choosing Implant Size

Choosing the right breast implant size is a multifaceted process. The ideal implant size for you is one that aligns with your aesthetic goals, lifestyle, health considerations, and your physical anatomy. Here are some of the key factors that we consider:

  • Personal Aesthetics and Desired Look: What is your desired outcome from the breast augmentation surgery? Are you looking for a subtle enhancement or a more dramatic change? Your aesthetic goals will play a significant role in determining the right implant size.
  • Lifestyle and Physical Activity: Your daily activities and lifestyle are important considerations too. If you are heavily involved in sports or physical activities, larger implants may cause discomfort or interfere with your performance.
  • Health Considerations and Potential Risks: It’s important to discuss any health issues with your surgeon. Certain conditions may influence the type and size of the implant that’s right for you. It’s also essential to understand that larger implants may pose higher risks such as skin stretching or rippling.
  • Amount of Excess Skin and Sagging of the Breast: The current state of your breasts, including the amount of excess skin and sagging (or ptosis), can influence the size of the implant that can be accommodated comfortably and naturally.
  • Current Cup Size: Your current cup size is a baseline for determining how much of an increase you want and what can be realistically achieved.
  • Desired Cup Size: While the final cup size can’t be guaranteed due to variations in bra manufacturers, it gives your surgeon a general idea of your aesthetic goals.
  • Breast Width and Measurements: Your chest and breast width determine the diameter of the implant that will fit your frame best. Choosing an implant wider than your natural breast width may lead to complications or an unnatural appearance.
  • Amount of Existing Breast Tissue: The amount of breast tissue you have can affect how the implant will look and feel. Less natural tissue may require a smaller implant or a specific type of implant for the most natural result.

Taking these factors into account can help ensure that your implant size aligns with your body and lifestyle. It is important to have an open and honest discussion about these factors with your plastic surgeon, as it will influence the final decision regarding your implant size.

Preoperative Discussion and Consultation

The preoperative discussion and consultation form an essential part of the process of choosing the right breast implant size.

One of the first steps in the consultation process involves understanding your goals, expectations, and concerns about breast augmentation. It is crucial to clearly communicate your desired look and any apprehensions you might have to your surgeon. This allows your surgeon to tailor the surgery plan to your unique needs and desires.

Your current bra size and fit serve as crucial reference points in the decision-making process. They help estimate the starting point and provide an idea of how much enhancement you are seeking. While bra sizes are not standardized and can vary among manufacturers, they can still provide a rough idea of your current breast volume.

Based on the information gathered from the consultation, including your desired outcomes and current breast measurements, your surgeon will suggest an estimated implant size and profile that would best suit your needs.

The information shared and collected during this stage is invaluable in understanding your aesthetic goals and determining the surgical plan. Keep in mind that the final decision on the implant size and profile is not made at this stage. Instead, the goal is to establish a range of options that will be further refined during the surgical procedure itself. The consultation is an excellent opportunity to ask any questions and address any concerns you might have, so we encourage open communication throughout this process.

surgeon discussing breast implants with patient

Determining the Right Size during Surgery

Even after extensive discussions and consultations, there’s one vital stage where the final decision about the implant size is made – in the operating room. We at Berkeley Square Medical understand that the operating room is where the art and science of breast augmentation come together. Here’s how this process works:

Use of Implant Sizers: Implant sizers are essentially ‘trial’ implants that are used during surgery to determine the best fit. These sizers help visualize the actual look and feel of the implant in the body before the permanent implant is placed. We use sizers to try out different implant sizes and profiles based on our preoperative discussions and measurements.

Evaluation of Breast Appearance with Sizers: Careful evaluation of breast appearance with various sizers in place is essential. The patient is positioned upright during the surgery, and each sizer is assessed meticulously for its aesthetic appeal, symmetry, and overall fit within the patient’s frame.

Decision-making based on Intraoperative Assessment: The final decision on the implant size and profile is made based on these intraoperative assessments. There is no predetermined ‘right’ size; instead, the right size is the one that best meets the patient’s aesthetic goals while adhering to the principles of safety and longevity.

This process allows for precise customization and ensures that each patient gets the most suitable implant size for their unique body type and aesthetic desires. Remember, it’s not about choosing the biggest or smallest implant, but rather the right implant for you.

It’s also important to note that breast appearance right after surgery will be different from the final result due to factors like swelling and tissue settling. It usually takes a few weeks to months for the breasts to settle into their final position and appearance. Your surgeon will guide you through this postoperative period and provide you with detailed instructions to ensure optimal healing and results.

Considering the Bigger Picture: Head-to-Toe Aesthetics

The decision to undergo breast augmentation is about more than just choosing the right implant size; it’s about enhancing your overall aesthetic appeal and boosting your self-confidence. To that end, it’s essential to consider your overall body proportions and how they’ll be affected by your surgery.

Importance of Overall Proportionality: When considering breast implant size, one must keep in mind the overall proportions of the body. The goal of any cosmetic procedure is to enhance your natural beauty and create a harmonious balance between different body parts. An implant that might look fantastic on one woman might not suit another because of differences in body shape and proportions.

Role of Preoperative Photographs: To assist in this, we keep preoperative photographs available, including a shoulder-to-knees photo in both frontal and lateral views. These photos provide a frame of reference for how the augmentation procedure will impact your entire figure. They help visualize the ‘before’ and ‘after’ scenario, assisting in making a more informed decision about the implant size.

Your plastic surgeon is not just a doctor but also an artist who understands aesthetics and symmetry. Trust their advice when it comes to choosing the right size that will not only give you the breasts you desire but also complement your overall figure.

Final Words: Choose a Provider that Prioritizes Personalised Care

When it comes to choosing the right breast implant size, the emphasis should always be on personalised care. This means selecting a provider that prioritizes individual body types, personal desires, and overall health over a one-size-fits-all approach.

Berkeley Square Medical’s Approach

As one of the UK’s leading providers of aesthetic and cosmetic surgery, Berkeley Square Medical is committed to offering patient-centered care. We pride ourselves on our meticulous approach, combining the best of medical science with an understanding of aesthetics to help our patients achieve their desired results.

We understand that every woman is unique, with different body types, aesthetic goals, and lifestyle considerations. We approach each patient as an individual, investing time in understanding their desires and concerns and involving them in the decision-making process.

Our commitment to your care doesn’t end once the surgery is over. We provide thorough postoperative care instructions and conduct follow-up consultations to ensure you’re healing well and are satisfied with the results.

Choosing the right breast implant size is a personal and significant decision that can greatly enhance your confidence and body image. We believe that a carefully thought-out, personalised approach that factors in all the considerations discussed in this article can help you achieve the best results from your breast augmentation surgery.

For more information, please visit our breast enlargement page or get in touch with the Berkeley Square Medical team. We’re here to guide you through this transformative journey every step of the way.

References and Further Reading

  • This article from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons discusses the importance of careful measurements and patient input in determining the appropriate implant size, highlighting the role of patient “wish” pictures in tailoring results to meet individual needs​​. (ASPS)
  • This post explains the various dimensions of breast implants and how they influence the final appearance, including factors like volume, diameter, and profile, to assist in choosing the best implant size for individual goals​​. (Rowe Plastic Surgery)
Sanjay Rai

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