As an aesthetic surgeon, I often encounter patients who wish to increase the size of their breasts with implants. One of the most common questions I am asked is: What implant size is right for me? Let us see how to choose the correct breast implant size, the steps, and the criteria taken into account.
What does the breast implant size refer to?
To its volume, which is expressed in cubic centimeters or CC. Volumes generally start at 125 cc and increase depending on the cup size up to 600 cc.
Yet this information is not enough as there are different shapes and profiles! The shape can be totally different for an implant of the same volume. For example, for the same volume, a high-profile round implant will be shaped like a « ball » whereas a low-profile round implant will be flatter and shaped more like a pebble. This is why a consultation and taking measurements are essential to determine the volume of the breast implants according to several factors such as the shape of the breasts, as well as the build and objectives of the patient in terms of volume and shape.
What does a consultation for breast augmentation with implants involve?
It is an important step in the decision process: this discussion provides the patient with the opportunity to tell me about their expectations and their concerns.
For my part, I check their medical history and then conduct a complete physical examination of the breasts. In particular, I take accurate measurements to determine the size and shape of the breasts. This is the first step to help choose the size, shape, and type of breast implants best suited to their body (and desires).
Then, according to the measurements taken and the desires of the patient, a proposal for implants is made. The result is estimated immediately so that each patient has a clear idea of what to expect in terms of results: we try various implants that are inserted in the bra, thus enabling the potential results to be visualized but also to help make a decision when hesitating between two breast implant sizes.
Why is it important to choose the correct implant size?
Choosing the correct implant size is essential to obtain a natural, harmonious result. An implant that is too small may not provide the patient with enough volume and not cover the chest enough which, paradoxically in relation to the small size of the implant, the result will not be very natural. Conversely, an implant that is too big will look artificial and out of proportion with the patient’s figure. Moreover, an implant that is too big may increase the risk of complications such as chronic pain, postural problems, and back pain.
Understandably, taller and broader women can tolerate bigger implants whereas smaller implants will naturally suit the shape of smaller women.
How does the surgeon determine the best implant size for you?
Several criteria help us choose the best implant size for you: your body shape, your desires, your lifestyle, your constraints, and your personality but for a natural result, it is essential to take measurements.
Taking the measurements
The first step to determine the size of the breast implant is to accurately measure the bust.
We take into account the width of the bust, the height of the breast, the thickness of the skin, as well as the distance between the nipples and the fold under the breast. These measurements are essential to help us choose the right implant size and to ensure that the final result is in harmony with the silhouette.
As mentioned above, the morphology of each patient is unique and so the size of the rib cage, the width of the shoulders, the sternum, the height of the bust, and the size of the thorax need to be taken into account.
By taking all these measurements into account, I can determine the appropriate size for a harmonious, well-balanced, natural result.
The desires of the patient
It is important to understand the expectations and desires of each of my patients. Your personal desires and objectives are also important aspects that must not be overlooked. The current trend is for natural results, but tastes and preferences can vary.
During the consultation, I discuss the results the patient wishes to achieve and I help choose the size that corresponds to their expectations while being in harmony with their morphology.
The initial size of the bust
If the patient already has quite a large bust, she may need a greater volume to obtain the desired result. Conversely, a patient with a small bust may require a smaller volume to achieve a natural result.
The quality of the skin
This is very important. Damaged or sagging skin will not take the weight of a large implant as well as it is of course heavier. There is a risk that the weight will damage the skin of the breasts and neckline even further and accelerate ptosis. In these cases, several solutions are available depending on the choice of the patient and the extent of the sagging:
- Combine the breast augmentation with a breast lift;
- Insert a smaller and therefore lighter implant and use the dual plane technique to hold the implant in place better while increasing the cup size.
The choice of implant size must also take into consideration the patient’s lifestyle. If she is active and regularly does a lot of sport, she may prefer a smaller implant size, which will not prevent her from doing exercise. Conversely, a patient who does not do much sport can choose a bigger size.
At the end of the consultation, I take the time to explain to each patient the choice of implant size recommended and the reasons why.
Choosing the ideal size: customized
Choosing the ideal breast implant size is an individual, unique process for each patient. As an aesthetic surgeon, I work closely with them to understand their needs and expectations. Their satisfaction comes first!