How To Choose What Size Breast Implants To Get?

Choosing the right breast implant size

There is NOT a rule or simple calculation to determine the optimal implant size for you, although there are several factors that can be considered to reach a good decision. These factors include your own preferences, your height and weight, the width of your chest wall, shoulders and hips, the amount of breast tissue you have already, and the thickness or elasticity of your skin.

You should consult with one or more board-certified plastic surgeons (in person) to obtain some recommendations. In my practice, I rely on all of the above assessments. I need to know whether the patient wants her breasts to look proportional to the rest of her body, or whether she wants to be somewhat larger or smaller than a proportional size.

I ask patients to show me photos of women with similar physiques to illustrate the general size and fullness they’re seeking. I perform numerous measurements during the preoperative visit to select a range of implants that can accomplish our goals.

I also utilize an implant sizing system from Mentor, one of the major implant manufacturers, which gives a much more accurate projection of your postoperative appearance than trying on actual implants or bags of rice.

From all of the above, I will usually know what implant size will best achieve the look the patient wants. I will typically take that size of implant to the operating room, and will also take a larger and smaller size.

I then use a temporary implant sizer during surgery to see how that particular volume will look on THAT specific patient. I’ll then make the final decision about implant size in the operating room.

This may all seem like a lot of effort, but it’s definitely worth it, since I have maybe one patient each year who is not satisfied and chooses to change her implant size. (Andres Taleisnik, MD, Orange County Plastic Surgeon)

How do I choose the right breast implant size?

There is no one straight answer because an implant will look very different on a 5’11”, 200 pound woman than it will on a 5’0″,105 pound woman. The best way to choose the right size is based on two things: making sure you and your surgeon are on the same page about your goals and making sure the implant is a good choice for your body.

You can help your surgeon understand what you want by bringing a few photos of breasts you like to your consult, trying on sizer implants in the office, or by using a 3D imaging machine if your surgeon offers it.

I have had more than one patient tell me they want a natural looking C cup but then show me pictures of breasts they like that look very augmented and appear to be much larger than a C.

A picture is definitely worth a thousand words. As far as making sure the implant is a good fit for your breast and your body, a physical exam including your breast measurements and an assessment of the existing breast tissue and skin is essential to picking the size and shape implant that will give you the result you want while minimizing risks like stretch marks, nerve damage, and implant malposition. (Dana Goldberg, MD, Jupiter Plastic Surgeon)

Breast Implant Size

The key to choosing the correct brreast implants lies in effective communication with your surgeon. It is important for the surgeon to know if you want to look very natural so no one would guess, very round and full at the top, or spilling out of a bra. Hopefully when you see someone with an appearance you would not want for yourself, you can believe that she got the particular look she wanted.

In particular, to avoid the look of being top heavy, or even looking overweight because of the implants, I advise my patients to pay attention to the base width of the implant. It is when the implant is wider than the underlying chest that an individual can start to look heavy. The traditional round implants that we have been using for years will come in several base widths for a given volume. I use the analogy of making hamburgers out of ground beef. You can make a flat hamburger patty and it will be bigger around (think base diameter), than if you make a thicker juicier burger with the same amount of material!

Now with the addition of the form stable anatomically shaped breast implants, currently available from Sientra and Natrelle, women have even more options for finding the size to shape relationship that provides the look they want. (Kaye Riolo, MD, Fresno Plastic Surgeon)

Breast Implant Sizing

This is a super-important question, and one that ultimately is very personal and varies from person to person.

We help zero in on implant size choice in a number of ways: First, and most importantly, we listen to you and discuss your goals and desires as well as your fears.

Many patients, like you, have big concerns (pardon the pun) about being top heavy. Others have a “go big or go home” goal in mind.

We take a 3 Dimensional picture and use imaging to show you a simulation of what different implant sizes would look like.

The system is amazingly helpful and is programmed with the dimensions and shape of all the implants and is a great tool for sharing with each other what you like and could anticipate.

This has been a real game-changer for implant sizing to the point where I couldn’t imagine not having this tool for consultation today.

After the 3D imaging, we have you try on implant sizers to compare and contrast with what you see in the 3D sizing.

Making rice sizers to try at home is also an option, and we have a video on our website demonstrating this (see link below) as well as a handout that we give to patients at consultation with instructions for doing this.

Most of the time these steps have helped us zero in on the implant size during the consultation, with the advantage being that you can then think over all of this information before making a final decision at a preop visit.

While there can be no perfect way to determine implant size, these tools together with our experience over many years with patients going through this process works very well. (Nick Slenkovich, MD, Denver Plastic Surgeon)

Breast Implant Sizes.

Breast augmentation these days can not only increase the size of your breasts, but also retain a shape that doesn’t have to look like “stripper breasts.” This can be achieved by an accurate sizing of your current breast and then appropriately choosing an implant size that will fit your breast dimensions. There are all kinds of breast implant shapes and sizes to choose from. The “more natural” shape would be a form stable shaped implant. It will give a nice slope to the breasts while enlarging them.

Some women choose a round breast implant instead to increase the upper pole fullness of the breast. I recommend choosing a surgeon who you feel very comfortable with and specifically let he or she know that you want a more conservative look. They should be able to help you accomplish your goals! (Joel B. Beck, MD, FACS, Bay Area Plastic Surgeon)

Choosing breast implant size

There are many things that enter into the answer. The bottom line is . every woman’s body is different AND Breast size is a very personal thing. Most women come into my office asking to be “proportional” or “natural”. But even “proportional” means a different thing to different people.

There are many anatomic issues that enter into this equation. These include: current breast size, current weight, pregnancy history, condition of the skin, amount of breast tissue and distribution of breast tissue, just to name a few. In other words it is important to take each woman’s anatomy into account when deciding on the best size.

Women often say to me that “well, everyone tells me that I will wish I had gone bigger”. I do not think this needs to be the case. It is very important to be honest with your plastic surgeon AND TO BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF about what you want out of breast augmentation. As Mick Jagger said.” You can’t always get what you want.” but you can usually get pretty close with good communication.

What is vitally important is that you discuss the options with a well trained and experienced plastic surgeon who can help you choose an implant size that will meet your expectations and is realistic given your particular anatomy. (Mary Gingrass, MD, Nashville Plastic Surgeon)

There really is no numerical rule of thumb in choosing a size. The old fashioned way of trying implants in a bra can give you some sense of how they will look after surgery.

We utilize Vectra in my office. This is a computer system that takes a 3D image of your chest and can simulate the results of surgery.

We find this is very useful to let a patient know what size is best for them. Everyone has a different idea of the size they will find appropriate for them.

Bring a friend along to your consult if you value their opinion. Most surgeons encourage either friends or spouses to come with them to help with the decision of size. (Shim Ching, MD, Honolulu Plastic Surgeon)

Choosing the size of breast implants

I do not commit to a specific size implant before the operation. That would tie my hands.

I have a careful discussion with my patients, which may include asking them to bring pictures of what they hope to look like after the surgery.

During the operation, I put in temporary implants to determine what looks best in accordance with their expectations. (I have every size implant in my operating room.)

When a patient wants to be much larger than they are, I will tell them that I will make them as large as I can and still have them look natural. (Howard T. Bellin, MD (retired), Reading Plastic Surgeon)

Choosing the right implant size

An experienced surgeon will make a recommendation based on your goals and careful measurements of your body. In my practice I will then give you a range of type and size and let you try them on. What you see in the mirror is very close to your post op appearance. (Brian K. Reedy, MD, Fairfield Plastic Surgeon)

Breast Implant Size, Connecticut

This it one of the biggest dilemma’s patient experience when thinking about breast implants. It’s important to see what breast implants would look good for your body type and shape.

I find this helps my patients and gives them a peace of mind.In my office I use 3D Breast Simulation imaging with Vectra.

The system can simulate different implant shapes and sizes from different manufacturers and will show you a range for your breast and body with possible outcomes. It provides a realistic expectation of the appearance of your breasts and reduces patient frustrations regarding size. I finds the Vectra 3D imaging as a great educational tool and it has helps my patients dramatically with the implant selection process. You are able to visualize and experience your own result in 3D pre-operatively. (Alfred Sofer, MD, FACS)

It’s All About Your Goals

You have a lot of decisions to make when choosing breast implants, and my advice is to look at a lot of pictures and to choose a board-certified plastic surgeon whose guidance you trust.

A surgeon who has experience with lots of sizes and styles of implants can help you find an option that fits your frame perfectly, whether that means going up a single cup size or many. I recommend you view a lot of before-and-after photos and pick out some of patients who have similar proportions to your own body. Show them to your surgeon and point out what you like and don’t like. Your surgeon will explain how different implant widths and shapes play a big role in making your results look natural, in addition to size. You can also try on “sizers” during a consultation to see how different options might look under your clothes. There’s no basic rule of thumb that works for everyone; rather, your goals and what you think is beautiful are most important. Find a surgeon who can help you articulate and zero in on those goals. Best of luck in your decision! (Arthur M. Cambeiro, MD, Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon)

It’s all about size

Picking the proper or appropriate size of breast implants has been a question with no easy answer ever since the procedure was first performed. There are personal aesthetic considerations, professional judgement considerations, body proportion considerations and objective criteria based on the dimensions of the implant compared to the chest wall dimensions and breast soft tissue capacity.

All of the above considerations go into the decision which should be reached only after at least two visits with the surgeon. Some helpful tools include trial sizers placed in the bra and viewing before and after photos of patients with similar height/weight, pregnancy history and breast shape to help visualize the apperance that may result.

There is some very expensive computer imaging software on the market that simulates the patient’s appearance with different sizes, but there is still the unknown of how each individual will feel once she has the procedure.

Fortuantely, the vast majority of augment patients are happy with the result, with the caveat that I’m sure you have heard many times.”did I go large enough?”.

Which I ascribe to human nature. We always want the larger house or fancier car :-) (David J. Levens, MD, Coral Springs Plastic Surgeon)

Choosing your breast size

I have my patients go to the store and try on different bras at the store. Remember that you can only change the bra cup size not the band size, so if you are a 34A, you should try 34B-C-D not 36.

Stuff the bra you pick and wear the bra for a few days in different clothes and see if that is really what you want. Then bring it to the office, and I would size you to see how big of an implant would be needed to achieve that size.

Depending on the your size and the size of the implant desired, we then discuss if what you have chosen is a good fit for you. The size you can have is limited by the: Quality/elasticity of your skin Width of your chest Amount of existing breast Size of implants available (Lynn Jeffers, MD, Oxnard Plastic Surgeon)

Breast Implant Size

One of the most important things your plastic surgeon can do to give you the best outcome with breast augmentation surgery is to create an attractive and natural look. In our practice we achieve this by doing the following:

  • Listening to patients goals, desires and expectations very carefully
  • Measuring many different features of the our patients’ proportions
  • Allowing them to try different implants Reviewing many before and after photos
  • Allowing the patients to be very involved in decision making. (Ali Sajjadian, MD, FACS, Orange County Plastic Surgeon)

Measure, then choose the right breast implant size with your surgeon

The patient’s natural breasts have a certain diameter. In our practice we believe the implants should not be larger in diameter than the patient’s natural breasts. Since the implant types and shapes are well known, you can figure out the maximal size, and decide from there.

Remember, the larger the implant, the more destruction of the muscle attaching to the sternum must be to fit in the large implant, and the more the implant will stick out into the armpit. The surest way to have surgery after surgery is to pick very large implants. (Brent Moelleken, MD, Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon)

Use pictures to get breast size right

When choosing a size for breast implants it is extremely important that both the patient and the surgeon are on the same page. This is a surgery that you want to get right the first and only time!

It is important to note that one manufacturer’s D-cup bra may be the same size as another manufacturer’s C-cup bra. Therefore, I have all of my patients choose “want-to-be” pictures either from one of my before and after books, or from an educational site that I refer them to. I place these pictures on the wall in the operating room and use sizers until I have a match.

This helps to choose the precise implant volume that will match my patient’s desires. This will also help to determine the projection of the implant chosen, as some women desire fullness approaching the armpit and others dislike this look. Of course, implants must also be matched to the measurements of a woman’s breast diameter and the amount of breast tissue that is present to start.

The most important factor in determining the right size is a long discussion with your surgeon about available implants, incisions, placement and then choosing a picture with a breast volume you find pleasing. (David Rankin, MD, Manhattan Plastic Surgeon)

Picking the right breast implant size for you

There are a number of ways that one may pick the right size implants for themselves. One way would be to bring in pictures of other women’s sizes that they think would look good on them. This is somewhat subjective, and leaves a lot unanswered, as it depends on the plastic surgeon’s experience level to be able to match up the size and shape of someone in a photo to the patient bringing it in.

There can be differences in height, weight, and shape of the chest wall from a photo to a patient, but this can be valuable. Another option is to try on sizers in the office. This means putting an implant in the bra to get the preferred look.

There is usually a conversion volume that needs to be added or subtracted to come up with the correct size. In my office that volume is 50 grams more than what is placed in the bra.

The reason for this is that the pectoralis muscle flattens out the implant when it is in the patient. So to get the look of the sizer, I have to add 50 grams to the sizer to convert to the actual implant.

This is the favored way for my patients to choose the appropriate size. A new way to choose implant size is to use a 3-D camera with computer simulations that may help in selecting the size and shape. There are currently at least two 3-D systems available. They are Axis 3 and Canfield Medical. These take your own photo and convert it to the virtual size that you tell the computer to simulate.

I find that patients really like to participate in selection of their size, so the more interactive it can be for the patient, the more they like it. We actively try to encourage our patient’s input. (Dan Mills, MD, Orange County Plastic Surgeon)

How to choose Breast Implant Sizes

Most women who decide to have Breast Augmentation, also have a good idea of how they imagine the appearance of their body with breast implants after surgery.

Therefore, it is most helpful to correlate this perceived image of yourself with what you see either in photos of other patients or yourself when trying on breast implant sizers at your doctor’s office. Here are helful steps in deciding an implant size:

  1. Review before and after photos of patients who have had breast augmentation and see what you consider to be an attractive look in a body similar to yours.
  2. Try on breast implant sizers in a bra, without padding, while wearing clothing that is typical for you. Realize that during sizing, any increase in breast volume will initially feel like a significant change. So, take your time. After a few minutes with a particular size, you may be inclined to move in one direction (up in size) or another (down in size).
  3. Talk with friends who have had breast augmentation surgery. Their experience with the surgery and their ultimate dicision on size can be quite helpful to you.
  4. Bring a close friend or significant other to the sizing appointment with you, BUT, only if you are generally comfortable with them and feel that their opinion is based on what is best for you.
  5. Size limitations. There may be some size limitations based on the shape and size of your body and breasts. Your surgeon will most likely point out to you any such concerns and guide you to ensure that you choose an implant in the size range that has the highest likelihood to improve your overal body shape and balance while still have an attractive and natural appearance.
  6. Be sure to communicate your thoughts to your surgeon and keep an open dialogue while you go through the process of sizing breast implants and making a final decision. (Ramin Behmand, MD, San Francisco Plastic Surgeon)