Follow these 10 tips to choose the best size implant for your frame
Once you decide to have a breast augmentation, you have another big decision to make: What size implants are right for your body?
Picking the best size can be challenging for many women. The American Society for Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) reports that changing implant size is one of the main reasons that women undergo breast implant revisions – and most choose to go bigger.
Women tend to think of size based on the cup size of bras, and don’t consider how different that can be with each manufacturer. Understanding how the look they desire translates to implant size can be confusing, and many patients have a hard time visualizing the final results.
Choosing the right size implants is important – but doesn’t have to be stressful. By following these tips and working with a board-certified doctor, you will find the best fit for your body size and shape.
- Size up your anatomy. Consider your body frame, height, weight, shoulder width, hip width and current breast volume when choosing the right-sized implants for your body. It’s also good to have accurate measurements of how broad your chest is, the base width of your breasts and the distance between them. The looseness of your skin is another important factor – you must have enough tissue to cover the implant you want without rippling. Body shape also plays a role: implants that fit most “C” cup bras can be plenty big for thin women but would barely be noticeable on larger patients. Along those same lines, women with a sturdy build can easily carry the weight of large breasts, while women with smaller frames may suffer back pain if they choose implants that are too big for their body type.
- Consider your wardrobe. Is your goal to better fill those low-cut dresses you love? Bigger sizes with lots of cleavage might be right for you. Concerned about drawing unwanted attention at work? Smaller sizes can help avoid the dreaded button gap in professional tops and blazers.
- Fitness is a factor. If you are a runner or an athlete, avoid implants so large that they interfere with your fitness routine.
- Age matters. Since breasts grow and shrink during and after pregnancy, it can be wise to wait to get implants until after you have children to avoid additional surgery to recapture the look you want. It is also important to consider the size breasts that will look best long-term, and not just fabulous right now. As you age, breasts naturally droop and appear flatter in profile. Large, heavy implants can cause extra sagging as the ligaments that support the breasts lose elasticity.
- Don’t fixate on bra size. Cup size is a subjective measurement. Everyone wears their bras differently, and sizes vary among manufacturers. Telling your surgeon you want to be a “C” or “D” can start a discussion but should not be the determining factor.
- Learn to speak in volumes. Most women are surprised to discover that breast implants are measured in cubic centimeters, ranging from 120 to 850 cc’s. The majority of patients opt for 300 to 400 cc implants, but it can be hard to remember that increases that sound drastic are actually small. For instance, the difference between a 340-cc implant and a 400-cc implant is only two ounces.
- Try them on for size. It’s almost impossible for most women to visualize what size implants will look best on their bodies based on units of volume. That’s why most plastic surgeons offer ways for women to try on different sizes, from 3D computer simulations to silicone breast implant “sizers” that women can wear. These methods are considered to be about 85 percent accurate, since neither can account for the elasticity of your breast tissue.
- The sky shouldn’t be the limit. Implants that are too large will look less natural and rounder, and can even spill into your armpit region or the middle of your chest. But more important, selecting an implant that is too big for your breast tissue significantly increases the risk of complications. Implant sagging, tissue thinning, ripples beneath the skin and premature aging of the breasts can occur. The extra weight can also lead to double bubble complication, where one or both implants drop below the natural inframammary crease and create an indentation that causes a “four breast” effect.
- Listen to your doctor. Some women who elect to get implants become stuck on “getting their money’s worth” by choosing large sizes. While settling on an implant size should be a collaboration between you and your surgeon, it’s important to listen to what they have to say about your choice. If they disagree, consider their reasons carefully.
The goal of most surgeons is to deliver natural-looking results that are proportionate to your body shape and size. Bringing pictures from magazines or studying before and after pictures together can go a long way toward helping your doctor understand your surgical goals. If you clearly communicate what you want, the best surgeons understand how to achieve your desired results.
Deciding on breast size is a personal decision – just because your best friend looks great as a “DD” cup doesn’t mean those implants are right for you. There are many important factors to consider when choosing implant size, from lifestyle to age to the shape of your body. Usually there is no one “perfect” choice, but a range of sizes that will work well. If you express your goals clearly, a skilled board-certified plastic surgeon can guide you toward choosing the implant that beautifully complements the rest of your body.
Thomassen Plastic Surgery is the top choice for South Florida patients looking for an award-winning plastic surgeon who provides natural-looking results. Contact us for more information about breast augmentation or the many other procedures we offer.
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