When considering breast implant surgery, you have options. These include: choosing a plastic surgeon, choosing an implant type, and choosing an implant size. Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. George Landis helps women achieve optimal results for breast rejuvenation by creating a more shapely and fuller bustline.
While you may have a cup size in mind, it’s not uncommon for a woman’s initial choice to be unfavorable for her body type. So, when weighing your options, keep these critical factors in mind.
What Factors Should Be Considered When Choosing the Best Implant Size?
Here are the sizing rules every woman should follow when picking the optimal implants for her body.
Start with Frame, Height, and Weight
Choosing implants proportional to your body is critical to achieving natural-looking results. A patient’s frame—including her weight and height—and breast anatomy are crucial when selecting breast implant size. In addition, the volume of existing breast tissue, your skin quality, and your breasts’ current shape and position are paramount when identifying the appropriate range of implant sizes.
When reviewing your implant options, Dr. Landis will examine the width of your chest wall or base width and compare it to potential implants. For a narrow chest base, you may consider smaller implants with a matching base width for a more natural-looking result. In addition, base width is crucial to determine the cleavage you will have after surgery.
Projection Is More Important Than You Think
While sizing may be the primary concern during breast augmentation discussions, you need to consider other factors when selecting your implants, and projection is one of them. Projection refers to how far the implant extends forward from your chest wall. Breast fullness covers overall volume. Projection is important because it determines the breast fullness and perkiness you will display. Higher-profile implants create a perkier, upward-turn appearance many patients desire.
Bring Photos to Your Consultation
Dr. Landis encourages his patients to bring photos of women with breasts they would like for themselves. But you must realize this is a starting point and should not be considered your surgical goals. Often the desired breasts are unattainable because of body type and frame. But these photos can be a valuable tool to determine your ultimate sizing goal.
Implant Placement Can Affect Sizing
Placement above the existing breast tissue can result in bigger breasts than inserting implants below the chest muscles. However, this technique is not available to all patients. Dr. Landis will advise which placements are optimal for your particular body type and existing tissue.
What Is the Importance of Choosing the Right Implant Size?
When considering implant size, it is not a matter of what breast size you want but what size your body can support without discomfort. Three primary considerations are your current breast size, the width of your chest and shoulders, and the condition of your breast tissue and skin. Dr. Landis will use your existing breast tissue to cover the implants during breast augmentation. However, opting for a smaller implant may be necessary if you do not have enough tissue.
In addition, your chest and shoulder sizes are critical to determining breast implant shape and size. An implant too large will look disproportionate on your frame, whereas one too small may not give you your desired results. Dr. Landis can assess your existing frame, take measurements, make calculations, and plan with you to determine the implant size that will deliver natural-looking, proportionate, and safe results.
Size Can Affect Your Workouts
Like it or not, breast size plays a role in the comfort level of your workouts. Your workout style will play a part in deciding which implant type and size you choose. For example, large breasts can be cumbersome to your daily routine if you are a runner. From a few miles to a marathon, you don’t want to be burdened by heavy breasts when you hike or run. Fortunately, many women runners have chosen comfortable implants that don’t inhibit their workout routine because they’ve consciously decided on breast implants proportionate to their body and frame.
Many weightlifters find that as they lose fat, they also lose breast tissue. As a result, they seek out implants for a more feminine look to accompany their chiseled arms and rock-hard abs. A successful breast augmentation complements a woman’s figure. However, breasts shouldn’t inhibit your weightlifting routines.
Try Them On for Size
This process is news to many women, but it is possible to test-drive different implant options. During your consultation, you and Dr. Landis will discuss your implant options. Then, it’s time to try on different-sized implants to get a feel for your results. Dress so you can see how your implants will look in your existing clothes, and feel free to bring a friend for another opinion. After seeing different sizes on your body, you may be surprised to discover you want a different size than you initially considered.
View Before and After Photos
Before you select a surgeon, you should look at before and after photos to get an idea of realistic results the surgeon can produce. Plastic surgeons are always happy to allow you to browse their gallery of pictures of previous patients, but take the time to view before and after photos that best represent your particular body type and frame.
How Can You Determine Your Ideal Breast Size?
Breasts have always been a distinctive symbol of femininity. In many cultures, breast size is a significant basis of attractiveness and fertility. Due to their various shapes and sizes, the issue of the right breast size has caught the attention of women and men alike.
What Is the Right Breast Size?
Generally, breast size is determined by genetics, making it distinct for every woman. While studies and trends have established the ideal size and proportions preferred by most, how a woman feels about her breast size remains more personal than anything else.
While personal preferences may vary, most respondents favored medium-sized breasts over larger-sized breasts. So finding the right size for you is determining the medium-sized implant that fits your unique body type and frame.
There are four standard body shapes, each with a breast size that best complements their overall body proportions.
Women with this body shape have a broader waist and lower body. Thus, fuller and sizable breasts are ideal for balancing this body proportion.
Standard features of women with the pear-shaped body are ample hips and a defined waist. Moderately-sized breasts complement the full hips and waist, providing a more hourglass-shaped body.
This body shape has become a standard form of beauty characterized by having a proportional upper and lower body. In addition, small-to-moderate breast size is ideal for this body shape.
As the name suggests, the shape is uniform on the upper and lower part of a woman’s body. Her figure resembles the feminine hourglass shape without a well-defined waistline. A fuller breast size complements and accentuates a noticeable curve in a rectangular-shaped body.
What Are Some Common Implant Sizing Methods?
Three methods can help you determine implant size for your breast augmentation. Two you can do at home.
The Rice Test
The rice test is the most popular way to determine implant size. Grab a pair of old pantyhose to perform this test and cut off a 12” strip (do not use the foot part). Next, tie a small knot in the bottom end. Then, measure out your preferred amount of uncooked rice to fill the pantyhose. Next, tie off the top end. Do this twice to have one for each bra cup.
The Water Test
The water test is similar to the rice test. However, instead of using rice in pantyhose, you’ll fill a plastic baggy with water poured from a measuring cup.
For either method, you should try different outfits and blouses over your new “breasts” to get an idea of how you will look.
In-Clinic Sizers and Your Sizing Session
Visiting our office is the best way to determine implant size. We offer a range of implant sizers, implants you can place in your bra. We employ this method to select the right size for your implant choice, plus we’ll be beside you to answer any questions you may have. In addition, you can bring a friend or partner during your sizing session to help you. Finally, bring in different bras in the sizes you’re considering.
We can use computer imaging technology to help our patients in this process. First, we’ll take pictures of your breasts, then upload them into a computer program called VECTRA to show you what you will look like with certain implants. The drawback is VECTRA is a simulation of predicted outcomes. It will give you an idea of your appearance, but it is not an exact representation.
Don’t Measure Your Breast Size By Your Bra Size!
Bra cup size is not an accurate measurement of breast size. It is imprecise as bra sizing standards vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and country. As a result, the actual volume may be different despite being labeled the same cup size. That’s why bringing the bra you want to wear after your surgery to your sizing session is best.
How Does the Type of Implant Affect the Choice of Implant Size?
It’s important to understand that saline and silicone implants have pros and cons. You should discuss these factors with Dr. Landis to ensure you achieve your desired results. Here is helpful information about the two types of implants.
- Saline implants provide a customized fit and have a firmer feel
- Silicone implants have a more natural appearance and are softer
- Although silicone implants are more popular, saline implants can uniquely fit your body
What Are the Differences Between Saline and Silicone Implants?
All breast implants have a shell made from the inert polymer silicone. The outer surface can be smooth or textured. Smooth-walled implants roll around subtly in their breast pocket, mimicking the movement of a natural breast. In contrast, textured implants encourage soft tissue ingrowth into their small surface interstices, keeping the implant more stiffly in place.
How Do Cohesive Gel Implants Differ from Traditional Silicone Implants?
The most significant difference between traditional silicone implants and gummy bear implants is the consistency of the gel core. The thickness of the cohesive gel in gummy bear implants is thicker and more form-stable. Therefore gummy bear implants will retain their original shape and won’t leak.
Gummy bear implants and traditional silicone implants are softer than saline implants, resembling the texture and feel of natural breasts. However, gummy bear implants are firmer than standard silicone implants because of their higher cohesive gel density. Traditional silicone implants have more bounce, though the variance isn’t significant.
Gummy bear implants are slightly safer than traditional silicone implants because there’s no risk of leakage if the shell is ruptured. Conventional silicone implants use strong shells with minimal risk of rupturing, so they’re also safe but more likely to leak.
For women who’ve had a mastectomy, gummy bear implants provide a unique advantage because this type doesn’t depend on existing breast tissues. However, they also necessitate longer skin incisions than traditional silicone or saline implants.
Can You Choose an Implant Size Significantly Larger Than Your Current Breast Size?
As stated earlier, your body type and frame will determine your optimal breast size. If you have abnormally small breasts for your body size and shape, choosing a larger implant size than your current bustline could be optimal. However, you should never select larger implants just to have larger breasts. This may lead to unwanted complications like neck and back pain or droopy breasts.
How Can You Find the Right Plastic Surgeon for Your Breast Augmentation Surgery?
When choosing a plastic surgeon for your breast augmentation surgery, look for a well-established practice with a lengthy tie to the community. Choose a surgeon who specializes in plastic and reconstructive surgery and is board-certified by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Also, choose one who specializes in cosmetic breast surgeries.