Breast augmentation with implant: Which size shall I choose?
So how can you best decide which implant size is right for you?
- The Basics
- It is not just about Milliliter and Cup sizes
- In doubt? Go bigger
- Your Lifestyle
- Consider shape and position, not just size
- Share pictures
First the basics (and these are really the basics, otherwise we could all be plastic surgeons). Breast augmentation with implants today almost exclusively uses implants made of silicone. Silicone gel-filled breast implants have an outer shell made of silicone, which is filled with silicone gel. They are available in different sizes and have either smooth or textured shells. Most silicone implants are available in sizes ranging from 100 ml to 800 ml.
They additionally vary in their profile (low, medium, high, extra high) and width (measured in mm). In their shape they differ in round and anatomical, whereby there have been new shapes for some time that combine the advantages of round and anatomical implants. (siehe Motive ergonomix or GCA Perle).
So you quickly come to over thousands of variations. It’s not that easy to choose the right implant, is it? But this is where we surgeons come in and support you in your choice. But you should always consider the following points for yourself.
It is not just about Milliliter and Cup sizes
IImplants are measured in cubic centimeters (CC) or milliliters, a measure of the volume they hold. It is difficult to translate CCs into cup sizes, but generally 100-200 CCs is roughly equivalent to one cup size. That said, it’s not useful for patients to get hung up on cup size because there are so many other factors that contribute to how big or small the implant will ultimately look. A lot of patients come to me convinced, ‘I want 350 CCs because that’s what my friend got.’
In exactly the same way, it’s not particularly helpful to base your decision on cup sizes. Bra sizes vary from brand to brand; many women wear the wrong bra size and don’t even know what an A, B or C cup breast actually looks like. You should think about how you want your breasts to look when sizing, and don’t tie yourself down to a specific measurement.
In doubt? Go bigger
I often hear from my patients after surgery: “I wish I had chosen larger implants”.
Bigger is not always better but in fact experience shows that if you are hesitating between two sizes, go for the bigger one, especially if the difference is minimal. You need at least 100 CCs to really notice a difference. If you are choosing between 300 CCs and 325 CCs – I could put one implant in one breast and the other in the other breast, and you wouldn’t notice. Ideally, you’ll agree on an approximate size with your doctor, who will then order a few different implants in that range and then choose the one that best fits your breast during surgery.
When considering breast augmentation and the size of your breast implants, it’s important to consider your lifestyle. Are you a fan of strenuous workouts like running or high-intensity fitness classes? If so, very large implants may not be right for you.
You should also consider what type of clothing you prefer, whether you want to forgo a bra, and whether you’re okay with other people noticing your new breast size, or if you’d rather opt for a more subtle change.
Consider shape and position, not just size
Breast augmentation is about more than just size. Many women choose this procedure because they are unhappy with the shape and/or position of their breasts. For example, after breastfeeding, the breasts may sag and appear empty. Other women have breasts that are naturally less full, especially at the upper pole. It can be easy to focus only on the size of the implants. However, it is important to keep your body proportions in mind. Implants that are too big or too small for your figure will not improve your figure. As mentioned earlier, it is not only the volume of the implant that determines the final result. The same 350 CC implant can look completely different depending on the profile. Lower profiles tend to look more natural, as a natural breast does not protrude as far forward. On the other hand, higher profiles look fuller and larger, even with lower volumes. This is also where your height, weight and stature come into play. For example, an implant with a higher profile will always look much more noticeable on someone with a very small stature.
It can be very helpful if you show your doctor photos of breasts that you like. Many people who want a “natural” result show me a photo of large breasts in a push-up bra. What you consider natural or large may be very different from what your doctor considers it to be. Exchange ideas with your plastic surgeon so that you both have the same idea of what appears natural to you.
Nowadays, digital imaging technology (3D, VR, AR) is a very helpful tool that allows you to get a good visual idea of what an implant of a certain size will look like. Thus, you can get an approximate picture of what your body will look like after breast augmentation.
Get professional advice
When choosing your implant size, you may hear many different opinions from friends and family. Although your friends and family can give you insight, it is important that you take your surgeon’s advice and guidance seriously. Your surgeon will help you achieve your goals while maintaining your health. Although the choice of implant size should be a collaborative effort between you and your surgeon, it is important that you listen to what your doctor has to say about your choice.
Deciding on breast size is a personal decision – just because your best friend looks great with a “DD” cup size doesn’t mean those implants are right for you. There are many important factors to consider when choosing an implant size, from lifestyle to age to body shape. There is usually not one “perfect” choice, but a range of sizes that work well for you. By clearly articulating your goals, an experienced practitioner can guide you in choosing the implant that best complements your body. Trust between you and your doctor is one of the most important things for a successful surgery.