7 Things to Consider When Choosing Your Breast Implant Size

Those who have decided to undergo breast augmentation with implants know that the decision involves much more than just choosing a preferred provider. Once you’ve committed to getting your breasts done, it’s time to discuss the nitty-gritty with your plastic surgeon—especially when it comes to choosing the right implant size for you and your aesthetic goals.

While you may already have a cup size in mind, it’s quite common that your initial choice will be unfavorable for your particular case. So when you’re considering your options with your doctor, it’s important to keep a few key factors in mind. Here, we tapped Houston, TX plastic surgeon Kriti Mohan, MD, about the sizing rules everyone should follow when choosing the best implants for your body.

First, consider your frame, height and weight.

The key to a natural-looking result is choosing implants that are proportional to your body. “When choosing an implant size, it is essential to consider the patient’s body shape – including her height and weight – and her breast anatomy,” explains Dr. Mohan. “The amount of breast tissue you have, the quality of the skin, and the position and shape of your breasts are all things you should think about when determining the appropriate range of implant sizes.”

When evaluating implant options, your provider will likely look at the base width of your breasts (the width of your chest wall) and compare that to the base width of potential implants. If you have a narrow chest base, you may want to consider smaller implants that have the same base width to make your breast size appear more natural. “The width of the base is important because it can determine how big or small the neckline will be for the patient,” adds Dr. Mohan.

Remember that implant size and socket size are not the same.

“Implant size is not the same as cup size, and although there is some variation, about 100 to 150 cc is about one cup size,” explains Dr. Mohan. That said, cup sizes often vary by bra brand, so it’s usually not the easiest way to match your sizing preferences with what your surgeon envisions. In cases like this, it’s probably best to bring visual inspiration to help your surgeon better understand what you’re looking for (more on photographic inspiration later!).

The brand of your implant matters.

The specific brand of implant you choose to move forward with plays a major role in your overall augmentation experience. Mentor, one of the leading manufacturers of breast implants in the United States, has three different implant options available: MemoryGel®, MemoryGel Xtra® and MemoryGel BOOST™.

In general, all implants provide a slightly different appearance regardless of their CC. MemoryGel is known for its natural feel; MemoryGel Xtra offers the same soft feel but with more projection and fullness; and MemoryGel Boost holds its shape and dimensions in any position, allowing for additional volume in the top of the shaft (fullness above the nipple).

“One of the great advantages of the MemoryGel Xtra implant over standard MemoryGel is the reduction in ripples it can provide, especially for thin skinned or very thin patients, while maintaining the classic Mentor soft shell that provides an extremely natural feel,” explains Dr. Mohan. “The MemoryGel Boost implant goes even further by additionally maintaining significant upper pole fullness for those patients seeking a more ‘augmented’ appearance with increased roundness while still having a natural Mentor. [breast implant] feel.”

Projection is more important than you think.

While size is often at the center of breast augmentation discussions, there are many factors to consider when choosing implants other than volume. “Projection refers to how far the breast implant protrudes forward in front of your chest, while fullness covers the overall volume,” explains Dr. Mohan. “For me, projection is especially important because it largely determines how much fullness and dexterity the patient will have, so I always prefer higher profile implants to create that energetic, cute look that many patients desire.”

Discuss the benefits of different implant shapes with your doctor.

Although teardrop implants are generally thought to create a more natural anatomical slope than a round implant, Dr. Mohan says that even a round-shaped implant can achieve this through gravity, when sized appropriately. Round implants also tend to provide more pronounced fullness at the top and bottom of the breast, while the teardrop focuses more on added volume at the bottom of the breast, so your doctor will likely advise you on which shape will be best for your size goals.

Bring photos to the consultation.

“I always encourage my patients to bring ‘wish pictures’ or photographs [breasts] they prefer [since] this can really help ensure that the patient and the surgeon are on the same page,” says Dr. Mohan. “While it’s still important to realize that not all of these target images may be achievable for every frame and body type, they can still be a valuable tool in narrowing down a patient’s ultimate size goal.”

The location of the implant can affect the size.

“While not every patient is a candidate for either, placement above the muscle can make the implant appear larger than placement below the muscle, so this can also be considered when choosing a size,” explains Dr. Mohan. An experienced surgeon will be able to tell you which implant placement is preferred for you.

Bottom Line

Ultimately, only you and an experienced provider can determine which implant size is best for you and your goals. This means that if you keep these factors in mind when discussing your options with your plastic surgeon, you will have a better chance of choosing implants that meet your ideal expectations.

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