Dr. Andrew Barnett MD Cosmetic Plastic Surgeon

Breast Augmentation - Sizing

Breast sizing is very important! We will meet for a separate "Sizing Visit" to determine what size implant to use. Patients often say, "I want to be a C cup" without really knowing what a C cup is, or how a C cup will look on them. So how do we do sizing?

First, it's important to understand that there is NO universally accepted standard for the volume of an A, B, C, D or whatever cup size. Different manufacturers set their own standards, so the same woman may wear a C cup in a Lily of France bra, a B cup in a Warner bra, and a D cup in a Victoria's Secret bra. (I've just used these manufacturers as an example - I don't actually know how a Lily, Warner or Victoria's Secret bra will fit!).

What this means is that when you say "I want to be a C cup", I can't be sure that my idea of a C cup will match your specific bra manufacturer. When we do the sizing, I won't talk about cup size!

So how do we do sizing? Having done well over 5,000 breast procedures, the best method I've found is this: At your sizing visit (not your initial consultation), I ask you to bring in 3-4 different blouses, sweaters, dresses, jackets, or whatever top you'd like. Nurses and doctors bring in scrub tops, cops bring in their uniform, lawyers bring in professional blouses, stay at home moms bring in T-shirts, or whatever you'd like. The simpler the better (no frills, fringes, ruffles or bright patterns). I'll have you try on various bra sizes (we have them), and then put different implants into the bra. You then put your different tops on, and you can get an idea of what you'll look like with different implant sizes. The shape is not exactly what you'll look like, and it's not a perfect method, but it's the best method out there to determine size.

If you want to play around with sizing at home, use a stretch bra with minimal to no padding. Use a plastic bag filled with rice, and measure the ounces of rice in a measuring cup. Let me know what you've found, and we'll try that implant size. It gives a very similar result.

What about photos? I'll show you over 50 before and after photos, and you can ask about them as a rough guide, but there are many factors that determine how YOU will look with a given implant. Your own breast will be enlarged, but skin type (thick or thin - tight or elastic), chest muscle strength and thickness, width of your chest, shape of your existing breast, and on and on. I can usually show you a similar before and after for shape, but size is best done with the implant in the bra method.

What about the imaging systems? These systems are intriguing, and they are definitely high tech, but they have not been shown to accurately predict what you'll look like with either adding (implant) or subtracting (breast reduction).

We don't do implant sizing at the initial consultation, because I don't want you to be rushed, and there is so much information that I have to give you at that consultation. You'll have plenty of time at the pre-operative sizing visit to think it through (I don't want you to feel rushed!). Bring a girlfriend, boyfriend, husband, partner, (or Mom), and they can give you their opinion. We'll do our best to get you the perfect result!

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“I am a registered nurse… so after a lot of research and speaking to other physicians and fellow nurses… my decision was made. He is an artist and I believe the best in his field. Now my favorite thing to do is shop for bras. Thanks Dr. B, you are truly the best.”

-AN, RN, Napa, CA

“As a physician, I know about physician hype and marketing, the go to surgeon nonsense… Having lived and worked in the Bay area for many years, when it was my time I asked colleagues who performs consistently excellent facial work. Your name came up repeatedly… While I was impressed with your professionalism, it is the artistic, balanced, natural result that reminds me everyday that I made the right choice putting my face in your hands. Thank you.”

-LC, MD, Palm Springs, CA

“When I tell people that I have two adult children, they look at me and say, “You must have been a child bride.” Well I love the look on their faces when I tell them I’m 63. Sometimes I say “You know, Dr. Barnett is my secret weapon”, but most of the time I just say, “Oh, I guess I’m lucky. Good genes…” If they only knew! You are wonderful.”

-JG, San Francisco, CA

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Copyright 2014. All rights reserved. Andrew Barnett, M.D.