Breast Implant Primer – Size
Published on January 24, 2018 by Andrew Barnett
In my last blog, I discussed breast implant shapes to explain how I customize my choice of implant for you. In this blog, I’ll discuss implant size.
Breast implant size is a highly personal decision. As your surgeon, I will work with you to determine the size that is best for you – it is a collaborative process. Your overall body shape and size, your chest wall shape and size, the elasticity of your skin, and the incision and implant type you choose determine a range of what I can use during surgery. The range is generally quite large, and once I examine you and determine a safe range, you will be in charge of deciding the final size.
How Do You Determine What Size You Want to be After Surgery?
There is no perfect, one size fits all method to make the decision. The decision should not be rushed, and you should do some (fun) homework before you come to my office for the sizing visit. At the sizing visit, we will finalize the implant size choice.
Before the sizing visit, I recommend the following:
First, collect photos of full dressed (not bathing suits or naked) women in magazines or online. Focus on photos that contain women who have a body shape similar to yours. Bring photos to my office that show sizes you like, and those you don’t like. Put a sticky note on the picture, and write what you like and don’t like on each photo.
Second, do the same thing with photos of women in bathing suits or naked. Bring those photos to the sizing visit as well.
Third, purchase a bra, two pounds of white rice, and zip close plastic baggies (like Ziploc™ Baggies). The bra should have an underwire and a stretchy cup – not a formed cup and no padding. The underwire should fit your chest and the cup should be too large for your natural breasts. Put the bra on and place different amounts of rice in the baggies, then put the baggies in your bra. Keep trying different amounts of rice until you find a size that you like.
It’s helpful to put on a tank top over the bra and rice and to wear leggings or tight jeans. You can also try on different clothing outfits that reflect your lifestyle. When you find an amount of rice that you like, tape the baggie shut (so it won’t leak) and bring the filled baggie in with you to your sizing visit.
If you have different size breasts (very common), adjust the volume of rice in each baggie and mark the baggies right or left. Bring them to the sizing visit.
Finally, choose three or four different tops that you commonly wear. Choose tops with and without buttons, both loose and tight. The plainer the top the better – best if they are solid colors without designs, pleats, or pleats. Bring them to the sizing visit.
At the sizing visit, I will review the photos and the rice baggies with you, and then repeat the rice test with actual silicone gel implants. I’ll have you try multiple implants and your different tops with each implant. Each time we try on a different implant, we’ll discuss the look and answer any questions you may have. It’s okay to bring a friend or family member to the sizing visit.
Why do I ask you to do the pre-sizing visit photo collection and rice test? At the actual sizing visit you will already have an idea of what you’d like to look like after the breast enlargement surgery, and we will be able to focus on fine-tuning your decision. However, if you don’t have time to do the pre-sizing visit tasks (photos and rice) don’t worry! We’ll figure it out!