Perhaps the most common question asked by women considering breast augmentation is what size is right for me?
When choosing a breast implant size, it is important to choose an implant large enough to make the procedure worthwhile. In Indian patient opting for Indian wear need more augmentation as compared to western wear. It is also important to choose a breast implant size that is not so grossly out of proportion that it will cause physical problems (shoulder and neck pain), breast problems (displacement, premature sagging, breast tissue thinning), activity problems (cannot exercise because implants are too large), and look abnormal.
The size of the breast implants that will create an “in proportion look” will vary based on many factors including height, weight, shoulder width, amount of breast skin available, state of symmetry (breasts match) or asymmetry, and the age of the patient. Another important factor is the anticipated or typical activity level of the patient. Patients that are extremely active may choose a breast implant size that is not excessively large which can inhibit activity or exercise. For example, if a patient enjoys jogging on a regular basis an extremely large implant would not be the best choice for obvious reasons.
Choosing a breast implant size is not something that patients do on a regular basis. Helping patients choose a breast implant size is something that Dr Samir Ahire does on a regular basis and can therefore make suggestions based on training and experience. The first step in the process is a discussion with the patient about her specific goals. By defining the patient’s goals and other parameters (anticipated activity level), Dr Samir Ahire gets a general idea about the breast size desired. The second step is to determine what general “cup size” would be ideal keeping in mind that this is a very vague subjective concept, as previously described.
According to Dr. Samir Ahire the three most commonly used methods for determining implant sizing are:
1.Implant Sizers – These are anatomically shaped, non-implantable devices that are placed inside a bra or bathing suit to provide an accurate representation of how large one’s breasts will appear with various implant sizes.
2.Rice Bags – This at-home technique involves filling plastic zip lock bags with dry rice and placing them into one’s bra to evaluate potential sizing. One cup of dry rice equates to approximately 240 ccs (which is the metric used to select implant size).
3.Computer Imaging – With this approach, a 3D digital image of the patient is displayed on a monitor in the plastic surgeon’s office. Using advanced software, the image is then modified to show how the patient would potentially look with different implant sizes.
Dr. Samir’s opinion is that rice bags can be a great option for women to gain a good baseline idea of what size implants they would like from the comfort of their own homes—but in the office he prefers to utilize implant sizers to help patients make the most informed and accurate decision possible. He is not particularly fond of computer imaging, as it can sometimes create false expectations due to its inability to account for a patient’s breast tissues, the experience of the surgeon, and several other factors.
The process of choosing a breast implant size does not have to be completed at one appointment. If a family member or spouse wishes to opine on the breast implant size that is requested this is welcomed as long as the patient invites those opinions.
If you have any questions, or if you are interested in breast augmentation and would like to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Samir, please feel free to contact our practice today.