How to Choose Breast Implant Size for Breast Augmentation
Article by Brooke R. Seckel, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon
Easy Test Methods to estimate the best Breast Implant Size for you.
• The Rice Test- This simple and effective test is one that you can do in privacy at home and is one of the best methods for you to see what different sizes of Breast Implants will look on you. It involves filling a non-Zip Lock plastic storage bag with a measured amount of rice, placing the bag into your bra until you have a size you are comfortable with, and converting that amount to cc’s of the implant. (cc’s or cubic centimeters is the unit of measure used to size Breast Implants.) See the conversion table below
• 1 cup = 236cc
• 1/2 cup = 118cc
• 3/4 cup = 177cc
• 1/4 cup = 59cc
• 1/3 cup = 78cc
• 2/3 cup = 156cc
• 1/8 cup = 30cc
• Placing A breast Implant Into your Bra- This is a common method used by many Plastic Surgeons however it is not nearly as accurate as the Rice Test. The Breast Implant does not conform to your breast shape and does not accurately show what the implant will look like once inside your body. Best results are achieved by placing clothing over the implant and bra, gently pressing down on the top of the implant to make the lower part bulge and checking your dressed profile from the side in a mirror.
• View Before and After Pictures on your Doctor’s and Implant Manufacturer’s Websites- Most doctors who do Breast Augmentation have Before and After pictures either in their office or on their website. These can be helpful for you especially in evaluating the quality of the doctor’s results and his/her concept of what a pleasing and appropriate Breast appearance is. It can also give you an idea of what various size Breast Implants look like on women of different size and with different Breast shapes. Manufacturer’s websites such provide a very wide range of Before and After Photos showing various Breast Implant sizes in women with a wide variety of Breast Shapes and Body Types. Check Loveyourlook.
• Ask friends who have had Breast Augmentation to share their results-Close friends who have had Breast Augmentation are often willing to share their experience with you. Sometimes a really good friend will actually allow you to see her result and share her Breast Implant Size with you. This can be very helpful to you and your Plastic Surgeon in determining what size and shape you are really looking for.
Important factors in choosing the size of your Breast Implant:
• What is the size and appearance of the Breast that you want to achieve? Do you want to have full large Breasts so that your Cleavage and Breasts are a prominent feature of your appearance in or out of clothing? Do you only want to regain the firmness and fullness of the Breast that you had before weight loss or having children? Are you an active person who exercises or runs frequently and just want a nicely formed small full Breast that looks normal in running or exercise clothing? Do you just want to improve the shape of your breast to a more normal appearance and do not care to be much larger? These are very important questions to answer. Look at fashion magazines, health and fitness magazines, modeling photos and decide what look you hope to achieve.
• Your Height, Weight and Body Type-These factors are also important in determining the size of Breast Implant that will be best for you. Petite women generally require a smaller implant than taller and larger women. The size of your Breast implant used for Breast Augmentation should blend nicely with your body for a natural non-operated look.
• The Shape and Size of your Natural Breasts-There is a wide variation in the natural shape of the Female Breast. Breasts can be Ptotic (sagging), Tubular (constricted), atrophic (absent Breast Tissue), very small, average, and almost all women have asymmetry where one Breast is larger than the other. Experience and skill is required of your surgeon to achieve a natural looking Breast when different shapes are present. Some Breasts require a Mastopexy or Breast Lift. Very specific techniques are required to correct a Tubular Breast. The size and shape of your Breast will have a very important influence on the size of the Breast Implant that can be used on you.
• Your goals for your appearance after Breast Augmentation- To repeat, your goals for your final Breast appearance are crucial for you to understand. Are you conservative and want a modest but natural full breast or do you want your Breasts to be larger with full Cleavage that will enhance your fashions and wardrobe.
Choose an Experienced Surgeon Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery
Finding the best Surgeon for your Breast Augmentation is very important. Most Plastic Surgeons do Breast Augmentation but fewer specialize in Cosmetic Surgery and have a great deal of experience in Aesthetic or Cosmetic Breast Surgery. Do your homework and find a doctor that you are comfortable with, trust and who has a good reputation. Trust is essential before you undertake this step which can be a very happy experience that makes you feel better about your appearance. Visit the American Association od Aesthetic Plastic Surgery to find information and locations of Board Certified Plastic Surgeons who have special interest and experience in Cosmetic Plastic Surgery.
Dr. Brooke Seckel