Breast Diameter - Breast Implant Size

I am planning my breast augmentation for a few months time from now. I have been researching every aspect of this procedure. I have chosen to use Mentor textured Silicone implants. Measurements are: Height - 5'6 Weight - 125lbs Chest - 30in Breast Diameters: L 19cm R 20cm My base breast width seems quite a bit larger than the largest mentor implant size. (My current bra size is a 34B). How is this factored in/worked out?

Doctor Answers 17

Planning Breast Augmentation

Becoming an educated patient is a great thing to do.  Please do not make the mistake of believing you know enough to plan your procedure.  Base width of the implant depends on chest and breast width of course, but also skin thickness, skin elasticity, amount of parenchyma present pre-operatively, your desired end size, angulation of ribs, position on the breasts of the nipple areola complex, degree of ptosis present, and other factors.

This is why it takes years after college and medical school to become a plastic surgeon, and years to become board certified.  You cannot learn enough on the internet to do this.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Proper Implant Selection

Generally speaking,larger implants increase the risk of complications such as implant malposition, which can be very difficult to correct longterm.  In order to make an accurate size recommendation, I would need to assess your chest wall and breast mound measurements and characteristics.  Unfortunately, there is not a general rule of thumb or objective criteria to implant selection.
Your plastic surgeon will perform several measurements of your chest wall and breast anatomy and determine a range of implants that both fit your chest wall and reach your desired goals.
The next step is to try on this range of implants in the office with your doctor.   The key to this success is showing your surgeon the body proportion you desire with a bra sizer and allowing your surgeon to guide you to the right implant.   It will be much easier to communicate in implant cc's than cup size when determining the appropriate implant for you.
I wish you a safe recovery and fantastic result.
Dr. Gill

Paul S. Gill, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Sizing is important

After looking at your pictures, I think you are measuring your base width improperly.  Given your height and weight and looking at you picture, I doubt your basewidth is more than 15 cm.  Please see a qualified surgeon to measure and discuss how your base width affects the implant you choose. If you go to my website, you will find a video library including animation about sizing.

Choosing the implant

This is why you need to have a full exam by a plastic surgeon so that they can measure you correctly and size up the right implant for you.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Breast Implant Sizes

I commend you for researching your procedure, however, it sounds as though you are missing a crucial step -> an in-person consultation with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Your breast width is certainly not 19 or 20cm. It is much more likely to be in the 11.5-13 cm range based on your height, weight, and photo.  The anatomic sizing of the breast is important to allow for placement of an implant which will "fit". However, matching the implant which meets your goals and is within the confines of your anatomy is the challenging part. Extensive training and experience when combined with anatomic measurements allows for an educated decision as to implant type, textured vs. non-textured, under or over the muscle, and incision placement.

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

The implant diameter is a very important detail

Seeing a board-certified plastic surgeon is the first step in getting the most reliable information available.  The surgeon will then use that knowledge in conjuction with your anatomy to give the best recommendation.  A far as the base width is concerned, the true measurement is not the actual width of your chest from the breast bone to your side but rather the base width of the actual implant that would best fit your chest wall.  You do not want an implant that would be positioned on your chest wall causing too much fullness under your arm. 

As far as the type of implant, let the plastic surgeon give you all the pros and cons before making up your mind.  I would recommend seeing him with an open mind.

Good luck!

Michael Baroody, MD
Danbury Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Breast Diameter and Choosing a Breast Implant should NOT be a Do-It-Yourself Project

Your photograph isvery useful. It demonstrates significant breast volumetric asymmetry which may require the use of intraoperative sizers to help pick theright implants. As regards your measurements, in my opinion they are significantly off and I doubt they were taken by a Plastic surgeon. While I applaud your involvement in your care and the learning you put into it, you really should enlist the opinion of a Plastic surgeon to take you the rest of the way,\. Dr. Peter Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 83 reviews

Another inaccurate base diameter


I must first ask, who measured your breast base diameter?  Surely, it was not a plastic surgeon.  There is no way that your BD is 19 or 20 cm.  I personally can't think of any patient that presented to me for breast augmentation with those measurements in 16 years of practice.  That is why you can't find implants on the charts for your breasts.  Consultation with a plastic surgeon will shed light on your research and you will find implants, "on the charts", to fit your needs.  Good luck!

Breast Base Diameter Is Just One Important Measurement in Choosing Breast Implants

Thanks for posting your photo, because that helps to communicate important information.  I am concerned however, that your measurement technique was faulty.  You indicate that your chest diameter is 30 inches, and that your breast base diameter is 19/20.  That would put you in an extreme outlier position, far beyond the usual findings at examination.  My first thought is that your measurement is faulty- you should go to an experienced surgeon and get measured properly.

 My second thought is that you are definitely on the right path to a successful result, and it looks to me as though you are reading the medical literature?  Choosing an implant SHOULD be based on your actual shape and size, and only secondarily by your desired result.  I usually make the analogy of buying shoes that fit you, rather that buying the size that looks nice on other people.  I have been promoting a method of measuring breasts and choosing implant sizes for years.  It is a complicated subject, but there is a rational way of doing it that works.  The width of the breast is only one of the necessary measurements.  Others are needed to reduce the number of possible solutions.  

Claudio DeLorenzi MD FRCS

Claudio DeLorenzi, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

How to pick breast implant sizes

How to pick breast implant sizes

1) This is the most common type of question on RealSelf.

2) It is the surgeon's job to pick the right breast implants, not the patient's. Implant selection is really pretty technical.

3) Make sure your surgeon REALLY understands the look you want. Mentioning a cup size is not enough. Show your surgeon pictures of breasts you like.

4) Then your surgeon has to tell you if your chosen look is realistic for your anatomy. The most common mistake is to go too big.

5) I recommend that the surgeon NOT make a final implant choice in advance, because this is just an educated guess.

6) The surgeon should have a large inventory of different size and shape implants available in the operating room.

7) Then the surgeon can put sterile disposable implant SIZERS in your breasts during surgery, to see what a particular implant really looks like inside you. This is how to make the best choice. A sizer costs only $45, and takes all the guess work out.

8) Finally, the sizer is discarded, and the correct breast implants (based on what you want and on your anatomy) are opened from the operating roon inventory, and put in your breasts to complete the operation.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.