What Size is Right for Breast Augmentation?

i am booked for breast augmentation  i am a size 38a and the doctor has said he will give me 290cc is that a good size for me?

Doctor Answers 13

Breast Implant Size

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Breast Implant Size

How do I select the appropriate breast implant size?

This is a decision you and your surgeon will make together. It is important to understand that there is not a wide range of implant sizes and profiles that will look natural in each individual patient. Given your height, weight and preoperative breast profile, there really is a limited range of implants sizes and profiles that will produce a full - but natural - breast appearance. So it is important to establish from the beginning whether or not you and the surgeon that you have selected have the same aesthetic vision. One of the best ways to do this is by reviewing the surgeon's 'before and after' photos.

Implant 'profile' refers to how wide an implant is (base diameter) compared to how much forward projection it has (height). The implant manufacturers use different terms to describe these profiles, but in essence there are three types: low profile (wide base diameter / modest projection), intermediate profile (less wide, more projecting) and high profile (even narrower diameter, very projecting). If the goal is a full but natural-appearing breast enhancement, almost all patients need a low- or intermediate-profile implant. A 'deflated' appearing breast with little forward projection usually looks best with a intermediate profile implant, while a more youthful-appearing breast with some natural, inherent projection often looks best with a low profile implant - especially in a slender patient with an athletic frame. There are very few patients that need a high profile implant, at least not if the goal of surgery is a natural-appearing breast enhancement. The combination of narrow base diameter and high projection is really an implant style that is more suited to breast reconstruction than breast augmentation.

Ultimately, you will have to put your faith and trust in the surgeon you have selected. Communication is key, so be certain that you and your surgeon have the same idea of what a beautiful breast looks like. And make sure that your surgeon takes the time and effort in the operating room to use sterile breast implant 'sizers' to determine the implant size and profile that is ideal for you personally. A good breast augmentation surgeon goes into the O.R. with a good idea of what implant size and profile will work best for a patient, but makes the final decision using implant sizers. Breasts are often asymmetrical in size and shape, and the chest wall may also be asymmetrical in terms of its forward projection on each side, so in some cases a surgeon may need to use implants of different size and/or projection. The only way for a plastic surgeon to ensure that a breast augmentation result is full but natural-appearing, and as close to symmetrical as possible, is to evaluate the appearance of a variety of sizers in the operating room with the OR table raised into an upright, sitting position. Your surgeon should keep a full inventory of implant sizes and profiles in the surgery center, so that the implant choice is never limited by 'what is available'.

Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

Picking the Right Size for Breast Augmentaion

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Choosing the Right Breast Implants involves some considerations. 

It is very difficult to determine the exact size and shape of implant that will get you to a C or D cup without an examination by a board certified plastic surgeon. This is because several measurements not to mention your breast characteristics are needed to determine the optimal implant size to obtain your goals. Without knowing these dimensions it would be tough to answer your question. For example your native base width of your breast will determine in many cases the maximal volume per implant profile that you can accommodate. To illustrate a 100 cc difference may make a significant difference with a narrow base width, but much less of a difference if you have a wide chest wall and wide breast “foot print”. Additional critical decisions will also be made by your plastic surgeon such as: whether your implants will be above or below your pectoralis muscle. These choices are recommended to you based on the look you desire, the amount of sagging you may have, and other deciding factors. I always find it helpful for patients to bring in photos from my or other plastic surgeons’ websites to illustrate what they would like to look like. I bring these photos to the operating room for reference during surgery so that I have the advantage of “seeing through my patient’s eyes” to achieve their wishes.
I personally order more than one set of implant sizes and use sterile sizers placed in the pocket during surgery to know in advance exactly which implant would work best for you. Software morphing programs can be helpful in some but not all cases (e.g. doesn't work well in my experience with existing implants, sagging or asymmetric breasts).
My advice is to accept advice from your board certified plastic surgeon after a formal consultation and examination with measurements.. If still confused don't hesitate to get a second opinion.

Implant Selection Process

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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

Breast implant size selection

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I know this is a crude example but it helps to make the point. If you hide a golf ball (implant) under a silk sheet (tissue), the appearance will be very ball-like. However, if you hide the baseball under a thick comforter, the thickness of the comforter will greatly influence the result. A very thick comforter may make the ball barely visible. The comforter will determine the overall appearance of the result. If you change the golf ball to a volley ball, it may appear more round.
In individuals with very little tissue ( thin athletic women with low body fat and an A cup breast), the breast implants may be more noticeable and will ultimately have a significant role in determining the appearance of the outcome.
In individuals with C or D cup breasts, the overall breast tissue and position of the gland will have a greater effect on the overall appearance of the final result.

Determining breast implant size

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The most important part regarding your breast augmentation is finding a board certified plastic surgeon to perform the surgery.

When determining implant size, patients are asked to pick out pictures of what they would like to achieve. Then, using sizers, the implant size and placement is determined. This method works best because internally a patient's anatomy is very different. The chest may be concaved, it could be convexed, really depends on the severity and complexity of the case.

For more information, check out patient's before and after photos to see results of surgery.

Breast implants measurement

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During the discussion with your plastic surgeon the issue of size should be discussed and rediscussed thoroughly .

The plastic surgeon measure you and the breast and gives you a range of implants that fit your needs and your body measurement

In breast augmentation you have options including:

  1. size
  2. placement of incision
  3. placement of implant
  4. Type of implant these issues should be discussed prior to the surgery with the Plastic surgeon not the nurse, or office staff.

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

Choosing breast implants

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I spend alot of time with patients during their consultation deciding on the appropriate size. Therir desires, their anatomy, and their medical history all contribute.

Picking size for breast augmentation is a very technical hard issue.

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1)  This is what you are paying your plastic surgeon for.  It is his or her job to understand the look you want and then translate that into the right breast implants.

2)  I wrote an article for RealSelf on picking breast implants.  You can read it on my profile.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

You have to TRUST your plastic surgeon when choosing a breast implant

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Choosing the right size implant should not be so difficult. The process needs to start with what size you think you want to be. Then you have to trust the judgement and expertise of your plastic surgeon to determine whether this size is appropriate for your body frame. This begins with making sure your plastic surgeon is Board Certified in Plastic and Reconstructive surgery and has at least 5 years of experience.

This is because we as plastic surgeons have the ability to put in any size. This, however, may not be appropriate.

Factors to consider include:

- your body frame (taller girls can carry more to look proportional; thinner girls need smaller or narrower based implants in order to not look augmented and circular)

- the amount of droop of the breast (large amount of droop may require a breast lift; small amounts of droop can be lifted by a moderate sized implant)

Just remember, the larger you go, the more distorted the breast (therefore make sure that the diameter of the implant is just slightly smaller than the diameter width of your breast--I find that this gives you the best cosmetic appearance without looking "augmented. "

Many factors are involved in deciding the best size for a given patient

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Many factors are involved in deciding the best size for a given patient. First of all there is no one size that only fits a patient. I prefer to use a number of factors in deciding which size is best. First of all, I like to know if my patient is trying to achieve a conservative B cup or a large DD size. Body proportions, chest dimensions, breast dimensions, amount of breast tissue present, 'looseness' of the skin etc are all important factors. Have faith in your Board-Certified plastic surgeon. Good luck.

Sanjay Grover, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 232 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.