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?

Answers (21)

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.

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Breast Implants/Breast Augmentation/Anatomic Gummy Bear Implants/ Silicone Implants/Breast Implant Revision Surgery

I appreciate your question!

After performing hundreds of breast augmentations, I have found that the size of implant best for you is dictated by your chest wall measurements. Once we determine that we can choose the profile based on what you want or need to achieve.  If you are seeking a natural look, then the diameter of the implant should be equal to or, more ideally, smaller than the width of your breast. The breast width is a measurement of how wide your breast is at the base, which should be measured at the level of the nipple. Choosing an implant that is smaller in diameter than your breast width will avoid the "side breast" fullness that is often associated with a more artificial appearance. Other than that, you should choose the implant based on volume, not on the dimensions of the implant. You should choose a board certified plastic surgeon that you trust to help guide you in this decision. Bringing photos as well can help us to finalize, but please understand that these are of other people’s bodies and your results will probably be different.

Silicone will give you fullness at the top (upper pole fullness). Silicone implants come pre-filled with a silicone gel and are the softest implant available. They feel more natural, which makes them a good option for women with less natural breast tissue; but they require a larger incision. It may be more difficult to realize if this type of implant has ruptured, so it is important to monitor them with annual follow-up visits. Additionally, because this implant contains a softer silicone (less cross-linked), if this implant should rupture, it may leak but only into the scar capsule formed. However, the newer silicone in these implants may not leak even when the implant shell is ruptured.

Anatomic gummy bear implants might be a good choice to give you a more natural look. These highly sought after, anatomic implants offer a look that more closely resembles the natural silhouette of a breast, and, therefore, is a very attractive option for individuals seeking a natural-looking, aesthetic primary breast augmentation. Additionally, these implants are an especially excellent option for patients undergoing restorative or corrective breast surgery because they provide more stability, shape, and reduced incidence of capsular contracture. Compared to other types of silicone gel implants, the silicone in the cohesive gel implant is more cross-linked; therefore, should the implant shell “rupture,” it maintains its shape and silicone does not leak.

During your breast augmentation consultation, you should feel the different types of implants available, and try on various implant sizers in front of a mirror to help you to get an idea of how you will look following the surgery. You should also bring pictures of the look you would like to achieve, as well as a favorite top to wear when trying on implant sizers. I also use a 3D imaging system to allow you to try on a variety of shapes and sizes. I prefer this method over adding volume due to implants being under the muscle.

We will also discuss the possibility of needing a lift along with an implant. This will depend on the amount of ptosis (nipple position) as it relates to your breast, inframammary crease and chest wall. Needing a lift or not will also determine where to place the scar for the incision.  In some cases if the breast and nipple is really ptotic (low) it might be best to stage the procedure by performing a lift first and then doing an implant at a second stage. This will also allow you to have a better understanding of the true size and shape of your breast.

The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam. Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic and restorative breast surgery.

Best of luck!

Dr. Schwartz

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon 



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One size does not fit all

Thanks for your question.  Mentor (and most other companies) have implant sizes to fit every width and profile.  The key is deciding what is best for your frame.  Choosing a larger width breast implant can lead to "side boob".  Choosing one to narrow will result in wide cleavage.  Your board certified plastic surgeon can assist with helping you choose the right size.

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Breast implant sizing

Thank you for your question and for sharing your photo. Size of the implants can be very personal choices that a patient makes. In many cases, patients can go from a A cup to a D cup or larger. In our practice, I begin by asking whether you are looking for more projection or perkiness and whether you mind have some of the breast tissue push outwards on the side. In addition, I ask you to try on different external sizers to give you a sense of what your breast may look like and the feel of extra volume in the breasts. In addition, I take details measurements of the breast including the base diameter of the breast.  Your volume range and the breast shape preferences helps me the further guide you in your implant selection and to give you guidance on what the breast might look. 
I would visit with some board certified plastic surgeons in your area to discuss your options and goals in more detail.

20 cm Base Diameter? No Way!

I am quite certain your measurements are off, based on your size and pictures.  

Your base diameter is smaller than that, probably 13-15cm. 

Nonetheless, it is not the only number needed. 

Base width, breast height, desired projection and desired cup size, are all factors your experienced plastic surgeon needs to help you determine which size and shape implants will work (and won't work) for you. Seek someone with the experience who can listen to your needs and plan with you to get you the size and shape that you really want. 

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

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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.

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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

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.

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!

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.

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