Breast Implant Diameter - How WIDE Can I Go in Respect to my BWD?

I am 5'6, muscular 140 pounds with wide shoulders (I look like the comic book version of Wonder Woman). My ribcage measures 31" and have 360cc implants which need to be replaced due to a deflation. I definitely want to go larger and WIDER to look more feminine. I measured my BWD at 14.5 cm - 15 cm. My PS suggested 450cc overfilled to 510cc saline moderate. With rice sizers, I love the look of 550cc. My PS can do 480cc overfilled to 560cc. Would this be wide enough or should I go a little larger?

Doctor Answers 12

Breast implant base diameter

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By using three dimensional planning, a very experienced plastic surgeon will be able to select the appropriate breast size, including the ideal base diameter for you. You will see a variety of different sizes, but proportioned for a woman's specific body in before and after images.

 I use Sientra and Natrelle breast Implants to insure have a full range of sizes available.  Biodimensional planning can be a wonderful tool for selecting the appropriate implant size. It is critical that the implants are positioned properly in order to create the cleavage you are looking for. 

Michael Law MD

Alpha Omega Alpha, Medical Honors Society
Member, American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons
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Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

Ii want to go wider...

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Be careful about the implant width.  Going wider doesn't make women look more feminine...once you start getting too much side fullness, it can make women look bulky and fat, especially in fitted clothes like jackets or blazers.

Most of our patients would prefer to look "slim and trim" along the side of the chest, and have the implant fullness up front.

In terms of picking the implant width, you should also consider your tissue thickness.  Subtract the tissue thickness from the breast width to get a more accurate idea of what the implant width should be.

VIDEO (click here) Breast sizing tool

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Although you have provided numerous details, you have not described the manufacturer of the implant desired. Enclosed are some tools to help you. Impland diameters change according to manufacturer and profile.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Width of breast implants

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There is a general answer to your question, an answer for those who do not yet have breast implants, and an answer for those who already have them and are replacing them. 

In general, fitting breast implants is like fitting a foot in a shoe or a body in a dress. The width of the implant has to be about 3/4 to 1 cm less than the width of the breast upright and with arms down, regardless of the chest diameter and regardless of the forward projection volume if it is going to fit and look natural. To put in an implant that is wider than the width of the breast is to risk a number of distortions and problems that are often hard to fix. 

However, in the situation where an implant is already in place and the tissues have accommodated the presence of the implant (and assuming it's not out of position or distorted), it is possible to replace the existing implant with one that is about one or 1 1/2 cm wider than the existing one as the tissues will generally accommodate this in a secondary procedure (but not the original one). The forward projection volume of the implant can also be increased. There are exceptions to this related to tightness of the existing capsule but if the present implant diameter and forward projection is known, it is fairly easy to know what larger volume will fit. The increase in size is somewhere between a half and a full cup size. 

Scott L. Replogle, MD
Boulder Plastic Surgeon

Wider and Bigger

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I would not recommend implants that are very wide and thus I would not recommend implants that are in the 550 range.  Larger implants produce bad effects on the skin and residual breast tissue.  A modest increase in size would okay but do not go overboard.

Dr. ES

Why Commit too Soon?

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Hi there-

I personally think it is a mistake for the average patient to commit to an implant before surgery.

My recommendation and preference is to review very carefully the patient's desired appearance, and then endeavor to achieve that appearance without committing to any particular implant.

If you achieve the appearance you wanted, you won't care what number is on the implant, will you?

Conversely, if you get the exact volume you think you want, but don't look the way you wanted after surgery, you won't be happy, right?

Think about the process carefully before proceeding.

Implant diameter and breast width

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In sizing women for augmentation, I prefer to use implants with diameters slightly narrower than the breast width. Issues with over-wide implants include symmastia (abnormal communication or overlapping of the breast beyond the middle of the chest) and fullness under the arm (a common complaint from women with very large implants).

At a breast width of 14.5-15cm, you have a large variety of implants to choose from. For saline implants, simply increasing the projection from moderate to moderate plus (using Mentor's guide), the nominal volume increase at 14cm increases from ~400cc to 550cc. Also, when the saline implants are overfilled, the base diameter of the implant decreases (the implant becomes more spherical). These implants are within your breast width but provide you with more volume to satisfy your goals. Hope this helps and isn't too confusing!

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Breast Implant sizes

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 I prefer maximum implant diameters about 1 cm narrower than your actual breast width. I am always impressed at the amount of cc's required to create a visible difference when an individual is going larger during a remove and replace operation. Definitely satisfy your cup size goals, you don't want to be disappointed. If the moderate profile implants in your desired size are too wide, you can go with a midrange or high profile implant. Keep in mind, that with larger implants there are also higher risks of complications such as surrounding tissue thinning, sagging, and rippling. 

Breast diameter and breast size

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For a breast implant to fit well, hand in glove with the breast the implant diameter should be sized with in the natural limits imposed by the chest and breast size. Pushing the breast envelop can cause the implant to fall below the breast, or to the side of the chest. The implant must also center on the nipple. If you have measured correctly, the 15 cm implant should fit, and if you wish to go larger 150 to 200 cc up is needed to have an appreciable difference. We do not favor the 'overfill' and use only the recommended fill for the maximum durability and performance of the implant.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Breast Implant Diameter - How WIDE Can I Go in Respect to my BWD

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Thanks for all the posted info but a front view photo would have given me a better idea of your shape. I guess the slightly larger the better in your personal case. 

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.