Thank you for the question.
There are several steps taken to select a specific size/profile breast implant for a specific patient. Generally speaking, although useful as rough guidelines and as communication tools, all the modalities currently used to predict what breast implant size/profile will best achieve a patient's goals with breast augmentation are NOT very accurate, in my opinion. The use of the rice test, sizers placed beneath a patient's bra, goal pictures, computer imaging technology… are all useful, but not necessarily as accurate as one would hope.
In my opinion, nothing will replace careful verbal preoperative communication with your plastic surgeon, preferably in front of a full-length mirror along with the use of as many "communication" tools” listed above.
In my practice, I use all of the above modalities and then use intraoperative temporary sizers to help determine the best breast implant size/profile to achieve a patient's specific goals as closely as possible. For this reason, I think it is helpful to have the entire range of breast implant sizes/profiles available in the upper room.
Achieving realistic expectations prior to proceeding to the operating room is also an important part of the preoperative communication process. Patients should be aware that the results of their breast augmentation will not necessarily match exactly what they are visualizing with anyone of the above-mentioned communication tools.
Given your questions and concerns, I would suggest that you schedule additional time to spend with your plastic surgeon. This additional time spent will be helpful in the communication process and in alleviating some of your anxiety.
Generally speaking, the best online advice I can give to ladies who are considering breast augmentation surgery ( regarding breast implant size/profile selection) is:
1. Concentrate on choosing your plastic surgeon carefully. Concentrate on appropriate training, certification, and the ability of the plastic surgeon to achieve the results you are looking for. ***Ask to see lots of examples of his/her work.
2. Have a full discussion and communication regarding your desired goals with your plastic surgeon. This communication will be critical in determining breast implant size/type/profile will most likely help achieve your goals.
In my practice, the use of photographs of “goal” pictures (and breasts that are too big or too small) is very helpful. For example, I have found that the use of words such as “natural” or "C or D cup" etc means different things to different people and therefore prove unhelpful.
Also, as you know, cup size varies depending on him who makes the bra; therefore, discussing desired cup size may also be inaccurate. Again, the use of computer imaging has been very helpful during the communication process, in our practice.
3. Once you feel you have communicated your goals clearly, allow your plastic surgeon to use his/her years of experience/judgment to choose the breast implant size/profile that will best meet your goals. Again, in my practice, this decision is usually made during surgery, after the use of temporary intraoperative sizers.
I hope this (and the attached link, dedicated to breast augmentation surgery concerns) helps. Best wishes for an outcome that you will be very pleased with.