Does Experience Trump All?

Is it possible for a doctor to have so much experience that he doesn't need to measure for implants? I showed him pictures of my goal, he cupped my breasts and estimated my size at 275cc and told me what implant size would bring me to my goal. ( a full d to dd). He is recommending. 550-650. That sounds very large to me. I'm afraid I will end up very uncomfortable but I don't know how else to determine size. He believes the implants sizers are inaccurate. I have another consultation scheduled.

Doctor Answers 12

Sizers can be helpful to patients in breast augmentation

sizers help patients get a rough idea what they will look like in certain volume implants so i think they are very useful during consultation. they also help me be more certain that the patient and i are on the same page with respect to desired/anticipated results.

   the implants you mention are very large and heavy, and, even if that look is desired and perceived to look "good" in the short run, they may well be detrimental to the skin envelope in the long run and actually CAUSE problems that are difficult to fix!!

Schenectady Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Implant size

It is now fairly commonly accepted that the best way to select implant size includes measurements of the breast tissue thickness and breast width. Implants in the 550-650cc range frequently do not hold there original position and thin and stretch existing tissues. I would seek additional consultations until you feel comfortable with the recommendations.

Patti A. Flint, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

How best to size breast implants for a patient.

Experience IS important but many other factors such as patient wishes, measurements of the patients chest and breast width and tissue characteristics must also come into play.  550 - 650 cc implants are large and heavy and will have predictable detrimental effects on the skin of your chest over time.  I think you are wise to have another consultation (or maybe several others) and find a doctor who will spend more time doing proper measurements of your anatomy to help you understand which size implant will fit correctly in your tissue envelope, allow you to try on different sizers to get an idea of the size you think looks correct or makes use of implant sizing systems that some companies have produced. 

Jeffrey M. Darrow, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 98 reviews

Breast implant size

It is important for you to feel comfortable with your plastic surgeon.  550 cc implants are very large and may make you feel "top heavy."  A second consultation is always a good idea to hear a different perspective and to solidify your thoughts!  Best of luck.

Experience vs. What the Patient Wants.

Without pictures, and your statistics like height and weight, it is pretty tough to weigh in on the appropriateness of your surgeon's recommendation. Pictures, and bra sizes, are very VAGUE ways to communicate your goals to your surgeon, which is vitally important. I would recommend making an appointment (if need be, with another surgeon with less experience but more sizers) and actually try on the sizers yourself. That will give you the best way to show them the size you want to be, and will give you confidence that you will actually be getting what you want. Good luck!

Matthew Concannon, MD
Columbia Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Experience in breast augmentation

While experience is very important, I believe patient communication of goals and discussions regarding the eventual size and look may even be more important. Based on your description, the cup size that you'd like to desire, the implant size mentioned may actually be a proper choice. In my practice I find the use of Vectra 3-D imaging and simulation as well as Implants sizing to be very important tools in proper discussions regarding the size that you'll eventually be after surgery.

Kevin Tehrani, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Large implants may not be right for you

Thank you for your question.  Without knowing your measurements it is hard to say.  In general plastic surgeons today rely on the patient's measurements as well the dimensions of the various implants to determine the appropriate size for you.  There are a number of sizes which will "work" for a given patient's dimensions, and then it becomes a discussion about what your goals are. I almost never use that size implant; occasionally in a patient with a very large frame.   Very few of my patients request a DD cup.  The request is usually a size that looks natural, tasteful and in proportion to the patient's frame.  Getting a second opinion is a good idea, for everyone.  Good communication and understanding between you and your plastic surgeon is very important.  Whether through sizers, the Mentor system or Vectra, these are ways of communicating a visual that are helpful.   I use sizers in a bra all the time in the office and for me it is a good communication tool.   Hope this helps.  Tracy Pfeifer, MD

Tracy Pfeifer, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

550-650 Breast Implants Are Huge Get 2nd Opinion

Thank you for your question.

I always recommend following your "gut instincts". 550-650 breast Implants are huge and will dominate the appearance if your chest.

Find a board certified Plastic Surgeon who uses the Mentor Breast Implant sizing system to get an idea of what you will look like with different sized implants. I have been doing breast augmentation for 31 years and use the sizing system on every patient.



You are wise to obtain a second opinion.  The best means to accurately determine the best implant size is by using 3D imaging.  I personally use the Vectra first and then have the patient try on the recommended size implant.

Todd B. Koch, MD
Buffalo Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Size determination

I consider two factors when selecting implants for my patients:

1.Dimensional planning
2.Gel Implant Sizing system

Dimensional planning – The measurements of your chest wall are taken. Also, the breast dimensions including the height, width, and current dimensions of each breast form the basis of dimensional planning. Based on these measurements, the implant size is recommended. This will give you a unique breast implant that is suited for your body frame. However, there are some limitations of what size we can recommend. For instance, some implants may just be too big for a narrow chest wall. Your surgeon can review this with you during the consultation.

Gel Implant Sizing system – During the preliminary breast implant consultation, you will be provided with an option to “try on” a variety of implant shapes and sizes. You can also visualize the possible outcomes of your surgery which helps you to get that perfect size to give you the shape that you longed for. This way your preferences are known and you can then pick a range of implants that will “fit” just right to give a soft natural fuller look. Hope this helps.

Best wishes,

Dr. Basu
Houston, TX

C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 209 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.