How Do PS'a Determine Range? Why Do Such Small Variations Make Such a Big Difference?

I believe my BWD is 11.7 since Mentor 350ccHP was original PS choice. He gave me 300-400 (11.1-12.2) as range. I chose 450/12.9 & looked very globe-like, so downsized to Allergan 300cc(10.9) in April but miss my curves wondering if all I needed was just to shave off a little on size. Allergan's HP's seem like UHP compared to Mentor's HP. So Allergan 425cc(12.0) would be like I went down 2sizes from my original Mentor 450cc(12.8). Why does small amt of diff in diameter makes such huge diff?

Doctor Answers 6

Best Breast Implant Size/ Profile/Type for Me?

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Thank you for the question. You will notice, that once you start considering breast surgery, that you will receive advice from everyone you know ( and some people that you do not know). The anecdotal “advice” that you receive can be conflicting and confusing.

Generally speaking, the best online advice I can give to ladies who are considering  breast augmentation surgery ( regarding breast implant type/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're 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. 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.

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/type that will best meet your goals.   
I hope this (and the attached link) help.

So many choices

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and your surgeon should have helped guide you through them, listening to your concerns and appreciating your goals and knowing your anatomy.  Implants come in volumes and various dimensions (projection and width) to fit that volume.  Did you even have a chance to size with 400 cc sizers to allow you to appreciate what the 450 cc implant was going to be like on you?   You are looking hindsight now and doubting decisions already made.  I suggest enjoying your augmentation and then pursuing changes when it becomes necessary again.

Determining implant size

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Most of the time these very small differences won't make that big of a difference. Sometimes they do make a difference. You should be able to make the right decision with your PS. Make sure to try on sizers with/without your clothes then trust your PS.

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Implant variation

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Yes, there are many options in breast augmentation which is amazing for our patients. Choices are key to provide a result that will make a patient happy.

Choosing a size for breasts implants can be tricky sometimes

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There are many factors to consider when selecting the right implants to meet a specific patient's specific needs, and this is why it pays to spend time up front in detailed discussions with your surgeon and nurse about your goals, try on actual implant sizers, and undergo a very detailed examination and evaluation at the time of consultation.  In some girls small differences in implant dimensions don't make a big difference in the breast appearance at all, whereas in others, small differences in the implants make large differences in the breasts postop.  This is because there are more things to consider than just implant volume or even dimensions.  There are things like an individual woman's body size and proportions, her natural breast tissue amount, density, tone, and distribution within the breast that will all come into play during breast augmentation, and if you or your surgeon don't consider these things and take them into account, you may not be satisfied with the implants you wind up selecting.  In addition, as you have also discovered, the different manufacturers have slightly different dimensions for each volume of their implants, so the width of a high profile Mentor implant may not be the same as that for a high profile implant by Allergan in the same volume.  Again, it is important to meet with a surgeon who understands these differences and has a good working knowledge of the implants that he or she routinely uses.  All of these things that we have discussed will have some bearing on the shape of the breasts, i.e, looking "globe-like," and this is why the planning for breast augmentation is really very important, and it is much more than just deciding to put in some breast implants, or even just stopping at the decision about volume of implant alone.

Joseph L. Grzeskiewicz, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Small variations in breast implant size or shape do NOT make a big difference.

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1)  Cannot really tell you why you are not satisfied, but it is the surgeons responsibility to choose the implants and to make the pockets so you get the result you anticipated. 


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

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.