Moderate or High Profile Implant for 25'' Ribcage?

Hi I am a mother of 2, I stopped breastfeeding a year ago, however I am still able to express about 2 drops of milk from each side. Am I still a suitable candidate for breast augmentation? I am also wondering what kind of implant will be suitable for me as my ribcage is on the slightly smaller side. I am measuring 25" under the breast. I am currently an A cup. Will 300-325cc bring me to a full C? I am worried that the moderate profile may be too wide and the high profile implant too unnatural.

Doctor Answers 15

Moderate or high profile breast implant

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I think that some mothers can still express some milk after they have completed nursing.  However the more you try to express the milk, the more you are stimulating the breast to make more milk.  It is generally recommended that you stop touching the breast in order to get it to dry up.  If it continues to be a problem, you might want to see your PCP about it.  You may also want to consider, if you would like to have more children and nurse in the future.  Making incisions on top of the breast may go through the milk ducts making it difficult to nurse in the future. However, making an an incision below the breast in the natural crease (inframammary fold) will not violate any of the breast tissue and will preserve your natural ability to nurse.

It is unclear what you mean by the measurements of 25" under the breast.  We typically measure the chest width to help determine what type of implant to select for a patient.  I usually don't like high profile implants because I do think they can look too unnatural.  I usually stick with a moderate or moderate plus implant.  This last one will be a little narrower but will give you the same volume. 

Hope these suggestions are helpful but make sure to see a board certified plastic surgeon.


Breast implants and occasional milk discharge

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Some women have milk discharge after stopping breast feeding. It more than likely should not stop you from getting breast implantation. Best to see a surgeon to be properly evaluated.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Breast Implant Profiles

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The pre-operative diameter of the breast or base width is the dimension that is most helpful in determining which breast implant profile is most suitable for a given patient. A moderate profile implant could become too wide for a patient's chest before achieving the desired volume or size. A high profile implant may allow for a larger volume implant without being too wide but the trade-off is that it may look less natural. Consult with a board certified plastic surgeon to find out which implant is right for you.

David S. Motoki, MD
Draper Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Options for narrow ribcage

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It is not unusual to express milk for many years after discontinuing breastfeeding.  That should not affect your candidacy for breast implants.  As for the appropriate volume and type of implant to use, no two people are alike and, therefore, it would be best to work with your plastic surgeon to determine which volume, shape, and style implant would work best for you to give you the result that you want.

Edwin C. Pound, III, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Moderate profile breast implants are underfilled and can cause rippling.

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There is an article in my RealSelf profile about choosing breast implants that may be of help to you.  Basically, it is the plastic surgeon's job to select the best size and shape for your anatomy and for your goals.  For most women, moderate PLUS implants are best.

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

Implant size and cup size goals

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It is very difficult to predict what cup size you will be after your procedure.  Cup sizes are not standardized.  So a D cup in one designer could be a C cup or B cup in another designer.   This is the approach I use to help guide my patients with their implant size selection:

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.  If you have decided on saline implants, then based on the gel sizer you select, we can guide you to the saline implant that achieves a similar look.
Hope this helps.
Dr. Basu
Houston, TX

Moderate or high profile implant?

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Thank you for your questions.  As far as timing, it is best to wait about 6 months after you have finished breast feeding.  So you are in good shape there.  As far as being able to express "milk", it is normal for women to have a "physiologic" discharge from the nipple.  That means, you will be able to express some fluid from the nipple often.  So, being able to express 2 drops of fluid is not uncommon.  

When looking at sizing a breast for implants, you are on the right track with measuring the width of the chest.  Even more important is the width of your breast.  I look less at the high profile versus the moderate profile, but rather at the base diameter of the implant and what that resulting volume is.  It is the given volume that we need to get you to a certain cup size.  The moderate just does it over a wider distance and the high profile gives you the same volume over a narrower distance.  It won't make you look "unnatural".  An unnatural look would be an extremely large implant or an extremely wide implant for the base diameter of your breast.  Best advice is to seek the consultation of a board certified plastic surgeon who can examine you and sit down and go over these options.  

Good luck


Brian C. Reuben, MD
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Selecting an implant size for a narrow chest

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If your chest circumferences is 25 inches then your breast base diameter may be in the 10 to 11 cm range.  This will limit the volume of the implant that can be used.  If you are considering a gel implant then a moderate plus implant would be in the 275 to 300 cc range or a high profile in the 300 to 325 cc range.  Sizing of the implant will be made at the time of your consultation. 

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

What style to choose and nipples still discharging a year later

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You should let your surgeon guide you as to what profile will work best on your chest.  You should pick the volume you want using external sizers.  As for nipple discharge, if you use the inframammary approach, you could have your surgery asap.  If you want the nipple approach, understand the discharge could contain bacteria that could increase your risks for contractures as your ducts will be cut to some degree.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Moderate vs. High Profile Depnds on the Base Diameter Measurement

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When you go in to see a plastic surgeon he/she is going to take a measurement of the width (base diameter) of your breast.   Your base diameter will help determine which style implant is going to be best for you.   We do this so you don’t have an implant that is too wide and “under the armpit”.   My guess is you are going to be looking at a high profile implant about 280cc to fit your base diameter and be an appropriate size for someone of your size.

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.