Should the Plastic Surgeon Take Pre-op Measurements of Your Chest?

When you go in for your sizing before surgery to get Breast Implants, should the Plastic Surgeon take measurements of your chest area? and If it didn't?

Doctor Answers 25

Breast/chest measurements before breast augmentation surgery

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Relying on "20 years of experience" and "board certified" to substitute for measurements and knowing what implant dimensions will fit and what effect they will have for the patients informed consent for a cosmetic procedure is an illusion. I have 27 years experience and board certification and I measure all patient's breast width at the consultation and again at the preop preparation to be sure I have the correct implant available and know that it will fit and what effect it will get before getting to surgery. To figure this out at the time of the surgery is letting the surgeon decide for the patient and the correct size may not be available or the outcome is not what the patient thought she was getting. If you were going in for a hip implant would you wonder if the experienced orthopedic surgeon didn't measure something to determine the hip implant size before getting to surgery? 

Years of experience with breast augmentation gives the surgeon the illusion of knowing what size will fit beforehand and there is much more leeway for getting away with the wrong size in breast augmentation than in hip replacement, but there is no substitute for knowing what the patient's breast width upright with arms down is and what diameter implant will therefore fit it (along with what effect various profile or forward projection choices will have). It is not currently possible to measure the overall size/volume of the breast readily but relying on "experience" or guessing or figuring it out in the OR is not consistent with reasonable control over the outcome today. 


Boulder Plastic Surgeon

Chest measurements

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When planning a breast augmentation procedure, markings of the breast and chest help in the surgical planning.  It is also important when selecting the breast implant, that the width of the implant and the breast width are correlated.  If the surgeon had you try different implant sizers, that may have been his 'measurement'.  
The amount of pre-surgical breast augmentation planning varies greatly.  Some surgeons are 'engineers', they measure every little aspect of the breast.  Some are 'artists', they go by what looks good to their eye.  In the end what matters is the surgeon's reputation and his/her before/after pics.  You want to see that the results look great, and that you can trust your surgeon to deliver on his/her promises.  Make sure you are being given realistic expectations.  Beware of those promising you the world.  Also make sure your surgeon is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Martin Jugenburg, MD

Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 521 reviews

Some do and some dont

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I have over 30 years of experience, although today, measurments are suggested, often what size implant you get depends on what you want. I can eyeball your breasts and tell you what is best, but it all depends on what you want. The actual measurements are less important.

William B. Rosenblatt, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 12 reviews


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Absolutely yes. Your measurements are key to picking the correct size implant for you. The width of your breast is one of the most important  measurements your surgeon takes. If no measurements...then go elsewhere. Good luck and be well.

Kevin Maguire, MD
Vermont Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Measurement Important Part of Pre-Surgery Breast Augmentation Process

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Measuring your chest, as well as other areas, enables your surgeon to select an implant that best suits your unique body and goals. Your original body contours (including height, weight, breast width, breast height and the distance that exists between the nipple and breast fold) alongside your desired cup size are assessed. This helps to select a breast implant type and size that will achieve a proportionate improvement of your body contour.  

Taking measurements allows for a more predictable improvement. It also helps your surgeon plan your breast augmentation surgery better, such as determining the best placement for the implants.

Dimensional planning and breast augmentation

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The breast base diameter should be around the same as your desired breast implant base width.  It does not have to be exact.  It depends upon the shape you are trying to achieve.  It is just one of many factors that must be considered in breast augmentation surgery and implant selection.

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

Preoperative Measurements for Breast Augmentation

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I believe preoperative measurements are very important in choosing the right implant size.   A combination of measurements based on the width of your chest wall, skin pinch thickness, and skin stretch determine an implant range that will fit your body safely.   

Remember, implant sizing does not directly translate to cup size.   The implant must also fit your chest wall and skin envelope first, then match the look and feel you desire.   

Although physician sizing is an extremely important aspect of choosing the right implant, it is equally important to involve the patient.  Based on the patient's desired cup size and preoperative measurements, I give the patient a size range to try on in a full length mirror with a fitted bra.    This allows the patient to have an idea of how their selected size will look in clothes.   

Lastly, I always tell the patient that I may adjust the final implant size depending on how the implants look and feel once in place. 

Paul S. Gill, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Measurements of your chest before surgery

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I generally take standardized measurements of a patient's chest wall to aide in the selection of implants. 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. Even your fitness levels and other relevant criteria are taken into consideration. It is you who will decide what you are comfortable with. 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 we can then pick a range of implants that will “fit” just right to give a soft natural fuller look.

Breast biodimensions are essential for good augmentation results

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Taking measurements of the breast and its relationship to the chest wall is essential for good augmentation results. Breast implants need to 'fit' to look good, and a good fit ensures implant longevity.

Are measurements essential for breast augmentation?

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Measurements are absolutely essential for breast augmentation if you want to have consistent results. I use them on every case and my reoperation rate at 3 yrs for silicone gel implants is 1.5%. Can't argue with a system that works.

Mark D. Epstein, MD
Stony Brook Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 244 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.