Unsure of size. How do I make a final decision? (Photo)

I recently went for a consultation. My surgery is booked for December 12th. He gave me two options based on my frame. I am 5'10 and have a fairly small ribcage. He suggested silicone 400cc and 550cc. I am unsure of which size as I have been reading many women that wished they went bigger, but at the same time I felt the 550cc was too big. How do I make a final decision?

Doctor Answers 5

How do you make the final decision?

It is very difficult to determine the best lift you will need (recommended based on your photos) or the exact size and shape implant you will require to best match your ideal breast image without an examination by a board certified plastic surgeon. Not just any board certified plastic surgeon, but one with many years of frequently performing breast augmentation surgery including different approaches, techniques and implant choices. This is because several measurements not to mention your breast characteristics are needed to determine the optimal implant size to obtain your goals. Without knowing these dimensions it would be difficult to make this determination. For example, the existing base width of your breast will determine, in many cases, the maximal volume per implant profile that you can accommodate. To illustrate; a 100 cc difference may make a significant difference with a narrow base width breast, but much less of a difference if you have a wide chest wall and wide breast “foot print”. Therefore, just because your friend may have a great result with let’s say a 300 cc implant to make her go from a “A” cup to a “C” cup size does not mean that you will have the same result with the same size implant. The same process goes for just filling in the upper part of your breast without becoming much larger. Further simply placing implants in a bra to determine the size best for you is not always accurate as the bra often distorts the size, is dependent on the pressure the bra places plus the implant is outside your breast and not under it among other variables. Computer software morphing programs that automatically determine the best implant size can be helpful in some but not all cases (e.g. doesn’t work well in my experience with existing implants, sagging or asymmetric breasts). Using “want to be” photos however are useful if simply provided to the surgeon as I will further explain in the link below including silicone vs saline implants

How to Decide on BA size?

Hello, Deciding on a breast implant size is difficult.  Putting implants into a bra is somewhat helpful, but I've found that the solid, tapered, silicone sizers are more accurate.  Your tentative 550cc size is larger than the majority of women choose, but you are taller than the average woman, and you are at less risk of looking top heavy.  The larger size will stretch and thin your skin more than the smaller size.  You are correct when you say that some young women wished they had gone larger, but we are also seeing a trend of downsizing implants in older women. Think about all these variables.  Both sizes look proportional in your photos.  Good luck.

D'Arcy Honeycutt, MD
Bismarck Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Unsure of size. How do I make a final decision?

Thank you for the question.  Based on your photographs, I think that you are starting at a good place and should have a very nice outcome with breast augmentation surgery. Ultimately, careful communication of your goals (in my practice I prefer the use of goal pictures, direct examination/communication in front of a full-length mirror, in bra sizers, and computer imaging) as well as careful measurements (dimensional planning) will be critical.


Given your concerns, I would suggest that you spend additional time communicating your goals/concerns directly with your plastic surgeon, preferably prior to the date of surgery.




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 “very natural”or "too big" 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.

Breast Implants/Breast Augmentation/Anatomic Gummy Bear Implants/ Silicone Implants/Breast Implant Revision Surgery

I appreciate your question.

The size of implant best for you is dictated by your chest wall measurements.  Once we determine that we can choose the profile based on what you want or need to achieve.  If you are seeking a natural look, then the diameter of the implant should be equal to or, more ideally, smaller than the width of your breast. The breast width is a measurement of how wide your breast is at the base, which should be measured at the level of the nipple. Choosing an implant that is smaller in diameter than your breast width will avoid the "side breast" fullness that is often associated with a more artificial appearance.  Other than that, you should choose the implant based on volume, not on the dimensions of the implant. You should choose a board certified plastic surgeon that you trust to help guide you in this decision.  

Silicone will give you a fullness at the top (upper pole fullness).

Silicone implants come pre-filled with a silicone gel and are the softest implant available. They feel more natural, which makes them a good option for women with less natural breast tissue; but they require a larger incision. It may be more difficult to realize if this type of implant has ruptured, so it is important to monitor them with annual follow-up visits. Additionally, because this implant contains a more liquid silicone (less cross-linked), if this implant should rupture, it will leak only into the scar capsule formed around the implant but may cause some discomfort or implant distortion.

Anatomic gummy bear implants might be a good choice to give you volume.

These highly-sought-after, anatomic implants offer a look that more closely resembles the natural silhouette of a breast, and, therefore, are a very attractive option for individuals seeking a natural-looking, aesthetic primary breast augmentation. Additionally, these implants are an especially excellent option for patients undergoing restorative or corrective breast surgery because they provide more stability, shape, and reduced incidence of capsular contracture. Compared to other types of silicone gel implants, the silicone in the cohesive gel implant is more cross-linked; therefore, should the implant shell “rupture,” it maintains its shape and silicone does not leak.

During your breast augmentation consultation, you should feel the different types of implants available, and try on various implant sizers in front of a mirror to help you to get an idea of how you will look following the surgery. You should also bring pictures of the look you would like to achieve, as well as a favorite top to wear when trying on implant sizers.

The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam.

Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic and restorative breast surgery.

Best of luck!

Dr. Schwartz

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

#RealSelf100Surgeon

#RealSelfCORESurgeon

Which Size Implant Should I go With? #breastimplantsize #breastaugmentation

  • We have our breast augmentation patients do sizing in our office with a wide range of breast implant sizers.  Although we are happy to help guide our patients as to which size would meet their goals/expectations, the sizing they do with the assistance of our staff is really important.  Ultimately, each of our patients decide for themselves which implant to go with. 
  • I'm not sure why you were given only two sizes to try on, but if you think the 550 cc implants feel too big, then certainly don't go with that size.    
  • I imagine you'd be much happier with the 400 cc implants. 
  • Best of luck to you!

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.