How narrow can I go?

I have been advised by more than one surgeon that due to my tall thin frame and lack of breast tissue that an anatomical implant is the way to go. I was measured at a 12cm bwd and wondered if the 10.5cm (225cc, mod plus) will cause problems ? ie: more palpability, etc. I'm completely flat now and looking for a healthy sized B, trying my best to avoid traction rippling especially! Thank you! RK

Doctor Answers 7

Smooth rounds work just fine too...

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as my last week was 3 near flat as board patients who had smooth round implants used in their procedure and they are healing well.  But if you want the textured anatomic (and the choice of implant should really be yours), then the implant with the base width you desire should be chosen.  Yes, you can exceed breast dimensions if your gap between your mounds is excessive or you will still have 'death valley' but with mounds still far apart.  With textured anatomic implants, your positioning must be near perfect or you will need a revision.  If your pocket is too generous, your implant can rotate and you will need a revision.  But if it heals well, you mound won't move, will have minimal push up with a push up bra, and will last longer over time compared to the smooth round implant.  As for rippling, there is always possibilities.

Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

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

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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



Breast diameter

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I am a firm believer that you should have an implant as close to the diameter of your breast as possible. The smaller the implant the smaller the diameter. The smaller the diameter, the wider your cleavage, and the more artificial it looks. You can go from mod plus to mod and get a wider diameter for the same volume. Also, if you're thin, get gel implants and go under the muscle. You won't regret it.

Talmage Raine MD FACS

Talmage J. Raine, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon

How narrow can I go?

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Thanks for your question. Without an in-person exam and measurements, as well as a discussion of your goals, it can be hard to give you specific advice regarding implant choice. If you are very tall and thin, with small breasts, then a shaped silicone implant may be an excellent choice for you. If you are looking to pick an implant, then rather than choosing too narrow, I would advise something to maximize your base diameter in the size range that you want for volume. Since you are looking at what I presume are Mentor implants, I can try to offer some advice. 

If you are looking at shaped implants in the 225 cc range, then you have looked at the mod plus and the base of that implant is 10.5 cm. If you drop the profile to moderate, then you could choose a 245 cc implant that would have a base of 11.5 cm, which would better match your base diameter. In the end, I am not sure why you would be looking to choose an implant with a significantly more narrow base? The palpability of the implant is dependent on the soft tissue coverage, not the size and dimensions of the implant chosen. This can be helped by placing the implant under the muscle and also the implant covering can be augmented by technology such as ADM and/or fat grafting, but those are usually reserved for fixing problems rather than prospectively preventing them.

Hope this helps!

How narrow can I go?

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Obviously the implant, like the true breast tissue, needs to be centered behind the nipple. Half of 10.5cm = 5.25 cm. Measure your own chest and see where the edge of the implant will be 5.25cm from the nipple center towards the breast bone. If that is wide enough for you, you may be OK. Or you may fid it leaves an excessively wide gap. None of the surgeons on this site can help you pick a specific implant without an exam.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

How narrow can I go? - Breast impmplants

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The best cosmetic result in any particular breast augmentation patient depends on a variety of factors, including: your individual anatomy, realistic expectations, a thorough discussion with the plastic surgeon about the options, and an understanding of the pros and cons of any particular implant choice. Proper sizing is not just about the number of cc’s. The thickness of your tissue, breast dimensions which include the width, height, and projection, as well as chest wall width all need to be considered when choosing an implant. Trying on implant “sizers” of various shapes and volumes while wearing a tight t-shirt, bra, or bathing sit at a preoperative visit will help you and your surgeon choose the optimal implant.

There are no manufacturers' standards for cup sizing in the bra industry. The cups of a 32 Band a 36 B are significantly different. Cup size varies from manufacturer to manufacturer and even within styles from any particular manufacturer. There is no direct correlation between implant number of cc's and cup size in any particular patient.

Keep in mind that following the advice from a surgeon on this or any other website who proposes to tell you exactly what to do without examining you, physically feeling the tissue, assessing your desired outcome, taking a full medical history, and discussing the pros and cons of each operative procedure would not be in your best interest. I would suggest that your plastic surgeon be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and ideally a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) that you trust and are comfortable with. You should discuss your concerns with that surgeon in person.

Robert Singer, MD FACS

La Jolla, California


Robert Singer, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Best breast implants for me?

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Thank you for the question.  Online consultants will not be able to provide you with specific enough advice to be truly helpful. 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, and computer imaging) will be critical. 

 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  “natural” or "healthy sized B 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.  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. 

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.