How important is it to stick with your Bwd measurement?

I am very narrow and have been measured for a 10 maximum from one doctor and I wasn't totally thrilled with my options for sizing. Another doctor measured me at a 10 as well but let me have many options for sizing. The one I liked best is an 11.25 (255cc moderate), should I be concerned that the measurement is significantly more that what I was measured for at a maximum? Will I face future problems? Will I have an unnatural look? Will I be unhappy?

Doctor Answers 25

Importance of Base Width Measurement?

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The base width diameter measurement is important, but is also somewhat subjective and it is not an absolute. There are situations where one might choose to exceed the measured base width but since we don't have photos it isn't possible to say if this is reasonable for you. Significantly exceeding the base width diameter can result in problems such as thinned tissues, palpable or visible implant, implant malposition and/or bottoming out. You might consider going with a higher profile implant which won't be quite as wide but will still have a similar volume.

Breast base width

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Hi.  The breast base width is likely the most important breast measurement. The primary reason for various profiles of implants is to accommodate a range of sizes in women of different breast base widths.  I feel as do most plastic surgeons that it is very important to stay within a range of implants that respects your breast width.  If these parameters are violated, you will have a much higher chance of having the implant seem to slide off the side of your chest.  Also there is a chance that it can violate your central cleavage giving a very unnatural look.  I would stick with the surgeon who has recommended following your measurements.  

Joseph R. Coscia, MD
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Base Width Measurement importance

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Breast width is clearly very important in choosing an appropriate implant.  We would always prefer to have the implant one half to one centimeter more narrow than breast width.   There are exception though and times for compromise.  For example, if a women's chest is not wide and her breast are very narrow, it actually would look better to add some width rather than have considerably larger breasts and several centimeters away from the side of the chest.  Of course, this is a compromise, as the implant will be placed outside the padding of the breast.  This may result in visibility or even rippling in that area.  This likelihood is low if the women is not thin.  In a patient that is thin and whose chest is narrow, its unlikely I would want to compromise and have the implant wider than the breast width.  I hope you find this information helpful.  

Thomas Hubbard, MD, FACS
Virginia Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Breast Implant Selection

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Base width of your breast is a very important factor when selecting breast implants. Exceeding this dimension can result in excessive lateral fullness, being able to feel or see the implant edge due to soft tissue thinning, and downward and outward migration of implant position. These problems require additional surgery for correction. A moderate profile implant wider than your base width is not a good choice. Consider a high profile or ultra/ extra high profile implant to get more volume while remaining within your base width. 

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

You can only do what your body can handle.

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The measurements that you surgeon take are designed to help guide him or her in making the best recommendation for implant dimensions.  If those measurements are exceeded significantly, or ignored, you stand to have many negative outcomes:  your implants could stretch the skin/ligaments/tissues of your breasts so much, that unfavorable drooping and bottoming out occurs; the breasts could be overly firm; the implants could stick out into your armpits, potentially interfering with activities such as running; and of course, you might just not look proportional.

We usually have a little wiggle room on the width of your hemithorax (depending upon the surgeon's experience and bravery) and can extend the selected implant out another 0.5 or 1.0 cm past your measurement.  It would require thoughtful consideration on your part and on the part of your surgeon before making that decision.

If you haven't already, I'd make sure that you are getting the best recommendation you can from a Plastic Surgeon who is a member of the Utah Plastic Surgery Society.  We members are all board certified Plastic Surgeons who have met the rigid professional and ethical requirements for membership in our society.  The link to find a member surgeon is included for you below.

Best of luck.

Base width measurement for breast augmentation

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Thank you for your question.  Base width is an important measurement to determine what size implant fill fit within your breast to provide a more natural shape.  It is certainly not the end all in measurements.  Many patients chose implants that are slightly wider than their base width.  Going with a slightly wider implant will create greater fullness on the side of the breast, but when you are within 1-2cm from your true base width, this does not cause any major issues.  An important aspect is patient satisfaction, which should be guided by practicality from your surgeon.

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

How important is base diameter

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Thanks for your question. In my opinion, Base diameter is VERY important when choosing your implant. The most natural result will be achieved with an implant that is not wider than your breasts' base diameter. You can choose a high or ultra-high profile implant to get close to 250-300 cc size that you like. Good luck

Mehdi K. Mazaheri, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

How important is it to stick with your Bwd measurement?

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The breast width is important. As a petite woman, I would suggest a high profile implant so that you can get as much volume as possible. As the base diameter increases, you may find that the implant may get in your way during certain activities. You may also increase your risk of numbness or at least a change in nipple sensation which can be permanent. The tissues may get thinner over time resulting in implant visibility or rippling or wrinkling. Good luck!

When is an implant too wide for the chest?

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Hello there!

Thank you for your question.  The width of your chest is very important for ensuring correct positioning of the implant, minimizing displacement after surgery and concealing the edges of the implant.  It's not uncommon to go up a centimeter or so on base width but there are many factors that come into the decision making.  Considerations include:

How much soft tissue do you have to cover the implant?

How lax or tight is your skin?

Is the implant above or below the muscle?

If you are unsure of your plan, seek another opinion from a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.

In good health,

Ellen Mahony, MD

Ellen A. Mahony, MD
Westport Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Base width is important

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The base width of your breast is a crucial measurement that does help decide the largest implant that can be placed safely in order to minimize postoperative malposition complications. One way to increase volume and projection and keeping the base width within your measured range is by changing the profile of the implant. In order to answer whether an implant slightly larger than your measured base width can be used a physical exam is important to determine the amount of medial and lateral pinch of the breast is present to ensure adequate soft tissue coverage of the implant. Doing this will minimize the risk of implant palpability and visibility. Also, the intermammary distance needs to be assessed to ensure that symmastia does not result due to an implant that is wider than your measured base width.

Best wishes,

Dr. Ravi Somayazula

Ravi Somayazula, DO
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 72 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.