Breast implants are manufactured in a variety of sizes, shapes, profiles and textures so that each breast augmentation can be customized to specifically fit the unique features of each woman. The variety of factors influencing breast implant outcomes allows the surgeon to create breast augmentation with amazingly beautiful and natural results.
VIDEO: What Implant Size is Right for You?
One of the most important factors in creating the best outcome for breast augmentation surgery is the implant size.
Breast Implant Size is Commonly Determined by:
- Desired breast size
- Natural chest and breast tissue measurements (base diameter of breast)
- Body frame
- Desired aesthetic outcome of surgery
Breast Augmentation Before and After Photos
Click on the image below to view breast augmentation before and after actual patient photos. *Actual patients of Dr. Ennis.
When Choosing a Breast Implant Size it is Important for the Patient to Consider:
- How you want your breasts to look, both in clothing and without clothing
- How much of a difference you want to have between your current breast size and your augmented size
- How you want your breasts to appear- natural, slightly augmented or obviously augmented
- What your current lifestyle is and how breast implants may affect your lifestyle (athletic lifestyle or more sedentary lifestyle, job duties, clothing choices)
Round vs Shaped Breast Implant Shapes
When choosing a breast implant size, the Surgeon will consider:
1. Your current breast size and anatomy
It is important to consider how much existing breast tissue you have, as this is the tissue that will cover the breast implants. If there is not a lot of breast tissue, it will limit how big of an implant that may be placed. Your body’s anatomy will play a role, including the proportion between your chest, shoulders and width of the hips.
For many women, the breast implant size will be different from one breast to the other in order to achieve symmetrical breast size and proportion. Many women choose breast augmentation surgery in order to correct for naturally occurring breast asymmetry. The skilled plastic surgeon will be able to guide you in choosing the correct size.
2. Measuring breast size as breast width:
The surgeon will measure your real breast size, by measuring the width of your breast from the cleavage area to the outer edge, toward the arm. The width is measured in a straight line in centimeters. Most women’s breasts are 11-14 centimeters wide.
3. Fitting the breast implant diameter to the natural breast width:
Next, the surgeon will be able to determine breast implants with appropriate dimensions for your body. An implant that is about the same width of the breast (within approximately ½ centimeter of the breast width) will provide outcomes that are naturally pleasing.
Typically, optimal outcomes are achieved if the implant is the same or slightly narrower than the breast diameter. If the implant is too wide for the natural breast width, then the implant can be obvious.
4. Considering tissue thickness:
A women with thick breast tissue may be able to accommodate a wider implant than a woman with thin breast tissue, as there is more padding over and around the implant. A woman with thin breast tissue may not be able to tolerate a wide implant as the implant can stretch and thin the breast tissue, leading to visible rippling.
Fortunately, at Ennis Plastic Surgery, our breast cosmetic surgeons are experts in analyzing the natural breast anatomy, including breast size, soft tissue thickness and anatomical proportions.
5. Selecting the implant:
In order to select the most appropriate implant, the surgeon and patient will consider volume, diameter and projection of the breasts. The volume is related to your desired breast size, often relayed as your desired cup size. The diameter is chosen based on the breast measurements, typically slightly narrower than the breast. Outward projection relates to the desired shape of the breast.
Some women want their breasts to look natural, while others prefer their breasts to look slightly or obviously augmented. Breast implants are measured in cubic centimeters, “CCs.” This refers to the volume of the breast implant. The average size implant is approximately 300-400 cc.
Breast Implant Size Chart
Consultation with the Surgeon to Discuss Shape and Size
Breast size is often communicated in breast cup size. It is important to remember that different manufacturers have very different sizing in bras. Therefore, it is important to further explain your desired results, including wanted breast shape and desired fullness.
Bringing in photos of augmented or natural breasts is a great way to communicate what look you want to achieve with the augmentation surgery. Your lifestyle matters a lot in choosing what breast implant size is most appropriate. For athletes, it is important to choose an implant size that gives nice shape but does not interfere with exercise.
Important Note if Selecting Large Implants
As a rule, very large implants may lead to unnatural looking outcomes and may put a patient at risk for accelerated breast aging such as sagging, thinning of tissue, visible rippling or needing a future breast lift. It is important to consider how the breast implant size may affect the breasts in years to come.