Choosing implant size is probably the most important decision to be made when planning a breast augmentation procedure because the volume of the chosen implant, as measured in cubic centimeters (cc’s), determines the resulting size of the breast, as measured by cup size (A, B, C, D, DD, etc). So, how do we decide on a size or volume of an implant in order to achieve a desired breast or cup size? I use three methods simultaneously during a consultation to help my patients pick a breast implant size.
First, I measure the width of the patient’s breast. This narrows down the range of possible implants to those that are about the same width or slightly wider than the patient’s breast gland. I know that the implants in this range will be well covered with thick enough tissue to minimize the possibility of visible rippling caused by the implant. Implants that extend well beyond the limits of a patient’s gland will be covered by skin only around the periphery of the breast; that’s what allows the rippling to become visible.
Second, I use a set of silicone sizers in an array of volumes that are shaped not like implants but are instead designed to fit inside a stretch bra and over a patient’s breast; this nicely illustrates the size of breast that specific volume of implant would produce. This is especially effective when a tight fitting top is then put on; in this way a patient can get a very good idea of how she would look in clothes with that specific volume of implant.
Third, with the implant sizer in place on the breast, I can measure the distance across the breast, from the inside border to the outside and from that measurement get a good, ballpark idea of the cup size that specific volume would produce: 8 inches is a “B”, 9 inches a “C”, 10 inches a “D”, and so on.
I find all three of these methods very valuable in getting my patients the result they seek. The first method helps me give a patient the best technical result, the second method helps the patient get the look she wants in clothes and the third method gives the patient a good idea of what cup size she will be wearing after the procedure.