What’s the Best Way to Choose Your Breast Implant Size?

When it comes to breast augmentation, there’s no such thing as one-size-fits-all. Depending on a variety of factors like heredity, pregnancies, and natural contours, breast augmentation must be tailored exactly to each woman and her goals.

“Choosing your implant size is a very personal decision,” says board-certified Michigan plastic surgeon, Dr. Ali. “It is important to first identify your perfect outcome, and then communicate it to your surgeon the best you can.”

Don’t Obsess Over Cup Size

“Too many times, patients worry more about cup size and less about the way their new breasts will look and feel,” explains Dr. Ali. “Since cup sizes vary wildly among undergarment manufacturers, they aren’t a good guideline when deciding what size breast implants to get.”

Instead, you should have an idea of the overall look you want. Some people try “the rice test.” This fast and simple method lets you see what you may look like with different-size implants. While precise steps can be found online, the basic gist is this:

  • Cut off the feet from pantyhose and use the remaining shortened stocking. The new ends will become the mock “breasts,” so be sure to cut enough off that when worn around the neck, each end reaches to your ideal breast height.
  • Tie the end of each foot.
  • Add dry, long-grain rice to each end of the stockings.
  • Wear the stockings around your neck and experiment with different types of clothing (loose, tight, and so forth). This will give you a rough idea of what a breast augmentation will look and feel like.

A basic guideline for how much rice to add is as follows: 30 cubic centimeters (cc) = 1/8 cup of rice; 59cc = ¼ cup; 118cc = ½ cup; 177cc= ¾ cup; 236cc = 1 cup.

Consider These Factors

Your own unique body should determine what size implants you get. Take into consideration the following:

  • Existing breast tissue: Have you always naturally had small breasts due to heredity or exercise? If so, you’ll want a different size implant than a mother whose breasts have lost volume after pregnancy.
  • Skin elasticity or tightness: Are you prone to stretch marks? Is your skin naturally resilient? The type of skin you have should also be part of your decision-making process, as breast augmentation will cause skin to stretch.
  • Weight: Have you had significant changes in your weight? Whether due to lifestyle, genetics, disease, pregnancy, or any other cause, weight fluctuations can affect how your body will look with the new implants.
  • Desired outcome: Do you want larger breasts, or are you looking to balance out an issue with asymmetry? Do you want lift and volume, or is one more important to you than the other? These are items to discuss with your plastic surgeon.
  • Lifestyle: Are you an avid runner or weight lifter? The amount and type of exercise you get will impact how your body will look after your surgery.
  • Age: Breast implants aren’t meant to last forever; for many people, one or more follow-up surgeries are often required. A woman getting breast implants at age 18 will have different goals and outcomes than one at age 65, for example.

Your Natural Anatomy

Each woman has her own natural anatomy and contours, developed over time. Therefore, you may decide an overall shape is ideal for you, where a curvier or thinner friend may have a different idea.

If you stray too much from your body frame, you may end up with an unnatural look or one that causes back strain down the line.

At your consultation, your surgeon should take careful measurements to determine your exact chest wall size, as well as breast and muscle anatomy. Since virtually all women have some degree of asymmetry with their breasts, each breast should be evaluated individually to achieve a unified and satisfying outcome.

Your surgeon may also recommend that additional procedures, like a breast lift or even reduction, may be appropriate to get optimal, symmetrical results.

Seeking Professional Care

Only your surgeon and you can decide on how to best achieve your ideal outcome. Schedule an appointment today with Detroit-based Dr. Ali to get started on perfecting your body to the degree you wish!

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