If you’re getting a breast augmentation, deciding on your breast implant size is one of the most important decisions you can make. In some cases, patients will have very specific ideas already in place. But for many patients, you won’t really know what you want until you start the consultation process.
Finding the Right Breast Implant for Yourself
There’s definitely a lot of information to take in when it comes to selecting breast implants. You have to think about size, shape, material, style. It all comes into play—and the right choices can help you feel satisfied and happy with your overall results. To be sure, the best source of information is going to be your plastic surgeon. No one else is going to know quite as much about your body and your desired final results as your surgeon is.
But there are still some ways to get an idea of what will work ahead of time. That’s why we’re discussing three ways to decide on your breast implant size—to help you get a head start on determining your perfect size.
Tip #1: A Very Special Kind of Bra
Though it may not be the most aesthetically appealing garment ever created, surgeons have developed a certain trial bra that will allow patients to get a feel for new implant sizes. The bra, essentially, simply has pockets in which implants can be inserted. This makes for an effective “test drive” of the weight and feel of implant sizes.
But there are a couple of caveats. Because this trial bra goes over the current breast tissue, it doesn’t adequately replicate the size of breast implants that are placed beneath that tissue. This type of bra is really designed to give patients a ballpark figure when it comes to sizing—though it is a bit more accurate when it comes to the added weight (and strain) that implants can create.
Tip#2: 3D Imaging
One of the hot new trends among many plastic surgeons these days is a kind of 3D imaging that, via photo manipulation, can show you how you will look with certain implant sizes. There are definitely benefits to this type of preview imaging:
- The scan of the patient’s body is decently accurate, meaning the patient will have a good sense of how the final look will impact proportions
- This is a completely non-invasive technique—meaning patients can quickly play around with various sizes to see what looks best
- The process itself is easy to do, meaning it’s often a part of the consultation process
Essentially, a computer will take a scan of your body and the operator will be able to show you previews of what you would look like with various sized implants. This can allow patients to toy with all ends of the spectrum—entertaining larger and smaller implants than they might otherwise.
Of course, the downside is that patients get no “feel” for the implants—they don’t get a sense of the weight, or how the implants might look from their own eyes.
Tip #3: The More Experience, the Better
Ultimately, most surgeons will combine several “preview” techniques (including before and after images) in order to give patients the best possible shot at getting everything right. But it’s important to emphasize that your surgeon really is an expert at this—and with more experience, results tend to improve.
For example, Dr. Tenley Lawton, a plastic surgeon who happens to be a woman out in Orange County, CA, spends a lot of time with each patient discussing breast augmentation options. According to her website, she will often discuss size and proportion, emphasizing the proportions of the body in a way that really understands femininity.
Any board certified plastic surgeon is going to have a significant amount of experience. And that experience is really there for breast augmentation patients to take advantage of—to use. The more experience a surgeon has, the easier it will be for that surgeon to make educated guesses about what size will work best for your goals.
Don’t Forget Your Personal Preferences
That said, it’s also important that you not dismiss your own personal preferences. It’s important that your final results reflect you as a person—so remaining consistent about what you want can help you achieve the best results possible. Ultimately, finding the “best” implant for yourself will be quite subjective. Having some help with it’s time to decide on your breast implant size, however, will almost always lead to better outcomes.
Especially when that help is from a highly qualified, board certified plastic surgeon.