If you’re wondering how to pick the breast implants that will look and feel the way you want, there are a lot of things to consider. Your decisionwon’t only be based on what you hope to look like after breast augmentation. It will also have a lot to do with your body’s existing dimensions. Even people who are similar in height and weight may have very different chest measurements or amounts of existing breast tissue.
The right size and shape of implant depends on the dimensions of your body, as well as your individual taste.
The Shape of Your Breasts Affects the Way Your Implants Will Look
It’s not just about the shape of breasts you want; the current shape of your breasts also matters. How wide your breasts are will also help to determine the size of implant that’s ideal for you. The width of your shoulders is another factor to take under consideration. Someone with broad shoulders may need a larger or wider implant to achieve the same effect as someone with a narrow chest.
Choosing the Shape of Your Breast Implants
Your plastic surgeon can help you understand how differently shaped implants might look given the characteristics of your natural breasts. There are two breast implant shape options:
- Round implants: Round implants are perfectly round and can rotate freely within the breast pocket without looking asymmetrical or misshapen.
- Anatomical implants: Anatomical implants, sometimes called teardrop implants, are shaped to more closely mimic the contours of a natural breast. Since this type of implant would look strange if it were to shift within the breast pocket, teardrop-shaped breast implants are always made with a textured shell to help hold them in place.
Other Breast Implant Options to Consider
Besides shape, there are a lot of other things you’ll need to think about as you explore your breast implant options.
- Size: Obviously, size is a major consideration when choosing your breast implants. Remember that breast implant size is measured using cubic centimeters (CCs), not cup size. When deciding on a size, aim for the proportions you want rather than a particular number of CCs.
- Profile: Profile goes hand in hand with size. This term refers to how far your implants projectfrom your chest. Keep in mind that you may need a breast liftin combination with your implants if your goal is to achievea high, fulllook.
- Implant Placement:Breast implants can be placed either under or over the pectoral muscle. In some cases, the implant may be placed partially above and partially below this muscle. Your plastic surgeon can help you understand which type of placement is likely to fit with your body, lifestyle and aesthetic preferences.
- Saline vs Silicone: Your existing breast anatomy can also be a factor in determining whether you choose silicone or saline breast implants. Saline implants are filled with a sterile saltwater solution, and may be preferable for women who already have a substantial amount of breast tissue. Silicone implants, which are filled with a cohesive gel, tend to feel more like natural breast tissue. Women with very little existing breast tissue to cover an implant may prefer silicone for this reason.
Figuring out how to pick breast implants that you’ll be happy with takes time. Working with a qualified, experienced plastic surgeon is imperative, as surgical skill is the number one factor in seeing final results you’ll love.
Dr. Jennifer Harrington is a board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon and an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota. Harrington Plastic Surgery is pleased to offer the most advanced cosmetic and reconstructive techniques performed by a highly specialized all-female team of board-certified plastic surgeons and professional staff.