Tips for Selecting the Best Implant Size

For Your Breast Augmentation

No matter what breast size you have and no matter what size you wish to be, selection of breast implant size is of great importance. Gettting the size right is among the most important factors in determining whether you will ultimately be pleased with your decision to have breast augmentation. Hence, this decision merits significant consideration. In addition to reading the information on this page, be sure to visit the Breast Blog which has some additional important insight on Size Matters. You should also watch our video about choosing breast implant size.

Two Seemingly Opposed Goals

Many women struggle over the decision about selecting the best implant size. They sometimes are torn between two seemingly opposing desires:
1. They don’t want to be so large that others suspect they had surgery, that men stare at their breasts, or that they are uncomfortable with their new size.
2. They don’t want to have gone through the operation regretting that they did not go large enough.

These issues are not truly opposing, and both desires are natural and common. To strike a balance between these goals, Dr. Loftus recommends that women choose the very largest implant size that they like. Women who do so are often very pleased with their results, provided that they were honest with themselves while using sizers.

Using sizers to get the results you want:

Sizers are extremely useful in determining your final breast size and help eliminate uncertainty and anxiety. Dr. Loftus recommends bringing two tight sports bras to your breast augmentation consultation so that you can use implant sizers to determine the volume of breast implants that will give you your desired results. Your plastic surgeon should offer guidance on breast augmentation implant size, but you should play a role in making the final decision. Beware surgeons who decide upon your implant size with little or no input from you. And be wary of surgeons who state they can confidently select implant size based on your desired cup size.

Additional Tips in Size Selection

It might be useful to discuss proportion with your surgeon. Many women seek augmentation to make their breasts proportionate to the rest of their bodies, in which case your surgeon may measure your breast diameter and select an implant size that will provide a proportionate augmentation. Others might want their final size to be either larger or smaller than that. This strategy is reliant upon your breast diameter being proportionate to the rest of your body, which is usually (but not always) the case.

If your plastic surgeon has sizers, be sure to wear a tight sports bra (preferably two), as doing so makes the sizers more accurate. Incidentally, plastic bags filled with rice tend to be less useful for sizing as they do not easily conform to the shape of the breast. You may also use water balloons that are filled to various volumes (a more arduous task, and not as reliable because the shape of a water balloon is round).

If you seek large breasts, do not hesitate to say so. The only way your surgeon can provide you with your desired result is if you are open about your goals. Now is not the time to be modest.

Although 30 ml sounds like a lot, it is not. It is merely a fluid ounce or two tablespoons. So, if you are struggling between a 360 ml implant and a 390 ml implant (for example), you should stop perseverating. They are so similar that if you like one, you will also like the other. Conversely, if you end up deciding (after surgery) that the 360 was too small, then the 390 would have been too small and vice-versa. Once you have narrowed your selection down to two or three sizes, Dr. Loftus simply recommends you choose the largest among them, as this seems to be associated with greatest satisfaction in the end.

Following is an extremely rough guideline for the volume required to change a single cup size. Multiply by two or three for multiple cup size changes. Based on variation among bra manufacturers and women, please do not hold Dr. Loftus or your plastic surgeon accountable if these volumes are not accurate in your case.

Bra Circumference Volume Needed to Increase By One Cup Size

32 100-200 ml

34 150-250 ml

36 200-300 ml

38 250-350 ml

Traps to Avoid in Size Selection

The following are not necessarily useful ways to select implant size:

• Avoid relying on photos of other women: this can be very misleading, especially when height, weight, and chest diameter are different than your own.

• Avoid relying on lingerie ads: there is no way to tell which size implant will give the size proportionate to that seen in an ad.

• Do not request the same size implant as a friend whose implanted breasts appear aesthetic to you: this simply does not work unless you are very very similar in body size, breast size and shape, and size goals.

• Do not select a smaller implant than you desire with the hope that “no one will notice.” Those who do often later complain, “But no one noticed!”

• Do not select a size larger than you like because “everyone on the internet said they wished they had gone larger.” Be honest with yourself while trying sizers, and you will most likely select an appropriate size.

Don’t forget to visit general information on implant size.

Also, check out this pdf file for details about implant size, diameter, and projection.