According to Dr. Alan Dulin of American Institute for Plastic Surgery, "when you're choosing breast implants, bigger isn't always better." In addition to giving you a top-heavy look, implants that are too large can cause a wide range of physical problems. Patients who've chosen implants that were too large have reported complications like nipple numbness, stretch marks and back pain. In some cases, the implants have actually become visible beneath the skin. Learning some of the basics before your procedure can help you to choose the right breast implant size for your body.
How Are Implants Measured?
Breast implant sizes are measured according to the volume of saline or silicone filler that they can hold. As a general rule, an implant measuring between 150 and 200 cubic centimeters augments the breasts by about 1 to 1 1/2 cup sizes. However, different manufacturers have different standards for cup size, so focus more on the implant's proportion and size.
In addition to measuring volume, you need to choose your implant profile. The profile determines how much your breasts will jut forward when someone is looking at you from the right or left side. Implants with a Moderate profile provide a little bit of protrusion while Moderate-profile Plus implants have a fuller look. High-profile implants protrude from the chest more than any other size. In general, the wider the chest, the smaller the profile should be.
What Size Fits Your Lifestyle?
Start by asking yourself some general questions about how you want to look after surgery. If you're an outgoing person who isn't afraid to turn heads, then you may be a good candidate for a bigger, bolder size. Alternatively, if you're reserved and don't want to attract a lot of attention, then you should stick to a more conservative implant size.
In addition, think about how larger breasts could affect your exercise routine. A woman that runs or plays high-impact sports might dislike the way that larger implants affect her center of gravity. Also, larger implants can cause bouncing and discomfort during exercise, so athletic women should think carefully before choosing big implants.
You can get an idea of the right implant size by trying these suggestions from the American Society of Cosmetic Breast Surgery. Start by going to a store and purchasing an inexpensive bra. The bra should have the same cup size as you want to have after surgery. When you return home, grab the bra, a small plastic resealable bag and a measuring cup. After you put the bra on, pour some warm water to the bag and seal it. Put the bag inside one bra cup over the front curve of your breast. Keep adding warm water until the bag fills the bra cup.
When you're finished, open the bag and pour the water into the measuring cup. One milliliter equals approximately one cubic centimeter. The number of cubic centimeters of water required to fill the bag will generally match the breast implant size that's right for you. Repeat the process for your other breast just in case one breast is slightly bigger than the other.
Making the Choice
During the cosmetic surgery consultation, you'll try on silicone sizers. Looking at yourself with different sizers tucked into your bra will help you finalize the look that you want. Bring a friend or your partner with you to get an outsider's perspective on your new size. Also, try on some different wardrobe pieces while you're wearing the sizers to make sure that you'll look good in your favorite clothing.
Whether you want to fill out a swimsuit top or turn heads in a low-cut cocktail dress, choosing the right breast implant size for your body can pave the way for lots of added confidence. Remember that when it comes to breast augmentation, a little can go a long way.
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