How to Select the Right Size for Your Breast Implants

September 13, 2014 — by Stephen Hardy M.D.
Tags: Breast Augmentation Plastic Surgery

A woman with well proportioned breastsA breast augmentation can give patients a renewed sense of confidence and satisfaction with their appearance. This assumes, of course, that patients make informed choices regarding their procedure and opt for implants that appropriately complement their body type and personal expectations. Among these decisions is the matter of implant size, which can be a deceptively nuanced issue. By understanding exactly how implant size can affect the results of your augmentation, you and your doctor can better ensure a successful and safe procedure. Use the following information, as provided by our Missoula practice, to learn how to select the best implant size for your own augmentation.

Implant Size and Appearance

The most obvious factor to consider in regard to implant size is how it will impact the breasts’ appearance. Patients may assume at first that larger implants will have a more appealing aesthetic, but larger sizes can have cosmetic disadvantages too. First, every woman should consider the size of her ideal breasts in relation to her body type. For women with naturally small breasts and a modest frame, a large and sudden upgrade may not be the best option. On the other hand, women who already have large breasts and full curves may require relatively large implants in order to create a more visible change.

Patients should also consider how size plays a role in the texture of their implants. For saline implants, a large volume may result in firm and rounded breasts, which some women may find unappealing. Even silicone implants, which tend to look more natural in shape, may create an overly “fake” appearance if the implant takes up a disproportionate amount of space within the breast pocket. By speaking with your doctor about your cosmetic goals, you can get an accurate idea of which implant volumes are most suitable for you.

Are Large Implants Safe?

Even if some women are sure they want a large upgrade in size, they may have reservations concerning possible medical risks and complications. For instance, larger implants carry a greater risk of capsular contracture, wherein thick scar tissue forms around the implant and constricts it, eventually requiring revision surgery. Because large implants are heavier, they also pose a greater risk of sinking below the breast pocket and creating a “double bubble” effect. Even if no visible complications are present, larger breasts can result in physical discomfort over the years, such as lower back pain or shoulder pain from the added weight.

Still, each of these risks will vary among patients. Those who already have moderate- to large-sized breasts can more easily support large implants, lessening the odds of pain or complication. Moreover, your doctor will only approve your breast augmentation if the specifics of surgery are deemed safe and appropriate.

Consider Your Priorities

Breast implant size can have different advantages and disadvantages, depending on a patient’s lifestyle and priorities. For patients who do not have a particularly active lifestyle and are primarily concerned with improving their curves, they will most likely have a greater number of options concerning their implants. This is especially true for patients with a wider breast base, as they will be able to support larger or wider implants. Conversely, patients who play sports or have active lifestyles may find that large breasts get in the way of certain movements or activities. By discussing your day-to-day habits with your doctor, you can come to a reasonable compromise between cosmetics, comfort, and practicality.

Schedule a Consultation

We will gladly assist you in discerning the right options for your breast augmentation. Schedule a consultation with one of our experienced plastic surgeons to learn more about breast implants and which ones are best for you. 

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