What’s the best way to choose the breast implant size?

You’re interested in breast implants but need help choosing a size. We’ll show you the best way to choose the breast implant size.

April 30, 2021

4 min read


So you’ve been thinking about it for a while now, and you’re ready for a breast augmentation. You know you want larger breasts, but how do you choose the right implant size?

Start with Your Idea of the Perfect Breast Size

Think of your ideal breasts – size, shape, and overall look. Put together a collection of pictures that show the type of breasts you’d like to have. When looking at pictures, “before and after” surgery photos are more useful than just pictures of breasts. When you are looking at “before and after photos”, pick photos where the “before” photo looks like the way you do now and the “after” photo is one that you think looks good. You can also put together a collection of photos of breasts that you don’t like the look of.

Get Measured

At your consultation appointment, your plastic surgeon will do an exam where they’ll take your measurements. They’ll measure your chest width, along with your breast dimensions. These measurements, including your height, weight, and body frame, will help determine a range of implant sizes that will be best suited to you.

Review Photos with Your Doctor

Having examined you and determining your unique physical attributes, your plastic surgeon will want to review your collection of photos with you. Your surgeon will use all of this information to give you an honest and realistic idea of what your surgical results will be like. If they tell you that you may not be able to achieve the look of your photos, try to take their advice to heart. Your breasts are uniquely your own. After the surgery, your breasts will look improved but still look like you, not someone else.

Discuss the Big Four

Your doctor will also talk to you about the “4 important questions” to answer when choosing a breast implant.

Saline or Silicone

First is the question of saline or silicone implants. You’ll learn about the pro’s and con’s and get to feel the implants.

Incision Location

Second, what incision location would you like? There are a few options. The most common locations are under the breast (where an underwire would sit; called “inframammary fold”) and around the areola (called “periareolar”).

Over or Under the Muscle

Third, you’ll talk about “over-” or “under-the-muscle” implant placement. There are pros and cons to each placement location. Make sure you go over this in detail. Some doctors only know how to do it one way, so be on the lookout when the choice isn’t being customized for you.

Implant Size

Finally, the best part of the consultation is choosing the implant size. While there are various techniques to choose the implant size, the best sizing technique is one that is both simple and effective.

Try Them On at the Office for Size

This is probably the most simplest and most effective technique. With this method you’ll get to see and try on a variety of implants in different sizes. First, you change into a sports bra and a plain T-shirt. Then in front of a full-length mirror, you try on different implant sizes in the sports bra. Your plastic surgeon should give you a starting point based on your measurements and goals discussed.

At first, go with your gut. Does it look too big? Then try something a bit smaller. Does it look too small? Try something bigger. If you are unsure between some options, you can even try one of each. Compare both sides. Which one do you like better? Again, for now, you’ll want to go with your gut reaction.

Some people find it helpful to bring a friend and also different types of clothes they want to wear. If you bring a friend, make sure he or she is someone who knows your preferences and won’t push you into something they want instead of what you want.

Keep going, trying different sizes until you find a few options that feel “just right”.

“Rice-Bag” Sizers at Home

As “homework”, use the “rice-bag” technique to make your own sample implants at home. Using the milliliter (mL) side of a measuring cup, measure out dry rice (not dry ice!) in the size of the implants you’re deciding between. Remember that cc’s (cubic centimeters) and mL’s (milliliters) are equal, so if you’re thinking of 375 cc implants, pour 375 mL of dry rice into your measuring cup.

Pour the rice into a nylon stocking and tie the end so there’s room for the rice to spread out when you set the nylon on a flat surface. You can use this method to make multiple trial implants for you to wear at home, going up in increments of 50 mL.

Next, put your rice-bag sizers in a sports bra, put on a tight T shirt over that and look in the mirror or show your significant other. Once you decide on the size that you like, try it on with different outfits and wear it going out to a restaurant. This will help you to “test drive” your implant size.

By putting in this effort, we want you to be able to say after surgery, “This size is perfect!”.

Choosing the Right Implant Size

With so many implant choices these days, the decision can seem overwhelming. But remember that there are really only 4 major decisions you have to make (saline or silicone, incision location, over or under the muscle, and size) and the process will seem easier. And, within those 4 decisions, nearly all the choices are pretty clear cut for most people. Usually, women spend the longest time with deciding on the size. It’s an important decision.

By following the steps we’ve outlined above, you are much more likely to find your “Goldilocks” implant, the one that’s “just right”!

In the Temecula and Murrieta area?

If you are in the Temecula, Murrieta, and surrounding area, we would love to meet you. When you schedule a consultation appointment with one of our doctors and our patient care coordinator, you’ll get to explore the different implant profiles for yourself to ensure that you’re making the best decision for you.

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