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My breast implant patients often ask how to choose the optimal breast implant size. In my opinion, there are three factors that should be taken into account:

  1. The patient’s personal wishes
  2. The patient’s anatomy
  3. Trialing breast implant sizers

The patient’s wishes

Cosmetic surgery is often about obtaining a certain look that a patient is seeking. Most patients have an idea of how they would like their breasts to look, but are not able to verbalize exactly what this is. I find that having patients look through photos of breast augmentation patients helps me to understand what they are seeking. By looking at the photos, they let me know if a particular result is ‘too small’, ‘too large’, or ‘just right’ for them. Based on this information, I can usually define the ‘look’ that a patient is trying to achieve. I tell patients not to be hung up on particular cup size or ‘number of cc’s’ of a particular implant. Instead, they should focus on what looks good to them.

A patient’s anatomy

Any given breast implant will look different in one patient versus another, due to variations in patient height, weight, chest circumference, native breast volume, etc… Every patient’s anatomy determines an optimal range of implant sizes that will achieve a natural appearance. By this, I mean some implants will be too small, and some implants will be too large, but there is a ‘sweet spot’ (i.e. a range of small to large implants) where the most natural results are attained. During the consultation, I take note of anatomical chest dimensions, and characteristics of the soft tissues, to determine the range of implants that can be potentially used. Establishing this size range, together with knowing the patient’s desired look, allows me to suggest (a few) implants for their surgery.

Trialing with breast implant sizers

The last step is to confirm how a particular implant may look on the patient. In my office, there is a full range of implant sizers that a patient may ‘try on’, with the use a specialized bra. These sizers are identical in shape, weight, and feel, to the real implants. With some limitations, patients can get a fairly good idea of what their final outcome would be. Patients often find it helpful to compare different sizes to help make their choice.

Tying it all together

Choosing the right breast implant size is critical in achieving successful breast augmentation. It is a very personal decision that is guided by the attributes of a patient’s individual anatomy. Using a multipronged approach to acquire information, and select the ‘perfect’ implant size has worked extremely well in my Toronto breast augmentation practice.