Breast Implant Sizing Orange County
Choosing the Right Breast Implant Size For You
The first question that most prospective patients ask themselves and their surgeon is: “How big should I go?” There are many valid reasons patients seek out this procedure, such as feeling self-conscious about their body image and wanting to feel more feminine and confident. This often needs to be balanced with staying conservative and not being too large for fear of what others might think or say. There is also the fear of not fitting into your clothes! When it comes to sizing, believe it or not, most women will UNDERSIZE themselves when requesting an implant size. Why? You might not want to hear this but we’re going to tell you anyway: you need to forget thinking about cup size. As women, we tend to think in cup sizes because that is how we buy our bras. The most common comment we hear is, “I’d like to be a C-cup”. When we hear that we always ask more questions. This is because cup size for patients having breast augmentation is a very subjective measurement. Everyone wears their bras differently and every bra manufacturer makes them differently. You may be a 36C in one bra and a 34D in another. And when you check out all the different styles at your local Victoria’s Secret, you can understand why we say think proportion and shape, not cup size!
When it comes to confusion, cleavage is right up there with cup size. It’s important to understand before your surgery that increasing the size of your breasts is not what gives you cleavage. Rather, cleavage is a function of the shape and width of your chest and how close your breasts are together. When you were little, do you remember looking down and crossing your arms to pretend you had cleavage? It’s the same principal here. If your breasts are set wide on your chest, you will have more fullness after your augmentation, but not necessarily more cleavage. Conversely, if your body is narrow below your shoulders and your breasts are naturally close together, you’ll have great cleavage even with a small implant. During surgery Dr. Aiello creates a precise pocket along the midline and center of the chest (the sternum) to allow for beautiful cleavage on everyone. And remember, you can buy a bra that will help too!
When determining sizing, consider your body frame, height, weight, shoulder width, hip width and current breast volume. At your consultation we measure all of these and more including chest shape, nipple-areola complex position and size, drooping level and breast size. All of these factors play into what ultimately will give you the size to be happiest and most comfortable. So, how do the CC’s (measurement of volume in an implant) relate to breast size? There is a misconception that a certain amount of CC’s equals a certain increase in cup size. This is not true. Implant sizes are based on the amount of fluid or gel in the implant itself. Remember as you increase in volume (size) you will need to use a larger implant to maintain proportion (with the exception of starting breast volume of course.) So if you are 5’ tall and petite, you will typically need a much smaller implant than if you are 5’9” with broad shoulders and wide hips. Implants are available as small as 125cc and can go way up from there. The average patients are generally in the 350cc to 450cc range. Bottom line, what size you end up is really not as important as how happy you are with what you look like.
So, what are some steps you can take to figure out what amount of breast volume (and therefore size) you are most comfortable with? The first step that many patients take is looking at photos online. If you do this, make sure you are looking at non-photo shopped photos from a plastic surgeon’s website. This ensures what you are seeing is real and consistent in lighting and postures. Have you ever looked in a magazine and found a hair style you liked only to be told by your hairdresser that it won’t work for you because your hair is too fine, curly, straight etc.? That can happen with what you see in plastic surgery before and after pictures as well. The important thing to do is to find BEFORE photos which resemble your own appearance. Be honest with yourself about what you are trying to change and be realistic. The size you want cannot be really be found by looking at photos of another patient, but finding a photo that shows what you are picturing in your head as your ideal outcome will at least give Dr. Aiello an idea of what you think looks good for shape and overall look.
THE RICE TEST
Next and most important to determine your desired size is the Rice Test. This will be a close approximation to what you think looks good for you – on your body, with your clothes. You do this by making a rice stocking implant that you can vary in size and “try on” to give you an appreciation of what you look like in that size. Since most people know what too big is but not what is big enough, we recommend this process can help you better decide if what the right size is for you. Here are the detailed instructions:
1. Cut the feet at the ankle of an old pair of pantyhose or use knee high nylons (make sure they are not reinforced toes or support hose.)
2. Fill each foot with rice, starting with 2 cups. Tie a knot being sure there is 2-3 inches between where the knot is and where the rice begins.
3. Take the nylon feet filled with 2 cups of rice each and shape them into patties. Make sure that they are made as large as the circumferential base of your breast and have an even projection.
4. Now you’re ready to try on! Put on a sports bra with no padding or underwire.
5. Insert the rice patties and try on different types of clothes. Try at least four to five different outfits, including a form fitting t-shirt and dress clothes.
Some things to note while trying on:
– If the 2 cup size looks too large then reduce them by ¼ cup and retry the clothes. Add or remove rice by ¼ cup of rice at a time until you reach the desired size.
-If you are undecided and like what you see in the mirror butfeel it may be too big, then take a photo of yourself in this size and a smaller size. Compare the photos until you decide which one you think you look best in.
-You can also wear the rice patties out and about, this way you get the opportunity to examine yourself in mirrors or store windows, as well as see how people respond to your changed body image.
Once you are comfortable with how you look, just bring your rice patties to your pre-op. You can measure ahead of time, but we’ll get the measurements of rice inside when you bring them in!
The Rice Test really helps you see what volume is and how it will look in your clothes. It is an important step in helping us help ensure that you are the size you want to be. Although Dr. Aiello will be your guide, he won’t dictate what size you should be. It’s collaboration. However, there may be a situation when he doesn’t recommend going with the size you want. If that’s the case, you will have further discussions to make sure you understand the reasoning behind this. Some other important factors to consider and convey to Dr. Aiello:
- Think about your personality and how you want to be perceived by the public. Breasts that are larger than what would be proportionate may suit your style. Or you may lean towards looking more natural.
- Factor in your exercise routine. If you are a runner or serious athlete, you will want to choose implants that won’t interfere with your fitness routine.
- Lastly, don’t pick your implant size based on how it looks on a friend. Even though you and your friend may seem similar in terms of body size, there are other factors that must be considered. It’s natural to think “My girlfriend has 350’s so I should get the same size because they look perfect on her.” But the important words are “…on her.” If you are open to different implant options, it’s more likely that you’ll find the one that is just right for you!