Choosing a Perfect Implant

As a plastic surgeon who specializes in breast augmentation, one of the most common questions I get from my patients is “How do you determine which implant is best for me?” It’s a great question. On the ground, the implant selection process requires careful consideration to make sure you get the best results. This is why it is so important to go to an office like ours that spends extra time working through this decision. But what is that process? To get you more acquainted with the right way to choose your perfect breast implant, take a look at this blog article. In it, we provide an inside look into our step-by-step approach to making the right choice.

Where we start: your breast dimensions

We always begin by measuring the dimensions of your breast, including your breast width. This allows us to select an implant that matches your anatomy for more natural and body-positive results. It also establishes a baseline dimension that will significantly influence what implant sizes and profiles we can accommodate. Implants that are too wide or narrow for your chest can lead to problems like visible rippling, an unbalanced appearance, and wonky placement. From there we then consider:

  • The best volume – Based on how much fuller you wish to appear, we select a range of implant volumes for you to compare. Generally, more volume creates a more augmented look.
  • The best projection – This refers to how much the implant projects off your chest. During your pre-operative appointment, we’ll have you look at options with differing projections. Less projection usually looks more subtle while more projection adds perkiness, specifically in the upper part of your breast (above your nipple and areola).

A little more on implant projection 

As we noted, if you stick with your natural breast width, implant projection will ultimately determine your outcome, natural versus augmented. Determining the best projection for you comes from what we see in your exam and what you want to achieve:

  • Upper pole fullness – fuller, more projecting implants provide more volume in the cleavage and upper breast, above your nipple and areola.  Ask yourself: Are you deficient in these areas?
  • Support needs – higher projecting implants in most cases offer greater structure and support to your breast tissue.  Ask yourself: Are your breasts not only small but also loose and need support?  
  • Rippling concerns – More projecting implants are usually overfilled allowing them to maintain their shape. This also means they will have less visible rippling after surgery.  Ask yourself: Do you have enough natural breast tissue to camouflage an underfilled implant that tends to ripple?     

Seeing is believing

To demonstrate how this all comes together, we have patients try on sample implants in different sizes and profiles. It’s one thing to talk abstractly about cubic centimeters and projections but seeing and feeling the differences is more relatable. We have numerous implant sizers that are slipped into your bra to simulate possible outcomes.  When you are trying these on, remember: 

  • Lower profile Implants – tend to be less filled, will appear more natural.
  • Higher profile implants – tend to be overfilled, will appear less natural, have a more animated shape 

It all comes down to the trade-off

By starting with your breast width, you can then work your way through different-sized implants. When you set the width of the implant, the only way to increase the size is to increase the projection.  In other words:

  • For a set width, smaller implants will have less projection while larger implants will have more projection.
  • When working through the selection process, you will have to find your tolerance for projection.  More projection will equal more of a cup size change but a more augmented appearance.  And vice versa, for less projecting implants.  The real question is what do you prefer?
  • By looking in a mirror with different sizers in your bra and at photos of people with similar body types who have had breast augmentation, the type of “look” you want will become clear.  Seeing is believing. 

Want to read more? Saline vs. SIlicone

Trust the process

While the array of options may seem overwhelming at first, trusting an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon and their staff to guide you through the implant selection process from start to finish is key. In our office, we help each of our patients customize choices to their body, lifestyle, and aesthetic vision. I hope this inside look demystifies the selection process so that you feel informed and confident going into surgery. That is our top priority. Please reach out with any other questions and if you haven’t already, schedule an appointment with our office today!