Every year, breast augmentation is reported as one of the top three most common plastic surgery procedures. It’s also noted for its high level of patient satisfaction. Yet with most every consult there looms some anxiety with what I call “the size question.”
It is easy to understand why selecting an implant size can seem daunting for my breast augmentation patients here in Chicago. First, sizes a reported in “cc,” which, in day to day life, may not be used as a standard measure. Also, when looking online at before-and-after photos, it can be difficult to envision how a certain goal result achieved with a certain size may translate to any particular patient. Finally, a patient may have a friend or relative with a certain size they like but may have a different starting breast size.
I like to tell patients that the process to find the perfect implant size for them takes some work on both of our parts–but it is always achievable. In other words, gone are the days where a surgeon walks into the room, looks at the patient and picks an arbitrary size. The modern breast augmentation evaluation is a 4 step process we complete together. Here’s how:
Step 1: Goal Setting
I first start out my consultation by listening. I hear what the patient wants. I have women tell me what size they are now and what their goal cup size is. I study goal photos that they bring in from online or Instagram. This gives us a general sense of what size range may be suitable.
Step 2: Tissue Measurements
Next, I perform a series of measurements that involve chest wall and breast “footprint” dimensions. This is very important to do because this tells us what each patient’s capacity is to handle an implant of a certain size, and also what size will give a certain look (for example: subtle, tear drop, or extra cleavage).
Step 3: 3-D Imaging
With the above information in mind, we next perform what I think is the most important step in the process: computer-assisted 3-D imaging. Using this cutting edge technology, we are able to see what different implant sizes will look like once in place, and compare before and after. This amazing technology helps us further narrow down the the size range to just a few implant sizes.
Step 4: Preoperative Sizing
Once the range of sizes has been determined, the final step in picking the perfect size is to use sample sizing implants in the office to see what looks and feels the best to the patient. I like to perform this step at a separate visit where I encourage women to bring a friend or significant other as well as a few different outfits to try on over the sample implants. With all of the other steps complete, I find that at this step we universally agree on the perfect size.
We’d love to help you choose the right sized implant! Contact my office online to request your own consultation.