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Choosing the Best Implant Size to Reach Your Goals

cosmetic surgery saratoga springs nyOur plastic surgeon, Dr. Steven Yarinsky, is highly experienced in helping women achieve their ideal shape through breast enlargement surgery. A factor that often concerns women, however, is selecting the right implant size to help them reach their ideal outcome. To address some popular questions regarding selecting the right size, shape, and type of implant, Dr. Yarinsky recently sat down in a Q&A interview. See below for his answers.

Q: What are the most common concerns expressed to you regarding choosing the right implant size?

Dr. Yarinsky: Women are concerned they will be too large or too small. They also have concerns of how much cleavage they will have with and without wearing a bra or bathing suit top.

Q: What factors are necessary for a patient to consider when selecting implant size?

Dr. Yarinsky: The most important factors to consider in choosing implant size is a woman’s own anatomy and if she desires more upper breast fullness. The woman’s natural breast width helps dictate to some degree the largest size implant her body can accommodate. If she chooses to have more fullness on the top half of the breasts, a round rather than shaped implant offers the best option. A round implant fills more of the upper hemisphere of the breast compared with a teardrop-shaped implant.

Q: How do you help patients select the appropriate implant size?

Dr. Yarinsky: Our patients choose what volume they want and place prefilled gel implant sizers inside a bra that we provide. They can also mimic this sizing technique at home by filling a zip-lock plastic bag with the desired volume using water or rice and placing it inside their own bra. I let women know if they choose such a small size to the point of it not making a difference. I also let them know if they choose such a large implant that they will have to change their first name to “Pamela” or “Dolly” as that is the aesthetic appearance that they will most likely achieve. It is amazing to me that most women choose a size that fits quite nicely with their own body proportions to give them an aesthetically pleasing breast size.

I have found that, while helpful, computer imaging and morphing as well as modifying breast size and shape on the digital photograph of a patient often leads to unreasonable expectations about what result can be obtained. So I have found that computer-altered images are not the most effective way to guide choice of implant size or shape. In the end I strive to over-exceed our patients’ expectations, not trick them using computer graphics into choosing a size or shape that will not provide them with the result they desire.

After choosing a volume for the implants, we will recommend using flatter low-profile, moderate profile, or pointier high-profile or more projecting implants depending on a woman’s natural (preoperative) breast width. The implant needs to fit a woman’s existing breast base width for the natural result.

Q: What measurements are taken from a patient during their consultation and how can these help determine the appropriate implant size?

Dr. Yarinsky: I carefully measure a patient’s chest wall size, the distance between her collarbone to her nipples, the distance between her nipples, the distance between her nipples to the fold beneath the breast and also the width of her breasts. In addition we note whether she has asymmetry in nipple position – i.e. one higher or more laterally positioned than the other side – and whether there is significant droopiness which would indicate the need for nipple and areola repositioning or perhaps a breast lift.

I also check to see how much skin and muscle thickness is present above the nipple and areola to be sure there is adequate “soft tissue coverage” over the surface of the breast implant. All these measurements are critical to help choose what implant type, style, fill volume, size and shape will be needed to best satisfy a woman’s expectations and to provide her with the optimum result.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to share with patients about choosing implants for a breast enhancement?

Dr. Yarinsky: At 6 weeks after breast augmentation – which is the time you can see the “90% result” when I poll my patients – half are happy with the size implant they chose and the other 50% wish they had gone a bit larger. So I recommend that if a woman is debating between two close implant volumes or sizes, she should choose the larger of the two volumes if all else is equal! That way at 6 weeks out, she is more likely to be pleased with her choice and the results.

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If you would like more information about breast implant sizing, or are ready to schedule your consultation with Dr. Yarinsky, please contact us today!