We know that breast size affects many aspects of a woman’s life, including her relationships, social interactions and overall physical well-being. So, it’s not a surprise that more than 1.8 million women chose to undergo breast augmentation in 2018.
Breast augmentation is a lifetime commitment and the results are generally permanent. It is therefore essential that you are making the appropriate choice and understand all the implications of the surgery. One of the key aspect, if not the most important, of the surgery is choosing the right size and the process of doing so can be quite overwhelming!
As you know, bra cups are typically sized in A, B, C and up, but implants are measured in cubic centimeters — cc for short. This is because the implant size is a three-dimensional measurement – length, width and volume (protrusion from the chest). For approximately every 150 ccs, the breasts will usually increase about one cup size. That can vary a bit depending on your specific measurements and even the bra manufacturer, but it gives you an idea!
The question of implant size is not straightforward. So, read along and you will hopefully have the tools by the end that will help you make an informed decision:
Height and weight
Your physical build is extremely important in choosing the size of implant. If you have a small frame and a slight build, opting for large size implants can not only look unnatural, it might potentially lead to problems such as back pain and ‘bottoming out’ (implants losing internal support due to week muscles). On the other hand, if you are quite tall and broad, smaller implants will not serve the purpose of achieving bigger, more attractive breasts.
The overall width of your chest, or, in case of correcting asymmetrical breasts, the width of your breast, from cleavage to side, helps to determine the size of your implants. Ideally, the implants should be no larger than the chest diameter available. If you choose implants that are too narrow, your breasts might look deflated!
Your existing breast tissue must be strong enough to support the implant. When the implant achieves cohesiveness with the natural tissue, the results are more long lasting and it can also help prevent rotation or movement of implants. Selecting an implant that’s too big not only looks unnatural but can also potentially cause tissue damage and stretch out the skin.
Your lifestyle is an equally important factor to consider. For active women, athletes, or women with more physically demanding jobs, larger breast implants may not be ideal. It’s simple: the larger the breasts, the more tiresome and potentially painful it will be to carry the extra weight while working, running, lifting weights or playing a sport. It’s also important to think about what kinds of clothing you normally like to wear, and if those items will be compatible with larger breast implant sizes.
On a different note, we are all creatures of Nature. So, it may be worth taking some inspiration from the Nature. And nowhere better that Nature’s favourite ratio, the Phi, or the Divine Golden Ratio (1:1.618). Leonardo Da Vinci famously used this ratio in his drawing of the Vetruvian Man, measuring distances between different parts of the body to show what a perfect human body looks like. The Phi ratio is believed to be registered in the primordial human limbic system as the value of beauty, harmony, and balance of proportions. The three-dimensional anatomy of beautifully shaped breasts – front, lateral and vertical views, can be analysed geometrically based on the Phi ratio to reduce subjectivity in the implant size selection and produce more homogeneous results.
However, the final results of a Breast Augmentation surgery should not be determined as a function of volume but as a function of shape as well. A 2014 study conducted by a top London plastic surgeon revealed a scientifically ideal proportion to measure the attractiveness of breasts. According to this study, Scarlett Johansson has the perfect breasts. This statement was backed by a public poll in which 87% of people voted in favour. So, what are these ideal proportions, you must be wondering! Let me put you out of your misery! The ideal proportions are 45 per cent of the breast above the line of the nipples (nipple meridian) and a generous 55 per cent below. This means the nipples should point upward at an angle of 20 degrees, creating alluring, attractive breasts.
Now that you have the tools to determine the right size for your Breast implants, it’s important to discuss these with your surgeon during your consultation. It’s always good to bring along a friend or a loved one to your consultation to get a different perspective on your implant decision. But remember, it’s your body, so it’s ultimately your decision.
During your initial consultation, your surgeon will discuss your surgery goals and take accurate measurements to identify the ideal volume, diameter and projection for your desired breast profile. While some surgeons would help you in the process by placing progressively larger rice bags or even implants in your future bra, others may use 3D imaging techniques. You may even be able to take home some external implants, which are basically gel filled bags that you insert in your future bra (the desired bra size you wish to achieve post-surgery). Try them on for a few days, indulging in your routine activities including your usual exercises, and get a feel for the potential size. You can also discuss with your family or friends how well that size suits you.
Before you go, I want to talk about a very critical but often overlooked consideration in Breast Augmentation surgery – your usual weight and your propensity to lose or gain weight. As with all surgeries, a stable weight for your body shape is critical to achieving your desired results and healing post-surgery. Maintaining your ideal weight through healthy eating and moderate exercise can benefit. But if you have the tendency to shift weight frequently – whether gaining or losing, you need to discuss this with your chosen surgeon before you book your surgery.
While size is a critical consideration in choosing the right implants for you, there are other aspects such as the shape and position. We will talk about these in our blogs to follow. Keep your eyes peeled!