Don’t go too big or too small- learn the right way to choose a breast implant size!
“I want my pregnancy boobs back” or, “I want my breastfeeding breasts back.”
These are comments I hear all the time from patients. And I totally get it. Pregnancy and breastfeeding make you fill out shirts a little differently. Afterwards, what’s left can be a little saggy, and leave you feeling unfeminine. But how do you choose a breast implant size?
Using gel sizers to choose a breast implant size.
The tried-and-true standard is to use something to stuff your bra, literally. My office uses gel sizers shaped like bra padding. Patients try on different amounts of padding until they get to a look they like.
Technology may also be of help. 3D imaging software can allow you to get a visualization of what different implants will look like on your frame. There are some limitations however. The imaging only works well if you have no sagginess to speak of (um yeah… not something I’m personally familiar with!) And the projected look is never quite the same as the actual surgical result.
I also recommend to my patients that they look at before-and-after photos online to find things they both like and don’t like. Looking these photos over during their consultation helps me understand not only what look they want, but also helps me explain differences in anatomy and how that affects the ultimate results.
Choosing your surgeon is also critical for getting the right breast implant size.
Plastic surgery is an art form, and ultimately we are going by eye. What looks great to me, may not look great to someone else. So look at before and after photos- if a surgeon’s photos all show very full-busted women, this is likely their aesthetic. If the results are mostly natural, then your results probably will be too.
In addition, make sure you feel comfortable with your surgeon. Does he/she listen to what you’re saying, or do you feel blown off? The better listener he or she is, the more likely he/she will be able to achieve your goals.
“Most women regret not going larger.”
This is one of those sayings everyone has heard so many times they assume it’s true. And maybe in some areas of the country it is. But in the midwest, where I practice, I’ve literally had one patient want to go larger in the past five years. I think the ultimate goal is to pick a size you’re happy with. That being said, it’s helpful to know if you rather error on the side of too big or too small; knowing that gives me better information to achieve your ultimate goal.
Tips for right after surgery.
Right after your surgery is actually not the time to judge whether you chose the right size. You will have some swelling, and the implants will need to settle a little bit. So the initial appearance right after surgery is a little more generous in the cleavage area than your final surgical result will be. Give things at least a month to heal and settle before you start judging size.
Another word of advice? Your breasts will look bigger without clothing on! Do not be alarmed. This is totally normal. If your goal is to look proportional, then we want to make you look proportional in clothing (I’m assuming most people see you clothed, but if not, hey- I don’t judge!). Breasts look slightly smaller when you’re clothed, so they will look much bigger to you without a bra on. And that is totally normal.
Want to learn more about choosing the right breast implant size? You can watch my YouTube video here:
Dr. Greer is a Plastic Surgeon who practices in Cleveland, OH. Her passion is helping moms regain self-confidence by getting rid of sagginess, wrinkles, and stubborn fat. Read more about her at www.greerplastics.org.