Blog HomeBreast Enhancement
How is Breast Size Measured?
Breast Enhancement

How is Breast Size Measured?

Written by
Juli Albright
Juli is our patient advocate and community connection. She balances work, life and family with grace.
Juli is our patient advocate and community connection. She balances work, life and family with grace.

How is Breast Size Measured?

Measuring your breast size is an important consideration before getting breast implants. Round implants come in several shapes to adjust with different body types. Your plastic surgeon will take three dimensions to understand the shape of the breast implant. They will measure the diameter, which is the width of the implants. Secondly, your plastic surgeon will observe the projection or profile of an implant. This is a measurement of the distance an implant covers from the chest wall to the outside. Lastly, they will measure the volume, which is the space an implant covers.

In a specific volume, the high profile breast augmentation has the highest amount of projection, while low profile ones have the lowest projection. On the other hand, moderate profile breast implants have a projection amount between the low and high profile implants. The same rules apply to the implant’s diameter. In the given implant diameter, the high profile implants have the highest projection, and the low profile will project the least amount.

Implant Width Needs to Fit with Breast Width

Generally, implants with moderate profiles adjust accurately in average size breast. These implants are great for getting a nice natural appearance of the breast. In comparison, high-profile breast implants look perfect in females with narrow breasts. They also give you rounder and pointer breasts. However, with accurate measurements, the high-profile breast implants look extremely aesthetic. As low profiles give you less projection, you will observe your breast a little wider after the surgery. These are best for people who have wide breasts and want volume at the corners of the breast, especially in the upper breast and cleavage areas.

Breast Implant Dimensions and Names

You can find out implants with different names that different companies (Allergan, Mentor, etc.).have given them based on the implant profiles. The simplest names are low, moderate, and high profile breast implants. Besides, you may also hear more complex names for silicone gel implants, like low, low-plus, moderate, full, and extra-full. When you compare implants, you need to dig deeper and understand the entire family of the implants to choose a perfect implant position and dimension for yourself. Plus, make sure not to compare names when comparing different dimensions of several companies. Confused yet? This is why we recommend working with a board-certified plastic surgeon to help choose the right implant for you.

Shaped Breast Implant Dimensions

Unlike round implants, shaped ones have some extra dimensions. The gummy bear implants have a certain appearance or shape. This is why they vary in width, height, volume, and projection. However, the method will stay the same for adjusting the shapes implant in your body. The only difference will be the implant's height and width, which are a bit different from each other.

How to Pick the Best Breast Implant Size?

Cup Size

Like all other surgeries, installing an ideal breast implant is an art. If you want to get the ideal size for yourself, you need to consider several factors. The first thing is the appearance you want to get. It is important to consider your desired shape and areas of fullness. Generally, patients use photos to make their surgeon understand their desirable breasts. Plastic surgeons do not use bra sizes to measure breast size. So, avoid using only the cup size as a parameter to tell your surgeon about it.

Try-On Breast Implants

Another best way is to use try-on implants in a new bra you want to fill with your breast. When you try on different implants, it will give you and your surgeon a rough idea of how the breast will look after surgery. You can try different implants during your consultation or pre-surgery appointments. However, don’t forget that the breast can appear slightly different after surgery than these experiments.

Vectra 3-D Computer Simulations

Some surgeons also use Vectra 3-D computer breast augmentation stimulator. It helps to explain the breast implant shapes and options to the patients.

Your Breast Width

Before surgery, you need to determine the dimension of your chest and breast. Of course, when you try new clothes, you don’t choose any size and check how it looks. You pick a new dress that can fit your body. The best way to determine the size of the breast is by measuring the width of the breast. On the other hand, you can measure your breast width by measuring the distance from the cleavage area to your breast's outer edge.

Breast Implant Diameter

You also need to determine the diameter of the implant based on your breast width. A breast implant similar or a bit narrower to your actual breast’s width is mostly perfect for women. In that case, if your width is 12 cm, try to opt for an implant with a diameter of 12 cm or less.

Breast Tissue Thickness

Another thing you need to do is to check the thickness of the breast’s tissues. Women with thick breast tissues can easily adjust with wider implants than a woman with thin tissues. This is the key difference that determines how an implant will react with your body and stretch your skin and tissues. Furthermore, the wider implants have more chances of stretching and make tissues thin. This results in a lack of padding over the implants, which makes implant ripples noticeable.

Shaped, Gummy Bear Implant Size

The gummy bear implants are available in several sizes and shapes. The rules of sizing of shapes implants are similar to the round implants. However, you may need to measure the breast width of these implants differently. The difference between the shaped implants is that you need to measure the height of the breast. In this case, the low-height breast implants are perfect for the short breast. Women who want more fullness at the top of their breasts need to pick an implant with a higher height. Not to mention, a medium height implant usually may be used with all types of breast sizes.

How do Plastic Surgeons Choose Breast Implants?

After considering your goals, breast size and shape, you and your plastic surgeon can easily pick the best implant for you. Make sure to consider all three dimensions of the implant. Firstly, you need to think about the implant volume; your surgeon will get an idea through your desired cup size, try-on size, and breast augmentation photos. Secondly, your doctor will notice the implant's diameter, which should be a bit lower than your breast's actual width. Moreover, the surgeon will consider the implant dimension, which is an outward projection. This depends on the diameter of the implant you choose. Lastly, if you are picking a shaped implant, your surgeon will also consider the implant’s height.

Intra-Operative Sizing

Sometimes, the best breast implants for a patient are not clear in the pre-operative planning. It happens when the surgeon and patient pick two different implant choices and can’t decide one. In that case, a surgeon uses the implant try-on method.

Your surgeon will try different implants in the O.R. It is a straight forward procedure and only takes few minutes. Additionally, each implant has its corresponding temporary size. When your doctor surgically creates an implant pocket in your breasts, they will place a sizing implant. Then the surgeon will observe the results and choose the one that is closer to your expectations. Once your health provider decides, they remove the size implant and place a permanent one.

Things to Ask Yourself

You need to choose the size and shape of your breast carefully. It is about your own body, so it should be your personal choice. Before picking one, ask yourself the following questions.

·      Do I want a nice and natural appearance of the breast?

·      Do I have to face any problems in activities after implant, like athletic activities?

·      How can a breast implant impact my clothing and bra choice?

·      How can my implant impact the aging and health of my breast?

·      Will I have to face visible implant ripples after surgery?

·      Will the size I am picking remain my choice after 10 to 20 years?

These questions will help you understand what you want and how you will feel after the surgery. Don’t forget that you may have to avoid several activities for a couple of months to let your implant adjust properly.

Implant Size Is a Long-Term Life Decision

Breast augmentation should not be an impulse surgery, but one you have desired for a while and carefully researched. It’s really crucial to think that you need to live with the shape and size you have to choose. It should give you happiness and satisfaction. We advise you to consider it as a long-term decision for your life. This is why think about how your implant will look soon after the surgery and in the future, after 10 to 20 years.

Furthermore, your plastic surgeon should be there to help you make the right decision. Tell them about your preferences and concerns. They will help you determine the perfect shape and size of the breast implant, which will also last for many years.


The breast implant size is your choice. You can pick any shape and size that you think will look perfect on your body. Just make sure to pick the best surgeon for your breast implants process who can help you get your desired results. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Albright, San Antonio board-certified plastic surgeon, who will help answer your questions about the procedure and help make your goals become reality!

Written by
Juli Albright

Get In Touch

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Ready for your change?

Virtual Consultation
Photo Camera icon
An Envelop - email icon
Phone icon