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How to Size Breast Implants?
Breast Enhancement

How to Size Breast Implants?

Written by
Dr. William Albright
Updated
Dr. William Albright is a board certified plastic surgeon specializing in breast and body procedures.
Dr. William Albright is a board certified plastic surgeon specializing in breast and body procedures.

How to Size Breast Implants?

Here at Alamo Plastic Surgery, we use an anatomic based approach to help size your implants.  This is an important decision, and we are here to help you through every step! Check out the YouTube video below or continue reading for four simple steps to guarantee you the correct breast implant size for your goals!

1.  What is YOUR target?  

Check out our previous YouTube video on finding wish pics before your breast surgery consultation. Please note all photos should be at least 4 months after surgery. Results on the OR table or a few weeks after the procedure can be very misleading.

We want to know the cosmetic look you desire.  Specifically focus on the volume you desire.  For most women this is a cup size and whether it is proportionate to your body. The other main questions is what shape do you want your breasts to be?  In general for breast shape, you should look at a few main :

A. Breast position on the chest wall

B. Breast volume (proportionate or disproportionate)

C. Breast Consistency (soft or firm)

D. Shape of the breast.

Typically for most women, the shape of the breast changes with the upper pole projection (how far outward is the top of the breast). This is usually best seen from the side profile or oblique view.  This is how much tissue looks to be defying gravity and filling up the upper pole.  Usually after children, patients will complain about "lack of fullness" or having a "gap" at the top of their bra.  In general as we age, we can expect less upper pole projection as the breast succumbs to gravity and undergoes natural transition from glandular to a more fat dominant breast. Based on the upper pole projection the shape changes as follows:


1. Mid shape:  A straight to slightly projected upper pole slope.  Overall Impression: "does she or does she not have implants".  Keep them guessing.

2. Mid-augmented shape:  More projected upper pole but still less volume at the top than the bottom.  Overall Impression: "I think she has implants".

3.  Augmented shape: Maximum achievable projection of the upper pole and a closer match of upper and lower pole volume.  Overall Impression: "Everyone knows she has implants".

Different Breast Shapes

2. Anatomy

At your consultation, we take all your measurements.

3. Implant Sizers

This tells us how much volume you want to see in clothes (ex. Is it in line with hips or not?). For this we ask you to narrow it down to a 50cc range breast implant size. For this, we use good old-fashioned implant sizers. These are just stackable inserts in a bra it gives us an idea of the volume you want to see in clothes.

4. Combine Steps

Now, we put it all together to make sure implant size is the the volume you want to see in clothes, meets your cosmetic target, and fits in your body. If the answer is yes to all those questions, then the implant size is apparent. If the answer is no or maybe then I discuss the options with my patients and give them the information to pick what is most important to us. As another option, there is also 3D modeling which will give you another datapoint. I find, however, they are not always the most accurate for predicting your final result so that is why this is optional.

Curious to learn more? Check out the YouTube videos or send us an inquiry.

Written by
Dr. William Albright
Updated

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