You’ve decided you want to get breast implants. Now what? At my Fairfield, CT, practice, breast augmentation patients often tell me that choosing implants is one of the most exciting and nerve-wracking parts of the process. However, if you have an open dialogue with your surgeon and realistic expectations for your results, you should have no problem selecting the best size and type of implant for your goals and your lifestyle.
The first step in getting a breast augmentation is choosing a plastic surgeon. First and foremost, make sure that he or she is board certified to ensure your health and safety. Research the surgeon’s background, with particular focus on training, experience, and examples of his/her work.
Once you have chosen a surgeon you trust and have decided to proceed with breast augmentation, he or she will help you select the appropriate implant size. Have a thorough discussion with your surgeon expressing your goals for the surgery; this will be critical in achieving your desired results. He or she will also take into consideration your body type, your body shape, and your age, among other things.
Most women want their breasts to look as natural as possible after surgery. Because of this, the implants should match your frame. For example, if you are naturally petite with a small frame, your body will not support a particularly large or wide implant. Just because a certain implant looks great on a friend or celebrity, doesn’t mean you will necessarily get the same results. Identical implants can look very different on different body types.
Your body shape also defines what type of implants will suit you. Women with a muscular or curvy build can more easily carry larger implants. In fact, some curvy women regret going too small with their implant selection. Women who are leaner may not feel physically comfortable carrying very large implants, and the results would look disproportionate.
Age is another deciding factor in choosing your implants. Younger women with more resilient skin and breast tissue may be able to get away with larger implants if that suits their appearance goals. However, older women usually have thinner skin and diminished breast tissue, so a smaller implant may provide a more natural-looking result.
Many women do not have fully developed breasts until their early 20s. It is important for the breasts to be fully developed before having a breast augmentation. Additionally, the FDA recommends that women be at least 22 years of age for silicone gel breast implants. Anyone over 18 can choose saline-filled implants.
Size Isn’t the Only Decision Before Surgery
Size is only one aspect of selecting breast implants. Implant shape, filler material, and profile are additional considerations. Because finding the right implant is necessary for optimal results, we offer the VECTRA® 3D imaging system. This state-of-the-art technology can simulate the effects of different implant sizes and shapes for a realistic projection of what you will look like after surgery.
We use three different types of implants: saline breast implants, silicone breast implants, and gummy bear breast implants. These implants come in two different shapes: round, for a fuller look, especially in the upper breasts, and shaped, for a sloped look that some women find more natural looking. Many surgeons have breast implant samples and sizers that can help clients decide the size, shape, and type that suits their body.