Breast Augmentation: Choosing the Right Size for You
The decision to get breast implants is an exciting and empowering choice for the breast augmentation patients I see from Fort Worth, Mansfield, and Abilene. Once that decision is made, though, choosing the size of breast implants is often accompanied by some anxiousness. Women bring in “wish” photos showing what they want to look like but making a final choice on implant size can still be difficult.
Fortunately, the process of choosing breast implants has come a long way in the past decade or so. We use a 3D imaging system called VECTRA® that provides true-to-life images of how a patient may look with different sized implants. That’s a long way from how patients used to choose breast implants.
The Old Way to Select Breast Implant Size
In the past, patients used implant “sizers” stuffed inside their bras and stood in front of full-length mirrors until they decided they liked what they saw. It was sort of like trying on shoes; you like them in the store but when you get home, you’re not so sure. The real problem with choosing implants this way is that feedback from the plastic surgeon was limited and many women ended up second-guessing their choices after the procedure.
For example, some women selected oversize implants that stretched breast skin and resulted in sagging, while other patients believed they ended up with smaller breasts than they envisioned because it’s difficult to imagine how implants will look after they’re placed internally. Either way, these drawbacks led to a lot of breast augmentation revision procedures.
Today’s Way: How Do You Choose Breast Implant Size?
The modern way to select breast implants is significantly different, including the use of advanced 3D imaging such as VECTRA. We use the VECTRA 3D imaging system for a number of reasons, including:
- Our patients can choose the size that best suits their needs
- It’s a non-invasive approach to sizing
- We can review multiple options much more quickly than with sizers
In addition to using 3D imaging, cosmetic breast surgeons now focus on tissue-based planning. Let me explain what that means.
As a plastic surgeon, my job is to help my Fort Worth-area breast augmentation patients understand the relationship between the size and shape of their existing breasts, their body’s frame, and their lifestyle to help them choose breast implants that will match their aesthetic goals. (I talk more about the variety of breast implant options available in a related blog post.)
I assess the elasticity and tone of a patient’s breast skin and tissue, how much existing breast tissue exists in relation to the chest, and then work with the patient to select a size that’s appropriate for her frame. During this time, I also assess whether additional procedures, such as a breast lift, may be needed to create the best results.
For example, if a patient’s friend chose 400cc breast implants and the patient says they look beautiful and she wants the same results, choosing the same size of implants can produce a completely different outcome if the 2 patients’ body frames are completely different. By collaborating with patients, surgeons can create custom approaches.
The VECTRA system provides women with tangible, accurate expectations using criteria that I enter into the system based on the collaboration described above. Instead of randomly choosing sizes, the new method is a scientific approach that mirrors the actual patient’s body.
If you’re considering getting breast augmentation and want to see the types of results you can expect at my practice, view the before-and-after photos in our online gallery. You can also contact us using the online form to schedule a one-on-one consultation with me or call us at (817) 228-4315.