Your Guide to Choosing the Right Breast Implant Size

Empower yourself with knowledge about breast augmentation options, from implant size and type to shape, surface, profile, incision type, and placement, ensuring informed decisions aligned with your aesthetic goals and lifestyle.

March 22, 2024
12 min
Your Guide to Choosing the Right Breast Implant Size

Why Implant Size Matters Most

Breast augmentation is a surgical procedure that involves placing implants to enhance the size and shape of the breasts. Choosing the right implant size will be one of the most crucial aspects of your breast augmentation journey, as it directly impacts the final results and your overall satisfaction.

Imagine the joy of looking in the mirror and finally seeing the reflection you've always dreamed of - a more confident, radiant version of yourself. When you choose the right implant size for your breast augmentation, that vision becomes a reality. You'll find yourself standing taller, smiling brighter, and embracing life with newfound self-assurance and a deep sense of satisfaction with your appearance.

On the flip side, selecting an implant size that doesn't align with a patient's goals or proportions can have the opposite effect. Instead of feeling liberated and empowered, they may find themselves grappling with heightened self-consciousness and regret. The disappointment of not achieving the desired look can be compounded by the stigma that sometimes surrounds breast augmentation, leaving them feeling frustrated.

That's why it's so important to work closely with your surgeon to carefully consider your body type and desired look when selecting an implant size. An experienced plastic surgeon can guide you in choosing a size that will be aesthetically pleasing, proportional to your figure, and help you feel your most beautiful and confident self.

Personal Factors to Consider When Choosing Your Size

When determining your breast augmentation goals, there are several personal factors to consider. First, think about the proportions you desire and communicate your preferences clearly with your surgeon. Be specific about the look you want to achieve, whether it's a subtle enhancement or a more dramatic change. Using visual aids like photos can help convey your desires more effectively.

Next, plan for long-term satisfaction by choosing a size that aligns with your vision for enduring contentment. Consider how your breasts will look not only immediately after surgery but also in the years to come. It's essential to have realistic expectations about the results and understand that your body will continue to change over time due to factors like aging, weight fluctuations, and pregnancy.

Finally, consider how your new breasts will fit with your lifestyle, taking into account your activity level, wardrobe choices, and external image. If you lead an active lifestyle or participate in sports, you may want to opt for a size that won't hinder your movement or cause discomfort. Similarly, if you have a specific style of clothing you prefer, you'll want to choose a size that complements your wardrobe and maintains an appearance you'll be happy with.

How Your Surgeon Determines the Right Implant Size

Sometimes a patient's anatomy might not be able to safely accommodate their breast augmentation goals. Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Wesley Wilson  explains how a skilled plastic surgeon carefully considers several factors to ensure optimal results and avoid complications when recommending a breast implant size. Most importantly, a plastic surgeon will assess the patient's unique breast anatomy, including:

  • Breast width: The horizontal measurement across the base of the breast, which helps determine the appropriate implant width and diameter. This is typically measured with a caliper [1]
  • Skin elasticity (anterior pull skin stretch): The skin's ability to stretch and accommodate the implant without excessive tension or sagging. This is evaluated by gently stretching the skin during the physical exam [1].
  • Nipple-to-inframammary fold distance (the distance from the nipple to the crease under the breast where it meets the chest wall): This measurement, taken with a tape measure, helps determine the appropriate implant height and ensures the nipple remains in an aesthetically pleasing position [1].
  • Sternal notch-to-nipple distance (the distance between the base of the neck to the nipple): This measurement helps the surgeon assess nipple position, evaluate asymmetry, and determine the ideal implant size and placement for a natural-looking, balanced result while ensuring the nipple remains at an aesthetically pleasing level post-surgery 
  • Amount of existing breast tissue compared to the stretched skin envelope (the skin that encompasses the breast tissue, which can be stretched to accommodate the implant): This ratio, assessed through visual examination and palpation, helps the surgeon determine whether the patient has enough tissue to cover the implant and achieve a natural look [1].

These measurements help the surgeon determine what the patient's anatomy can safely accommodate. Once they have a clear understanding of the anatomical limitations, they integrate the patient's personal goals to achieve the best aesthetic outcome. Other factors, such as the patient's age, body type, and overall health, also play a role in implant selection.

Tools to Help with Breast Implant Sizing

Plastic surgeons have various tools and methods available to help patients visualize post-procedure results. 

  • Before and After Photos: Plastic surgeons often maintain a gallery of before and after photos of previous patients who have undergone breast augmentation. These photos can be a valuable resource for patients seeking to understand how different implant sizes look on various body types. When viewing these photos, it's essential to focus on patients with body shapes and proportions similar to your own to get a more accurate idea of how the implants may look.
  • 3D Imaging: Many plastic surgeons now use advanced 3D imaging technology to help patients visualize their potential results. This technology takes a 3D image of the patient's body and allows the surgeon to simulate different implant sizes and shapes digitally. The patient can then view these simulations from various angles, providing a realistic preview of how they might look after the surgery.
  • Surgical Implants for Sizing: Some surgeons prefer to use the actual surgical implants for sizing during the consultation. They may place the implants in a bra or directly on the patient's chest to provide a more accurate representation of the final results. This method allows patients to experience the weight and feel of the actual implants they will receive during surgery.
  • Pre-operative Sizers: Breast implant sizers are sample implants made by the breast implant manufacturers that come in different shapes and sizes. During a consultation, the plastic surgeon can place these sizers into a special bra, allowing the patient to see and feel how different implant sizes would look on their body. This hands-on approach helps patients gain a better understanding of the relationship between implant size and their desired results.

However, even with all these tools, there is still something left to be desired. Before and after photos provide a visual representation on someone else's body and cannot be easily translated to what the visual results will look like on your specific body. While 3D imaging is helpful and more visually precise,  it does not give women the opportunity to feel the weight of the implants or understand the impacts on their clothing style. When surgical implants are placed on top of the breast for sizing, it can be challenging to imagine the natural contour of the breast post-procedure. Lastly, patients who get to try on the preoperative sizers, only get to for a short period during the consultation, which may not provide enough time to understand how the implants will feel in daily life. 

Auggie: A New At Home Breast Implant Sizing Tool

At Auggie, we believe in the importance of "try-before-you-buy” and spending ample time with different implant sizes to feel most confident in your size decision. Our at-home sizing kit allows you to try on various implant volumes in the comfort of your home, providing you with all the time you need to assess size, weight, look and feel. 

By wearing the implants for an extended period, you can better understand how different sizes impact your daily activities, lifestyle, and wardrobe preferences. This lived experience can be invaluable in helping you make a more informed and confident decision about implant size.

It's important to note that while Auggie can give you a good idea of how different sizes look and feel, it's not a perfect representation of the final results. Factors such as implant shape, projection,  individual anatomy, and surgical techniques used will also influence the outcome. We always recommend discussing your Auggie try-on experience with a plastic surgeon to ensure the best possible results.

Embracing Your Journey for the Best Results

By understanding your unique anatomy, setting realistic expectations, and tailoring your decision to your desired proportions and lifestyle, you can achieve long-lasting satisfaction with your breast augmentation results.

Remember, open communication and trust between you and your plastic surgeon are essential throughout the decision-making process. Don't hesitate to ask questions, express your concerns, and share your goals. Your plastic surgeon is here to support you every step of the way, offering personalized advice and addressing any issues that may arise.

With a well-informed approach and a skilled surgical team, you can confidently embark on this transformative experience and enjoy the benefits of a beautifully proportioned figure that enhances your natural beauty and boosts your self-confidence.


[1] Tebbetts, John B. M.D.; Adams, William P. M.D.. Five Critical Decisions in Breast Augmentation Using Five Measurements in 5 Minutes: The High Five Decision Support Process. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 118(7S):p 35S-45S, December 2006. | DOI: 10.1097/01.prs.0000191163.19379.63