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Breast Implant Sizing—How Big Is Too Big?

When you’ve decided to have breast augmentation, one of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make is how large you want to go with your breast implants. Implant size is a personal choice that is unique to each patient. Your body, lifestyle, and aesthetic goals are important to discuss with a doctor before making a final decision.

I advise breast augmentation patients at my Houston practice to consider many different factors when choosing their ideal implant size. The following are a few things to think about when you’re making the decision about size:

  1. The quality of your breast skin: Skin laxity, or looseness, is important to consider when creating your surgical plan. If you have very minor sagging, a larger implant might “take up the slack” and create a beautiful result. If your breast skin sags more than a tiny bit, you may be a good candidate for a breast lift as well. If you happen to have very thin breast skin, which does not provide as much coverage for the implant, this may affect your size choice.
  2. Amount of breast tissue: Your surgeon must evaluate how much breast tissue your body already has. Your existing breast tissue provides coverage for the implant. Women with less existing breast tissue might want a large implant, but it may not produce the natural-looking result that they want.
  3. Your height, weight, chest diameter & frame: Your personal anatomy is probably the biggest factor in choosing implant size. Women with broader chests and shoulders can generally get away with larger implants. Often women who have fuller hips and thighs want larger implants to balance out their curves. However, women with smaller frames can look unnatural and “top heavy” if their implants are too large. But implants that are too small for your frame can cause disappointment with your final breast augmentation result.
  4. Lifestyle: The size of your breast implants needs to be harmonious with your lifestyle. If you enjoy high-impact workouts, are a long-distance runner, or play sports like tennis or racquetball, you may want to consider smaller implants. There may also be social reasons for a more conservative breast augmentation. If they won’t hamper your physical activities and want a more voluptuous look, a larger implant might work for you.
  5. Plans for a family or children: This consideration doesn’t have as much to do with the size of your implants as the timing of your breast augmentation. Pregnancy and breastfeeding can often change breast size and shape, so many surgeons will advise you to postpone your breast augmentation until after having children. If you do proceed with your breast augmentation, you should keep in mind that very large implants, which cause tight breast skin and put pressure on the overlying breast tissue, could possibly diminish breast milk production.

It may be tempting to bring your surgeon a picture of a celebrity or model as an example of what you want your breasts to look like. Though this can be a helpful starting point, remember that your body is unlike anyone else’s. Your surgical plan must fit your personal needs. This decision may seem overwhelming, but a board-certified plastic surgeon can help you choose the right breast implants for you.

Check out this page to read about some of my patients and how we collaborated to achieve their ideal results.

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