Choosing the best Implant Size for Your Physique: Why you Should Avoid Large Implants.
Many women are seeking larger, firmer or more shapely breasts, which can be achieved through undertaking a surgical breast implant procedure.
Breast Implants have been around for decades, with one of the earliest breast augmentation procedures performed around 1962. Yet they have evolved over time to include a confusing myriad of implant choices in terms of shape (such as round or teardrop/anatomical), size (from small to extremely large), filling (saline or silicone gel), texture (smooth or textured) and profile (shape/projection).
With so many more choices in recent years than ever before, many women find it slightly challenging to choose the implant size, type or profile shape (ask us about our high quality implants from Mentor and Motiva).
Numerous options can leave many breast implant surgery patients confused as to how to select the best SIZE of breast implants for their breast enlargement procedure.
There are many methods to help you choose a breast implant size – from Vectra 3D imaging (three-dimensional renderings of your body with different sized implants) to bra sizers to other visual aids.
Our highly skilled Specialist Plastic Surgeons are experts at helping you decide what will look great on you, but at the end of the day – it’s your decision and your body – so you want to choose what YOU think is best for your physique.
Regardless of how BIG of a look you are trying to achieve with enhancing your breasts using implant options, it’s important that you understand the full risks and complications associated with choosing larger breast implants.
Large Breast Implants: What you need to know about the long-term risks of super-sized breast enhancements
Sizes of breast implants vary from around 150 cc to over 700 cc, with choices in relation to profiles or implant shapes.
In most cases, implants are considered ‘large’ when they are filled above 350 cc’s. However, our Team of Specialist Plastic Surgeons on our team Plastic Surgeons are often of the view that ‘less is often more’ – and more likely to be long-lasting with fewer complications – in terms of choosing moderate or smaller sized implants compared to super-sized breast implants.
They also note that anything above 275 cc to 300 cc COULD be considered large for some individuals (and for an extremely petite person, even a 200 cc implant might be considered very large for their overall body proportion balance).
How great any breast implant will look on your body, however, will be a function of numerous factors including but not limited to:
- how much natural breast tissue you have
- whether the size is aesthetically proportionate for your overall physique
- your chest and rib cage measurements
- distance between areolas (nipples)
- proportions of your overall body and upper body measurements
- whether or not you have asymmetry (uneven breasts)
- level of ptosis (droopiness)
- breast pocket accuracy and location
- implant placement (above the muscle, under muscle or dual-plane)
Breast implants – like most surgical implants – are foreign objects that are placed into your own tissues. They not only add dimensions and shape to your breasts, they add weight to your body. It’s not a lot of weight and it might be quite desirable weight in terms of how you want to look; but to the skin that holds your breasts in place and holds your implants up, it can seem like more than naturally accommodated – particularly if you choose LARGE implants.
Why is it that larger implants sometimes lead to more rapidly sagging breasts or higher complication risks?
Breast implants are implanted inside of your chest area, typically under your breast muscle and tissues.
As you move around during your daily activities, and even while you are sleeping, gravity is nearly ALWAYS working against those implants (and all breast tissue, as well as other body tissues, will be impacted by gravity over time).
The gravity seems to want to bring your breast tissue, and implants, down or away from the structures of your chest. The heavier or larger the implant, the more that the effects of gravity are working against you.
So if you are adamant about getting large implants – and might think they look amazing shortly after your augmentation surgery (after your healing period) – in the longer run, you may wish you never opted for such a large size.
That’s because they can cause the breast tissue to sag more than it normally would, over time, or they can sometimes be linked with post-op issues such as ‘bottoming out’ or ‘double-bubble’ problems (be VERY careful to always wear a supportive sports bra and follow ALL post-surgery instructions exactly to help do your part to help minimise your risks).
Your breast implant size options will be discussed during your Breast Implant Surgery consultation.
You’ll be able to assess what implants might look great not only in the shorter term – but in the longer run of time,
The size of the implant you select should also jive with the type of lifestyle that you tend to maintain.
What many patients forget is that you will likely have these implants for many, many years.
Whilst they tend to need to be removed or replaced at some stage within 9 to 10 years (typically), this can vary – but understanding what happens to implants over time should help you in making your sizing decision.
What happens to your Breasts and Implants as you Age
As you age, your skin naturally loses elasticity and firmness. It starts to droop, sag and become lax over time. This happens all over the body, but in some areas has more visible consequences – including the breasts (because nipple directions or locations change) and the face (especially if eyelid skin or jawline skin starts to sag and look ‘droopy’).
Your natural breasts also ‘drop’ (droop) as time passes. This is natural and may depend somewhat on you wearing a supportive bra at all times, your genetic tendencies, and your weight and breast weight, including if your weight fluctuates a lot over the years.
The heavier your breast tissues are – with or without a breast implant – the more likely they will be to sag or ‘fall.’
You and your Breast Specialist Plastic Surgeon should aim for the best size and shape enhancements for your chest area, using the smallest implant possible to achieve that result.
The greater the size of the selected implant, the higher your chances of having other complications like rippling, skin stretching, bottoming out, or asymmetries that can happen with larger implants.
Weight of Breast Implants: How much additional weight will you gain with an augmentation surgery?
Your surgeon will be able to advise you of how much your selected implant weighs and, in general, a rough estimate of how much extra weight you will carry from your breast implant additions. Some women say they notice the extra weight, in that they can sense feeling slightly heavier, and other women mention that they don’t notice it at all!
If you choose very large saline or silicone breast implant, however, you are likely to notice the weight – or at least feel it – and will need to be even MORE diligent about wearing a bra at all times – even whilst you are sleeping!
On average, a breast implant with 650 cc’s is adding over 1.3 kg (over three pounds) to your chest wall – that is a LOT of additional weight for your natural breast tissue to hold up on its own, especially as it loses elasticity as it ages.
The larger your breast implant, the more your skin stretches in response. If you’re younger, that might not be too much of an issue for you, but there are limits to how much the skin can stretch without incurring problems.
As your skin stretches over time, you will notice having droopier, and potentially wrinkly-looking breasts. Even without implants, you will end up with drooping, saggy breasts over time (the main reason women seek a Breast Lift/Mastopexy procedure, with implants or without implants).
Larger breast implants may also put you at higher risk for revision surgery (or an earlier need to remove or replace your implants).
Revisional breast surgery or breast lift surgery may be required in relation to the breast tissue stress associated with choosing larger implants. You may also likely be at an increased risk for experiencing nipple numbness or chest wall deformation (a curving of the ribs because of the size and weight demands placed on your body frame by having chosen extra-large implants).
A female’s breast also goes through many changes during a lifetime, particularly if you become pregnant and breastfeed or pass through menopause – or even if you take certain medications that interact with your hormone levels.
Your genetic makeup can also have an effect on the longevity of your breast firmness, with or without implants.
It is important for you, regardless of your genetic makeup, to take great care of your entire body, not just your breasts; but your Surgeon can discuss ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle that can help prolong the aesthetic appearance of your breast implants. And if you are currently thinking ‘the bigger the better’ – and your Surgeon isn’t trying to talk you into considering a bit more moderate implant sizes or a size that is more proportionate to your overall body proportions – you may be sitting in the wrong office.
As mentioned, a healthy lifestyle is important for helping to ensure long-lasting, pleasing results for your breast augmentation surgery.
It is highly important that you DO NOT smoke or otherwise abuse your body. Anything that impacts on your skin and other organ functions is apt to have a detrimental effect on your breast augmentation surgery results.
Also, your Breast Implant placement and incisions matter.
Many breast augmentation patients who want to know WHAT incision location and WHAT placement choice will give them the best breast surgery results.
Be sure to discuss with your plastic surgeon whether or not you should have your implant placed above or below the muscle. This is an extremely important decision and it will have an impact on how well your implants last over the years. And if you are of Asian heritage or have skin that is known to react to incisions by forming Keloid scars, ask about the Transaxillary Implant incision option (Dr Geoff Barnett).
Maintenance of your Breast Implants for Best Results
You will need to do several things to best maintain your implant surgery results.
You should also wear a supportive bra after breast augmentation surgery (or even if you have non-augmented breasts).
Supportive garments – immediately after surgery AND on a day to day basis even whilst sleeping – can be the single most important factor in helping keep your breast implants looking their best.
Wearing the right bra will often help keep your implants within their ideal position and will help prevent the sagging effects of gravity – or at least help stall the effects of gravity and time from showing up on your chest area!
A lighter-weight sports bra can often help as your sleeping-bra if your day to day sports bra is a bit too firm; but any bra should be highly supportive – ask your Surgeon or Nurse whether or not your favorite bra will work in a supportive manner. Our patients also get vouchers for SHE-SCIENCE bras.
It’s also incredibly important to wear an ultra-supportive sports bra while working out or attending gym classes.
This will also help you to defy the effects of time and gravity.
So be sure to find a bra that holds your breasts firmly in place as much as possible, while not compressing them too much (once you’re past the recovery stage of surgery) – as some movement is natural.
What implants will you choose now that you know that gravity is not a friend to breast implants?
Hopefully, you are thinking of choosing an implant size that is aesthetically proportionate with your entire body shape – and not ‘too’ big.
Unfortunately, gravity is not your friend when it comes to your body – and especially not to larger breast implants.
Are you wanting to talk with a seasoned Melbourne Surgeon who can help you understand what size implants will best suit your body frame and body appearance goals?
Having shapely, well-proportioned breasts can be a boost to your self-esteem, but choosing the right size can be an art form as much as a science. If you want a full assessment including detailed measurements (or even Vectra 3D imaging) to learn what size might suit your body best, get in touch with our leading Melbourne Surgeon Plastic & Cosmetic Surgeon team.
Locations for Breast Augmentation consultations in Melbourne
We have three convenient locations and your choice of FIVE leading Specialist Plastic Surgeons on our team. Our locations include:
Berwick (Frankston, Narre Warren, Pakenham and Mornington area)
Hawthorn East (Convenient to Balwyn, Camberwell, Kew, Toorak, Richmond and South Yarra)
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