Successful aesthetic breast surgery, including breast implants, is all about a keen understanding of appropriate breast size and proportions. It is vital to take into consideration the overall body proportion, balancing the upper torso to the hips. It is equally important to consider the proportions of the individual breasts, achieving for each patient their desired breast shape by choosing the appropriate breast implant profile and contour. The majority of breast augmentation patients simply want to balance their upper and lower trunk. Many, however, prefer a rounder, fuller look on top. Each breast implant patient has their idea of what proportion is best for them and therefore it is important to spend ample time during each consultation helping patients choose the right implant size. It?s the most important decision they will make about the surgery and it?s going to have the greatest impact on the ultimate result. It?s common practice to spend time during each consultation with a sizer bra and sizer implants. The patient is encouraged to consider the look of each implant, and how it is going to affect their everyday life. Patients are encouraged to take implant sizers home over a weekend to get a feel for the size and weight of the implants. They can take these sizers to a store and try them with many different bra sizes and clothing choices to get an idea of the potential daily impacts of the implant surgery. Many dresses and tops are designed to average proportions. Patients need to take this into consideration when they choose implant sizes. The overall body proportion is only the start. Once the size of the implant is decided it?s important to take into consideration how the implant will fit into the patient?s chest, balancing the medial to the lateral, and the upper pole to lower pole proportions. Through precise measurements, the plastic surgeon can help his patients choose the appropriate contour and profile of their breast implants to achieve the shape of breast they seek. Some patients want more upper pole fullness while others want more of a sloping upper pole. This helps decide between a round implant or a shaped implant with a tapering upper pole. We balance the medial proportion with the lateral proportion by selecting the appropriate width of the implant. Implant manufacturers provide a wide array of implant shape and profile choices which help us to establishing the breast proportions each patient desires. Sometimes some liposuction of the breast area, particularly along the lateral chest wall or tail of the breast in front of the armpit can help us to contour the overall breast shape and proportion. A successful breast augmentation procedure, giving each patient the breast and body proportions they seek, is accomplished through a careful consultation process taking into account the height and weight of each patient as well as the width of their shoulders, chest and hips. Each patient is then matched to an implant of the correct size, shape and profile to get them where they want to be.
By Dr. Terrence Murphy, MD
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*This article appeared via American Society of Plastic Surgeons