This Article Has Been Medically Approved By

Dr. George H. Sanders

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Breast Augmentation of today is a far different procedure than it was 50 years ago when it was first introduced. Everything about it has changed, from the implants, to the incision locations, to the understanding we have of the complications and how to minimize them.

The best way to make an informed decision about breast augmentation is to work closely with your plastic surgeon, clarifying your own expectations about the procedure and the results. As you get ready for a consultation with Dr. Sanders, here are a few important factors for you to start thinking about.

Thinking About Cup Size

Many women arrive at Dr. Sanders office with a very specific result in mind, and often, they know exactly the cup size they want to achieve with their breast implants.

Generally speaking, however, we would advise against putting too much emphasis on cup size. There are a few reasons for this. One, all bra manufacturers determine cup size differently. This is not a consistent metric. And two, a lot of women do not actually wear the right cup size anyway, which can skew their perception.

More than anything else, we would simply advise our patients to think in terms of their body on the whole, not seeking a specific cup size but rather seeking results that look proportional to the rest of their figure.

Breast Implant Dimensions

Instead of thinking about your implants in terms of cup size, think about them in terms of volume, diameter, shape, and profile. These are the four primary metrics by which plastic surgeons assess implant dimensions.

When you come in for a breast augmentation consultation, Dr. Sanders will take some measurements, which serve as a meaningful baseline as you explore different implant options. From there, he can walk you through some of the options in each of these four categories.

For now, here are a few general guidelines.


Breast implant volume is measured in cubic centimeters or ccs. Usually, every 150cc to 200cc will help you go up one to one-and-a-half cup sizes. Most patients get implants that fall somewhere between 300cc and 400cc, though this can certainly vary from patient to patient.


Another important metric is breast implant diameter. The rule of thumb here is that breasts with a wider diameter will be a little bit flatter and project outward a bit less than implants with narrower diameters.


Shape is an essential consideration as you seek breast implants. The two basic options are round and teardrop-shaped. Round implants tend to project more fullness; we recommend these for patients who wish for more “dramatic” results. By contrast, teardrop-shaped implants tend to look more natural.

Also, in the discussion of implant shape, almost all of the implants that are currently being used are round. Textured implants are the only ones that are truly shaped, and they carry a risk of ALCL, the lymphoma of the scar tissue that surrounds the implant. Most patients do not feel comfortable with that risk. For that reason, we are using smooth implants almost exclusively.

That being said, there are smooth implants called Boost implants that have a high projection and high profile. They are more in the shape of a ball. On the other hand, lower profile implants have a teardrop shape when placed behind the chest wall muscle. Both of these are smooth, and for that reason, carry no ALCL risk. So there really is a choice of shape, even when using smooth implants.


This metric basically refers to how far your implants project. Implants with a more moderate profile will look flatter, while implants with a higher profile may look “perkier” or more pronounced.

One more note about choosing the right implant dimensions: Keep in mind that, for ideal results, you will want your implant width to match the width of your natural breasts. Dr. Sanders can help you make this and other key determinations.

Choosing an Implant Size

As you consider the best implant size, there are a number of factors to keep in mind. For example:

Know Your Body

Before selecting implants, we recommend taking an honest look at your body, ensuring you have a good handle on your natural curves and proportions. You ultimately want implants that are going to provide a proportional, harmonious look.

Think About Your Lifestyle

If you live an active lifestyle, you may feel more comfortable erring on the smaller size or choosing breasts with a more moderate profile.

Consider Your Clothing

It is also important to remember that your implants will have a big impact on how clothing fits you. For example, if you choose breasts with a high profile and lots of volume, you are likely to show more cleavage. Some women may really want that, and others may not. Choose accordingly!

Find Out More About Breast Augmentation in Encino and Los Angeles

Ready to talk in-depth about the implant size and dimensions that will work best for you? Make an appointment with Dr. Sanders at your next opportunity.

Should you have any questions, please contact my office.

George Sanders, M.D.