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Most patients who are considering breast augmentation are somewhat mystified by the way their new size will be determined. What the patient finds visually appealing is sometimes hard for the surgeon to determine.
A good surgeon will spend a fair amount of time talking with the patient about their expectations. With bra sizes varying so much from style to style, it is nearly impossible to relate implant size (measured by volume in cc’s) directly with bra cup size.
Sometimes patients bring photos of women whose breasts they like, clothed and unclothed, which helps give the surgeon an idea of what the patient likes. The next step is to take measurements of her rib cage, nipple location and the base width of the breasts. Using those measurements, the surgeon can reference manufacturer guidelines to get an idea of which size range and profile is recommended for her frame. Finally comes time to try on sample sizes in a special bra and tight fitting shirt to get somewhat of an idea of the final look.
Most patients are very happy with their ultimate decision. We typically advise that the patient go at least one size larger than she feels comfortable with, because once the implants are in place and held against the ribs by the chest wall muscles, they do look a tiny bit smaller than they appear in a try-on bra. We recommend that patients wait at least 6 weeks after surgery to go shopping and get fitted for new bras to give their implants time to settle in to their new position.