Being employed in the office of a busy Plastic Surgery Clinic in Montreal provides interesting professional opportunities. During the last 6 months, I have actively participated with my office manager, Anne, to assist women in their selection of breast implant size. While Anne was away on holiday, I made it my goal to perform breast implant sizing to perfection! I enjoyed the responsibility and write this article to share my personal insights. I hope my written commentary will help a prospective breast augmentation patient achieve their perfect breast size and shape.
What is “sizing”?
There is no consistent “sizing” routine among Plastic Surgery Clinics. When it comes to breast implant size, many plastic surgeons refuse to offer their patients a choice. In such scenarios, the plastic surgeon decides on the implant size based on his/her personal opinion. Unfortunately, this yields a higher level of patient dissatisfaction.
In our clinic, breast implant sizing is always performed as an important component of the initial office visit. During your consultation, breast implants will be available for you to touch and feel. Our board certified Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Chen Lee, will examine you and make recommendations as to the range of breast implant sizes possible for your chest morphology. After meeting the doctor, sizing follows with either myself or Anne. Basically, we use breast implants to simulate the body contours expected after augmentation. Essentially, you get to try a lot of different breast implants and choose the size according to the appearance you desire.
The atmosphere is relaxed and enjoyable. We encourage return sizing visits to confirm your choice of implant size. Bringing a family member or close friend helps to validate your final choice.
How is “sizing” performed”?
Our surgeon will perform an examination recording important breast and chest measurements. These breast measurements allow us to identify the range of implant sizes possible for your unique body and breast dimensions.
1. Implant projection
During all of our sizing sessions, we provide the bra and you provide the external clothing wear. Our first task when implant sizing is to focus on the projection of the implant. This is accomplished using implants with different projections while wearing loose clothing. Your reflected profile in the mirror will mimic the anticipated silhouette expected. Through a process of elimination, you will identify your ideal implant projection.
2. Implant diameter
Once your ideal projection has been established, attention turns to the breast implant diameter. Implants of different diameter are used. We repeat the process of elimination described above. However, sizing for the implant diameter requires a thin shirt that fully displays the curves and contours of the implant. Large diameter implants generally accentuate the width of the breast giving more upper and outer breast curves.
It is not uncommon to desire the appearance of several implant sizes. Unfortunately, a decision must be made. Only one size can be implanted. To resolve this dilemma, we encourage return visits with family members or close friends who understand your desires. They can help guide you to your perfect breast implant. Furthermore, sizing implants with a variety of clothing wear will better simulate the contours expected in your day to day life and may assist you in deciding on a particular size of implant. Taking pictures while sizing also allows facilitates self-reflection and better choices. Do not panic if your first visit with us runs short on time. Despite allocating 2 hours to the first visit for breast augmentation, many patients have found it too tight a time frame to accomplish sizing. We understand the importance of sizing and welcome return sizing visits.
I have always been interested in women’s health and welcome the interactions that “sizing” has brought. I really enjoy the facial expressions of our patient’s when they look with amazement into the mirror. Occasionally, the look of shock and dread appears during sizing as they had not had time to adjust to the sudden change in body image. Despite the occasional extreme response, we are always able to close the visit with a rewarding smile.