Choosing Your Breast Implants: Implant Size

Choosing breast implant size in SeattleAlthough choosing a breast implant size is only one of many considerations for Seattle breast augmentation patients, it is often the single decision that can cause the most anxiety.

The most common reason this decision is so difficult for patients is because they do not understand how the volumetric measures of breast implants translate to a bra cup size.

The first thing that is important for patients choosing a breast implant size to understand is that bra cup sizes vary wildly from retailer to retailer and are not an exact measurement of breast size. Breast implant sizes are measured by exact volume in cubic centimeters (cc’s), so while a cup size might give you a ballpark range of the overall breast size you are trying to achieve, they will not help you choose an exact breast implant size.

Try to put the idea of C cup and D cup out of your mind while you consider your options. Also, remember that your natural breast tissues will also contribute to the overall size of your breasts after implants have been placed provided your implants are not part of a breast reconstruction procedure.

Breast Implant Sizes

A great place to start your journey to understanding breast implant sizes is with the range of implant sizes or, rather, volumes available in the U.S. There is slight variation in size availability for saline and silicone breast implants, however in general, breast implant volumes range from about 120cc to 850cc.

Saline implants can be overfilled to achieve a slightly larger size, however most patients do not want breast implants that large. In fact, some states even dictate that plastic surgeons may not supply patients with breast implants larger than a certain size (usually 1000cc to 1200cc).

In choosing a breast implant size, it also helps to remember that your skin must stretch to accommodate the implants you choose, so if you have poor skin elasticity or are prone to stretch marks, your cosmetic results may be best if you choose implants that will not put undue stress on your skin.

Breast Implant Profiles

In addition to different volumes, breast implants also come in four different profiles: low, moderate, moderate plus and high profile. The implant profile affects the projection of your breast implants, and although they are not directly related to the implant size, they can affect how large or natural your breasts appear.

The greater the profile of your breast implant, the greater the height of your breast side wall. Many patients who desire more upper pole fullness, or cleavage, and are less concerned that their implants look natural choose high profile implants, as do patients with very narrow breasts.

Tools to Help You Choose a Breast Implant Size

There are many tools Dr. Jonov can provide you with to help you visualize how different breast implant sizes would look after surgery. Although none of them offer an exact representation, they can still give you a general idea of the look and proportions implants would create.

Implant sizer bras are helpful to some patients as they struggle to imagine how they would look with larger breasts. Sizer bras have pockets in them designed to hold replica breast implants of different sizes, allowing you to contrast and compare the effect different breast implant volumes has on your contours. Try on sizer bras with a swimsuit, t-shirt and other tops to see a general approximation of the effect breast implants would have.

A measuring tape can also be a great help. Having your surgeon take measurements of your chest wall dimensions will help you get a better understanding of your existing body proportions and how they would change with different breast implants. Your surgeon will provide you with appropriate context and a brief anatomy lesson during this stage of the decision-making process.

Finally, arguably the best resources available to patients choosing a breast implant size are breast augmentation before and after photos. Looking at before and after photos of other patients who share a similar build, existing breast size and desired breast size can provide some of the most useful direction to women considering implants. Review as many before and after photos as possible as you make your decision.

Input From Your Surgeon

Dr. Jonov will certainly help guide you throughout the process of choosing your ideal breast implants. However, keep in mind that decisions about your implants, including their size, must ultimately rest with you.

Be sure to choose a surgeon who makes you feel comfortable asking questions and gathering all of the information you need to make an informed choice. While Dr. Jonov has spent many years helping women in the Seattle metro choose their breast implants and can offer you invaluable input, you must feel confident in your decision to ensure your expectations for breast augmentation are met.

Choosing Between Saline and Silicone Breast Implants

Choosing between silicone gel or saline breast implants is often one of the most confusing and difficult decisions Seattle breast augmentation patients must make. Each implant material has its pros and cons, so there is no clear way to say which type of implant is best, and each patient must decide based largely on their personal goals and preferences.

Look and Feel

Both silicone and saline implants can give you a natural look, particularly if the implants are placed under the chest muscles, however silicone breast implants have a reputation for providing a more natural feel. This makes sense, given that silicone implants today are made of a cohesive gel material that more closely mimics the weight and suppleness of natural breast tissue than liquid saline solution. Patients who are very thin or have little natural breast tissue to cover their implants are often good candidates for silicone gel implants because the implants are softer and less prone to rippling, allowing for a more natural look and feel. Patients with pronounced asymmetry in the size of their natural breasts may also be good candidates for saline implants, as the volume of saline solution in each implant can be adjusted to even out the breasts.


Saline breast implants are composed of an outer silicone shell and a filling of liquid saline solution. Because the saline solution can be added after the implant shells have been placed in the chest wall, the incisions needed to place saline implants are slightly smaller. There are also more options as to where incisions can be placed with saline implants. Unlike silicone implants, which can be inserted only through incisions in each breast fold (inframammary incisions) or along each armpit (transaxillary incisions), saline implants can also be inserted through incisions around the border of each areola (periareolar incisions) and even through the belly button (TUBA incision). Thus, saline implants result in smaller scars (about half an inch smaller) than silicone implants and offer more options for patients in terms of where their breast augmentation scars are located.


In 2006, the FDA ended a 14-year moratorium on silicone breast implants that was instituted because lawmakers felt there was insufficient evidence to rule that the implants were safe. After years of rigorous testing, the FDA allowed silicone implants to re-enter the market because no scientific data had been produced to link silicone implants to systemic diseases they were previously assumed to cause. From a scientific standpoint, the safety of silicone implants and saline implants is identical. The only difference between the two from a legal standpoint is that patients must be 22 to have silicone implants, whereas they can be as young as 18 to have saline implants. Patients who choose either option can rest assured that all FDA approved breast implants are safe and will not directly affect your health and wellness in any way, positively or negatively.

Breast Implant Cost

Breast implant manufacturers charge about $1,000 more for silicone breast implants than saline breast implants, so breast augmentation with silicone implants is slightly more expensive initially. Also, consider that patients with silicone implants should have an MRI three years after surgery and every two years thereafter, as there is no other way to detect breast cancer or implant ruptures with silicone implants. Saline implants, on the other hand, do not require an MRI to detect cancer and will visibly deflate if they are ruptured. Due to the cost of periodic MRIs, the cost of maintaining silicone implants can be slightly higher in the long run.

The Bottom Line

It is easy to get overwhelmed evaluating the pros and cons of saline and silicone breast implants, but before you do, remember that you have a guiding light in this process: your cosmetic surgeon. Dr. Jonov has decades of experience and has helped hundreds of Seattle breast enhancement patients choose the best breast implants to meet their unique needs. Trust Dr. Jonov to help you make this important decision, and feel free to ask questions, talk to other breast augmentation patients and look at plenty of breast augmentation before and after photos before you decide on silicone or saline breast implants.

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Women over 40 Say 52 is the Perfect Age for Plastic Surgery

women say 52 is perfect age for plastic surgeryWhat’s the best age for plastic surgery? Fifty-two, according to participants in a survey of 3,000 40- to 65-year-old women in Britain. The survey also revealed that 29% would rather look 20 years younger than be a millionaire.

Conducted for Saga magazine, the survey found that one in three women would consider plastic surgery and a fifth of women would get a facelift to combat the signs of aging, if money were no object.

For those who responded that they did want surgery:

Of the respondents who would said they would not get plastic surgery, 29% would consider non-surgical procedures like Botox to keep them looking younger.

Twiggy was identified as the celebrity who looks great over age 60.

Darren McKeown, MD, a cosmetic doctor in London and Glasgow, said that celebrities often drive trends. “Botox and dermal fillers are the most popular treatments at the moment. The popularity of certain treatments is very celebrity-driven. When a famous woman is pictured with a â??trout pout,â?? then women will avoid lip enhancement, but when an A-list celeb is revealed to have had a specific treatment and they look great, then we see a peak in inquiries.”

Dr. McKeown also said that he’s had an increase of people getting procedures done for work-related reasons. “When you’ve been in a company for a long time and have younger colleagues snapping at your heels, the last thing you want to do is look tired. The average age of my client is in their forties,” he said.

According to the survey, women feel more pressure than ever to look young; 62% said they felt they are more likely to be judged on their appearance than previous generations.

Your Looks Can Affect Your Career and Life, Reports Newsweek

Brunette has a new special report on the The Beauty Advantageâ? that argues that the quest to look good isn’t just a vain pursuit and that beauty can affect your career and life.

The article argues that in today’s economy looking good is something that can’t be dismissed as frivolous:

Economists have long recognized what’s been dubbed the beauty premium the idea that pretty people, whatever their aspirations, tend to do better in, well, almost everything. Handsome men earn, on average, 5 percent more than their less-attractive counterparts (good-looking women earn 4 percent more); pretty people get more attention from teachers, bosses, and mentors; even babies stare longer at good-looking faces (and we stare longer at good-looking babies).

According to economist Daniel Hamermesh, a good-looking man will make some $250,000 more during his career than his least-attractive counterpart. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 13 percent of women (and 10 percent of men, according to a Newsweek survey), say they’d consider cosmetic surgery if it made them more competitive at work.

These survey respondents may be on to something: Newsweek surveyed 202 corporate hiring managers and 964 members of the public, and 56 percent of hiring managers said that qualified but unattractive candidates are likely to have a harder time getting a job. More than half advised spending as much time and money on making sure they look attractive as on perfecting a résumé.

The survey also asked hiring managers to rate nine character attributes from one to 10 (with 10 being the most important): looks came in third, below experience and confidence, but above where an applicant went to school.

The Newsweek special report includes a variety of online essays, photo galleries, and interactive features on the beauty advantage.

New Website Covers All Things Beauty, Offers Month-long Contest

Project Beauty website home pageThe American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery has launched Project Beauty, a new consumer website that will cover a range of beauty topics through videos, blog entries, and forums.

The site’s goal is to deliver consumers from confusion and cut through the clutter, by answering consumer questions such as: What treatments work? Which donâ??t? How can you tell if a product is legitimate or just marketing hype?

To kickoff the launch of Project Beauty, the site is hosting a month-long giveaway contest called 30 Days of Beauty. Each day from July 6, 2010 to August 4, 2010, Project Beauty will offer one prize (prizes include a Sonicare toothbrush; Mederma Stretch Marks Therapy; and SmashBox cosmetics) per day. To win, people must join the Project Beauty Community, and enter daily to win the prize of the day.

Project Beauty is updated on a weekly basis and features a list of experts on fashion, makeup, and skincare as well as news and first person stories on all things related to cosmetic surgery.

Current videos include a teenager who shares her reasons for getting rhinoplasty at fifteen; a step-by-step guide to applying makeup for the day; and a dentist who shares why he got a facelift.

Project Beauty also launched a social media campaign on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to promote the website and share valuable information and videos from with a wide audience of viewers.

To join the Project Beauty community, sign up at

Dads Desire Makeovers Too

Blond manYou may have heard of the â??mommy makeover phenomenonâ??where new moms get several cosmetic proceduresâ??typically a breast augmentation, tummy tuck, and/or breast liftâ??to help return their bodies to their pre-pregnancy shape.

And while women make up the majority of plastic surgery patients, men see the benefits as well. According to 2009 statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), men received 13 percent of all cosmetic surgical procedures and 9 percent of all cosmetic minimally-invasive procedures performed last year in the United States.

Dad Bill Neville, 52, recently shared his plastic surgery story with reporter Elise Morgan of WHNT NEWS 19 in Huntsville, Alabama. Neville has a four-year-old son and began to worry about how old he looked. “He’s going to start t-ball, swimming, and I don’t want to be out there with the rest of the dads and have them looking at me like, ‘Hey! Grandpa is out here to watch his grandson!'” he said.

Neville realized he could change some things with diet and exercise but decided to get plastic surgery as well. “Just rolling back the clock a bit on this turkey gobbler and possibly getting the skin off my eyelids would be great,” he said before he had surgery.

Neville’s surgeries included his eyelid, a facelift, a neck lift, laser resurfacing of his skin, and injections to fill in wrinkles. “I was hoping not to look real “plasticky” and stretched, and I don’t think I do,” said Neville. “I think it looks real natural and everyone I’ve talked to thinks it looks great.”

Wondering what the most common procedures men ask for? ASPS statistics show that the top 5 cosmetic surgical procedures and minimally-invasive cosmetic procedures for men last year were:

  1. Rhinoplasty (surgical) / Botox (minimally-invasive)
  2. Eyelid surgery / Microdermabrasion
  3. Liposuction / Laser hair removal
  4. Breast reduction / Chemical Peel
  5. Hair transplantation / Wrinkle fillers

The full story and a video of Bill Neville is on the WHNT News website: Plastic Surgery for Men Isn’t Taboo.

Related story: A guy could get used to this no-lines life – A male Los Angeles Times reporter writes about his experience getting Botox treatment.

News Stations Uncover Serious Problems at Bellevue Cosmetic Clinic

Investigative journalists at King 5 are uncovering serious problems at a local cosmetic clinic well known in the Seattle area because of their heavy advertising. Sono Bello, a clinic that advertises body contouring all over the Puget Sound, is denying accusations of questionable conduct documented by the news station.

King 5 presents several cases of complications, from liposuction and laser treatment to problems with anesthesia. One patient reported burns from her laser treatment; another said she experienced blood clots as a result of facial liposuction, and another patient reportedly died following a body liposuction procedure. The cause of death ruled by the medical examiner was “acute lidocaine intoxication” a rare complication that according to ASPS president Phil Haeck, “raises the question of how much lidocaine was placed into the body at the time of the surgery, and whether there was an adequate way to monitor the patient after the surgery.” She was apparently alone in a hotel room after her surgery.

Some procedures were reportedly performed by a “surgical consultant” who was on staff at the clinic.

This unfortunate situation reinforces the need for patients to carefully select their surgeon as well as the operating room facility where their cosmetic procedure is going to be performed. Patients who shop for price alone or succumb to aggressive advertising campaigns regarding the “newest and latest techniques” may be placing their health and appearance in jeopardy.

We feel strongly that plastic surgeons should be board-certified in the field in which they are performing procedures, that office-based operating room facilities should have the highest level of state certification, that board-certified physician anesthesiologists are the most qualified to assure for a patient’s safety during surgery, that “new” techniques should be proven safe and effective by scientific studies and expert investigators before being unleashed and marketed to an unsuspecting public, that patients following surgery must be discharged from the recovery room in the care of a responsible individual who stays with them for the first 24 hours, etc.

Links related to this story

KTVB: Woman dies after liposuction

KING 5: Why no one’s watching cosmetic clinics

Cosmetic Surgery Tax Not a Great Idea

Seattle Plastic SurgeonAll the buzz this morning has been about a possible cosmetic surgery tax being imposed on patients that choose elective procedures as a way to finance health care reform.

According to FOX News Congress blog The Speaker’s Lobby, the idea came from a treasury department official, but it sounds as if the tax proposal is “off the table” for now. Apparently, most finance committee members have not even heard of the proposal.

The LA Times reports that the tax was to be introduced as a ten percent charge that would be tacked onto elective procedures like a tummy tuck, breast augmentation, rhinoplasty, and other popular cosmetic enhancements. The Times also quotes Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus referencing the newly proposed tax proposal ideas as “creative” and “kind of fun.”

There are two solid objections that most cosmetic surgeons would level against this proposal. First and foremost, such a tax would be paid almost entirely by women. Despite the growing popularity of cosmetic procedures for men, women still make up over 90 percent of the patient demographic in the United States. One might argue that imposing a tax such as the one in question would unfairly discriminate against women. Think about it this way: would a tax be imposed on men who purchase expensive tattoos, fashionable clothing, or bodybuilding equipment? It doesn’t seem likely.

Second, the common misconception that’s probably at work here (which may have been true in the past) is that only the wealthy pursue cosmetic surgery. Maybe you can remember the New York Times story by Natasha Singer titled “Who Is the Real Face of Plastic Surgery?” Ms. Singer discussed the fact that a large number of patients choose to finance their cosmetic procedures, just as they would a new car. Also, let’s not forget the 2004 patient demographic survey conducted by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons; it revealed that nearly “a third of people considering plastic surgery reported average household incomes below $30,000.”

Study shows breast reduction surgery results in higher self-esteem

A study that recently appeared in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal found that women who had breast reduction surgery to reduce the size of their large breasts had less back pain and greater self-esteem following the procedure. According to statistics, more than 150,000 women had breast reduction surgery last year.

“This study further demonstrates that the connection between the aesthetic results of plastic surgery and the emotional, social and physical quality of life of our patients cannot be underestimated,” said Dr. Alan Gold, president of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

If you live in or near Seattle and are feeling weighed down by your breasts, contact Dr. Craig Jonov for a breast reduction consultation.

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