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.

Schedule a free consultation

to determine if silicone or saline implants are right for you

Best time to contact?
Sign up for email specials?

Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Society’s Predictions for 2011

2011 plastic surgery predictionsThe American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) came up with a list of predictions for cosmetic plastic surgery in 2011 based on interviews with leading plastic surgeons around the country.

They highlighted several areas where they expect to see growth: facelifts, injectables and body contouring.

As the economy improves, the Society says the demand for facelift surgery will increase, as those who have been putting off the surgery for the past few years will be ready in 2011.

The growth of injectables, already the most popular non-surgical procedure according to ASAPS’s 2009 statistics, will continue to increase in popularity as they evolve and new products enter the market. Botox, Juvederm and Restylane are a few of the many choices available today.

According to ASAPS, body contouring procedures will also be on the rise as more obese people turn to weight loss surgery and then to cosmetic procedures, such as abdominoplasty, lower body lifts and upper arm lifts, after they lose a significant amount of weight.

The Society also predicts that in coming years patients will be seeking more posterior body lifts, buttock lifts, surgical and nonsurgical buttock augmentations to shape and augment their buttocks thanks in part to celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Lopez who have made it a must-have accessory.

One area where they see change ahead is in fat reduction techniques. While liposuction will remain the standard in surgical fat reduction, new non-surgical techniques will continue to be developed, including freezing, zapping and lasering fat, as possible alternatives to surgery.

The Society unfortunately sees consumers looking for bargains on cosmetic procedures, which will lead to an increase in plastic surgery “horror” stories, such as when patients get discount injectables bought overseas and cosmetic procedures performed by untrained practitioners. This can be avoided by choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon.

For the full list of predictions, visit

Breast Augmentation Study Finds Geographic Differences in Patient Demographics

breast augmentation demographic studyAn study published recently in the Canadian Journal of Plastic Surgery compared physical characteristics and implant details of breast augmentation patients in three different geographical locations: Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada; Loma Linda, California; and Temple, Texas.

The authors reviewed 100 consecutive breast augmentation cases at practices in each of the three cities, gathering data on height, weight, body mass index (BMI), age, the number of children the patient had and implant volume.

They found that the three group medians were significantly different for weight, BMI and implant volume; BMI was lowest in the Canadian city and highest in Temple, Tex. Temple patients had the smallest average implant size, significantly lower than the other two cities.

There was also a statistically significant positive correlation of BMI and implant volume in the two U.S. cities, meaning the higher the patient’s BMI, the larger the implant volume used. The researchers wrote, Implications from this correlation found in our study include possibly improving implant volume predictions preoperatively, leading to improved efficiency, outcomes and reduced reoperation rates.

They also say that the patientsâ?? BMI could potentially provide an additional data point on which to make operative planning decisions.

In addition to comparing geographies, the study also revealed data for all 300 patients combined. On average, the breast augmentation patients studied were:

  • 34 years old
  • 5′ 4″ tall
  • 128 pounds

The researchers decided to examine the demographics of breast augmentation patients, as they said this information has often been lacking from other studies, despite the increase in breast augmentation surgeries. According to statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, there has been a 45 percent increase in women seeking breast augmentation since 2000. To learn more, read the full text of the study online.

Dr. Jonov performs breast augmentation at the Seattle Plastic Surgery Center.

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.

Annual Plastic Surgery Meeting to Cover Latest Trends, Developments

Plastic Surgery 2010 Around 5,000 people who work in the plastic surgery industry from surgeons to exhibitors will gather in Toronto, Canada this Friday for the annual plastic surgery scientific meeting, which will cover the hottest topics, technologies and research in plastic surgery.

Plastic Surgery 2010, sponsored by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), is the largest international meeting of plastic surgeons and will feature the latest developments and trends in the industry.

“Plastic Surgery 2010 is the complete plastic surgery experience featuring the latest information on cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery techniques,” said ASPS President Michael McGuire, MD.

A variety of procedures will be covered in studies, panels, and courses, including:

  • Patterns of Use and Surgical Outcomes of Breast Reconstruction among Obese Patients
  • Breast Augmentation with Fat Grafting
  • Fillers and Injectables: Evidence-Based Update
  • Painless Tummy Tucks
  • Liposuction During Tummy Tucks, Safe or Sorry?
  • Post-Bariatric Surgery: Body Contouring, Reconstructive Considerations and Optimal Outcomes

There will also be a Haiti Forum at which plastic surgeons will discuss their volunteer experiences following the January earthquake in Haiti. There are still many plastic surgeons actively engaged in the relief effort.

Because the meeting is in Canada this year, Dr. McGuire said it “will serve as a first ‘congress of plastic surgery’ whereby international and U.S. physicians can easily come together to investigate and refine new techniques, review the safety and effectiveness of devices and procedures, and explore emerging trends in plastic surgery.”

The largest organization of board-certified plastic surgeons in the world, ASPS represents over 7,000 physician members and is recognized as an authority and information source on cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery.

Call Now Button
Free Consultation
close slider

Contact Us

Best time to contact?
Sign up for email specials?