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Breast implants are not one-size-fits-all. They are a personal experience.
Every person who chooses breast augmentation will have the option of different breast implant shapes and sizes. But how do you pick the right breast implants? Is there a perfect breast implant size and shape for you? Is there an implant type and placement that you should choose? These are all factors to take into consideration when preparing for your surgery.
At GraceMed, we work with you to determine the best breast implant size and type for your unique needs and preferences. We perform a wide range of procedures at our different clinic locations and can offer breast augmentation in Burlington, North York, and Mississauga.
If you’re planning on getting breast augmentation, it’s important to know your different options. Learn about the integral details surrounding breast implants, including their different sizes, shapes, and materials, to help you figure out what will be best for you.
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Breast Augmentation 101
Breast augmentation (augmentation mammoplasty) is a surgical procedure that enhances the size, volume, and shape of a person’s breasts. This cosmetic surgery is also often used by women who want to restore their breast volume and shape after undergoing pregnancy, breastfeeding and weight loss.
Breast augmentation can be paired with other cosmetic procedures, including breast lifts, breast reshaping surgeries, and mommy makeovers (a customizable treatment plan for mothers). Women who undergo mastectomies or lumpectomies after breast cancer can also include breast augmentation with their reconstructive surgery.
The most common way to achieve breast augmentation is with implants. Breast implants can help enhance breast volume, shape, and cleavage.
During the procedure, a surgeon makes incisions in each breast. These incisions could be in the armpit, breast fold, or areola. They will insert the implants through the incisions and then correct the implant positioning and shape before stitching the incisions closed.
Breast augmentation can also be achieved through a breast fat injection, known as a fat transfer. This technique primarily uses liposuction for different areas of a person’s body and then re-injects that removed fat into their breasts. This method’s results tend to be smaller and subtler than augmentation with breast implants.
Breast Implant Options
There are three manufacturers that sell breast implants in Canada: Allergan Inc., Mentor, and Ideal Implants Inc. Each company offers implants with different characteristics to help surgeons and patients find the best option for the procedure at hand.
The two types of breast implants available in the country are saline implants and cohesive silicone gel implants.
Saline Implant: A saline implant has a silicone shell filled with a saltwater solution. This type of implant can be inserted through a smaller incision and often costs less than its counterpart.
Cohesive Silicone Gel Implant: A cohesive silicone gel implant has a silicone shell filled with silicone gel. This type is praised for feeling softer and looking more natural than saline implants.
There are two breast implant shapes to choose from: Round and Teardrop.
Round: Round implants are circular and symmetrical. They are the best option for patients that want fuller breasts and ample cleavage.
Teardrop: Teardrop implants are round on the bottom and taper off at the top, like a teardrop. They are sometimes called Gummy Bear Implants. They are the best option for patients that want natural-looking results.
You have two options when it comes to breast implant placement. Your surgeon can place your implants below your chest muscle or above it.
Placing the implant below the chest muscle reduces your risk of rippling, wrinkling, or bottoming out (when the implant moves downward). It also gives a more natural look.
A sub-glandular placement (above the muscle) gives a more noticeable result. It’s an ideal placement for patients that want their breasts to look rounded and defined like they’re wearing a push-up bra. It’s also an ideal placement for athletes, particularly athletes who do weightlifting, as the chest muscles won’t strain against the implants.
Breast implants come in different sizes to accommodate a variety of body shapes and cosmetic results. When a surgeon discusses breast implant size with you, they are often referring to the implant’s volume. The volume is measured in cubic centiliters (cc). The more ccs in an implant, the larger it will be.
The range for implants is typically between 200cc and 850cc. To give you a clearer idea of what that is, 250 ccs could help a patient go up one bra cup size.
In addition to volume, patients can also choose breast implants with different widths, heights, and outward projections.
How to Pick the Right Implants
Picking the right implants can be a stressful process. How can you find the best breast implant size, shape, or type for you? You want to be happy with your decision.
Here are some ways to help you find the right breast implants for your unique needs:
Learn Your Dimensions:
Your dimensions matter just as much as the breast implant dimensions. Picking an implant that doesn’t fit with the shape and size of your breasts will lead to undesirable results.
Your bra size will not be the best indicator for your dimensions. Instead, you should measure the width of your breast in centimeters. Start from the cleavage area to the outermost part (where it reaches the armpit). Hold the measuring tape out so that it’s a straight line instead of curving it against your breast.
Most breasts have some asymmetry, so you should take measurements for both of them. They may have some slight differences.
You will want breast implants with similar or smaller widths than your natural breasts. Not only will these look more natural, but they will also feel more comfortable.
Think About the Results You Want:
Think about the results that you’re hoping to get out of the surgery. Do you want your breast augmentation to be subtle or dramatic? Do you want the natural look or the “push-up bra” look? The answers will lead you to the right breast implant size, shape, type, and placement.
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Think About Your Lifestyle:
You want your implants to match your lifestyle. Ignoring this factor could make your work, hobbies and day-to-day life more challenging.
For instance, patients that are very physically active might find larger breast implant sizes difficult to manage. Large breast implant sizes can hinder their ability to do certain exercises, like running, jogging, skipping and yoga. Smaller implants would give them a boost in volume and shape without getting in the way of their active lifestyle.
Look at Photos:
Look at before and after photos of breast augmentations. This will give you a good idea about what you can expect from your own surgery, especially when you see photos of patients with your body type and desired breast augmentation size. Save examples that you like so that you can show your surgeon
Try the Rice Test:
You can use the rice test to see what certain breast implant sizes look and feel like before your surgical consultation. You will need some uncooked rice, a sports bra and an old pair of nylons. Cut the nylons right above the feet. This will be your “implant” shell. Measure out your rice, pour it into the nylon shell, and tie it. Repeat this step with the other side, and then slip both implants into your sports bra.
Key measurements to remember:
- One teaspoon of rice = 5 cc
- One tablespoon of rice = 15 cc
- One quarter cup of rice = 60 cc
- Half a cup of rice = 120 cc
- One cup of rice = 240 cc
Try bigger and smaller breast implant sizes and make a note of the options that you like the most.
Try Breast Implant Sizers:
Breast implant sizers are silicone gel implants in different sizes and styles that you can try on during your surgical consultation at our cosmetic surgery clinic. Slip a sizer into your bra to see how it looks. Move around and see how it feels.
This experiment is similar to the rice test but will give you a much better idea of a breast implant’s size, shape and feel.
That said, it’s important to know that the sizer isn’t the perfect measuring tool for your results. This is because the sizer sits on top of your breast tissue. Your breast implants will be placed underneath your breast tissue and, potentially, your pectoral muscles. This means that the sizer will look bigger than the final results. If you find a sizer that you like, you may want to go up a breast implant size to get the same outcome.
Ask Your Surgeon:
During your consultation, the surgeon will discuss different breast implant shapes and sizes with you, along with other important factors like your body size/weight, the current shape of your breasts, your breast tissue and your chest wall. They will encourage you to get implants that fit comfortably and that are proportionate to your size.
Think About the Future:
Implants are a long-term investment. So, you should think about how you’ll feel about your breasts for years to come — not just how you’ll feel in the months after surgery.
Patients that are considering a dramatic size increase should think about this. Breasts with larger implants come with similar issues as naturally large breasts, like shoulder pain and back pain. They’re heavier, which means they’re more likely to sag and droop over time. You will need to wear supportive bras to keep your breasts from pulling at your ligaments. You may want to undergo a breast lift in the future to rectify the sagging and bring them to a higher position.
Larger implants are more likely to ripple, shift, bottom out or create the double bubble effect — this is when the breast implants shift and create creases at the bottom of the breasts.
Removing Breast Implants
One of the benefits of breast implants is that they can be removed. Implant removal is usually done for replacements. After all, the life expectancy of a breast implant is usually over a decade, depending on the material and placement. After reaching that life expectancy, the patient should have their implants removed and replaced with a new pair.
Implant removal is also used for those who experience complications like ruptures and breast implant illness. Finally, removal is also done for patients that don’t like their breast implant size, shape, and look. Their breasts may have grown from weight gain, pregnancy or breastfeeding, and the enhancement doesn’t feel necessary anymore. In some cases, they simply change their minds. Patients are free to remove their implants and forego any replacements.
If you ever decide to remove your implants and forego replacements, you should know that the removal could leave you with some sagging and drooping in the breast area. This depends on the elasticity of your skin and the breast implant size. You may want to plan a breast lift to remedy this side effect.
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Breast Augmentation at GraceMed
Come to GraceMed for your breast augmentation surgery. Our surgeons will help you choose the right implants and guide you through the steps of your breast augmentation, from the pre-surgery prep to the post-surgery recovery. We have clinic locations all across the Greater Toronto Area.
GraceMed can perform other plastic surgeries to go with your breast augmentation. Our surgeons can perform breast lifts, tummy tucks, liposuctions and much more. Learn more about all the different types of plastic surgery that our clinics offer.
Now it’s time to take your pick! Find the right breast implants for your body and get started on your breast augmentation.