For many women, choosing breast augmentation surgery is a life-changing, exciting and very personal journey. In order to achieve your desired shape and reach your personal goals, it’s a good idea to research the options available so you can make an informed choice and have the best chance at a positive outcome to your breast surgery. What breast implants you choose are an important decision during your journey and below we have outlined some of the most frequently asked questions to help you understand more.
What is a breast implant?
A breast implant is a medical device that is surgically inserted to change the shape, size and aesthetic of a woman’s breast. Breast implants can either be made from silicone or saline, with silicone being the most popular material used in the UK and MYA use them exclusively. The implants that MYA use (Mentor Silicone Gels) are made from a gel substance that is soft and fluid in feeling but the gel acts like a unit (a solid rather than a liquid), which helps it keep its shape. Our patient coordinators describe the gel material like the inside of a jelly baby and the gel offers the natural ‘give’ of breast tissue. Implants come in different cc’s (unit of volume), profiles (widths), shapes and firmness of gels. Your surgeon will typically recommend a range of implant options to suit your frame and size and you are able to make the final choice on size.
What is the difference between a round & shaped breast implant?
There are two implant shapes that your surgeon can offer you at your consultation: a round implant or an anatomical implant (commonly known as a ‘shaped’ or ‘teardrop’ implant).
Any type of implant will add volume to the breast but round implants add volume to both the lower part of the breast and the higher part of the chest. This high breast area, called the ‘upper pole,’ does not normally have much projection without an implant.
Teardrop-shaped implants offer women a more contoured look that is more similar to a natural breast shape with less volume up top and more at the base.
How are breast implants measured?
Implants are measured in CC
Breast implants are measured in cubic centimetres (or CC’s for short), not in cup sizes. An example breast implant size would be: 500cc. A cup size cannot be guaranteed as all retailers measure slightly differently and every patients’ body is different. A 500cc implant can look much different on two different people because they will have different body frames and starting breast tissue. Someone with broad shoulders may need a larger or wider implant to achieve a full “D cup” compared to someone with a very small frame who is looking to achieve a similar cup size.
See below for some examples of the same implant sizes on different women. You can see how body shape, frame, starting breast tissue, breast shape and nipple position mean that the same sized implant won't ever look the same on every woman.
Implants come in different Profile/Projections
The projection of the implant is described as low, moderate, high profile. The profile of an implant refers to how much it projects forward when you are standing.
Low profile – low profile implants are wide in shape, with minimal projection from the chest. Low profile implants are more flattering for women with wider chests.
Moderate profile – moderate profile implants project from the chest more than low profile implants, but not as much as a high profile implant. Moderate profile implants do not create excessive width on the side and are therefore appropriate for women with smaller, more narrow chests.
High/extra high profile – high profile implants have a narrow base width for maximum projection. High profile implants give rounded fullness on top of the breasts and some breast lift. This effect creates the most bubbly, prominent cleavage of the various profile options.
How do I find the right implant size for me?
The right implant size for you is dependent on a lot of factors: the look you are wanting to achieve, your beginning breast shape and body frame, your existing breast tissue and what your surgeon recommends. Your surgeon will listen to what look you are wanting, examine your breasts and make a range of recommendations of implant sizes, profile and shape.
To start with, it helps for you to know what kind of look you’re after. You can bring in photos of augmented or natural breasts as this is a great way to communicate what you’re looking to achieve in terms of size. Remember: a surgeon won’t be able to guarantee a specific look as your final result is dependent on your existing physiology.
When you meet your surgeon at your consultation, they will ask about what look you’re trying to achieve, examine your breasts and ask more about your lifestyle. The examination will consist of your surgeon taking measurements of your chest and breasts, identifying any asymmetry or tubularity, checking skin elasticity (to ensure your skin can handle the weight of an implant), any potential ptosis (breast sagging) and noting nipple location (facing forward, outward or downward). The surgeon will also ask about your lifestyle as this will help inform their recommendation of implant placement and size. For example, if you are very athletic, this will affect what your surgeon recommends.
Following the examination, your surgeon will most likely make a recommendation of a range of 2-3 different implant sizes, for example: 300cc, 350cc, 375cc. The decision is ultimately up to you on which size you end up choosing. After meeting your surgeon, you are able to use our Mentor Sizing Kits with your Patient Coordinator to try on the different implant sizes. Implant sizers look more like silicone chicken fillets than implants and their job is to mimic what the implant would look like once they’re inside you but also gives you a chance to feel the weight of the implants. You’ll try these on with a sports bra and you can wear your normal clothes over the bra to get a feel for the final look. You’ll normally be asked to take some time and think over which of the sizes you liked the most before making your final decision on size. Once your minds made up, it’s possible that you might change your mind or want to come in and try on the sizers with your PC again – and that’s absolutely fine. We’re happy for you to come in again because it’s important that you’re happy with your choice.
Following your surgeon consultation, you are given a 14-day cooling off period, which is an opportunity to reflect on all the information given and decide whether or not surgery is right for you. It’s a big decision and you need to make sure that this is something you really want. If you do decide to go ahead, you’ll book onto an operating date and the countdown will begin! Get yourself onto our MYA Forum, which has more than 75,000 users, and you can talk through implant sizes, surgeons, recovery tips and find out first-hand everything you need to know about your procedure.