Sizing Up Breast Implants: How to Make the Right Choice

Thousands of women pursue breast augmentation procedures each year to improve their body image, enhance their figure and achieve their ideal chest size. The initial consultation with a plastic surgeon provides a realistic perspective on what to expect from breast implants and breast augmentation, and choosing the right size is a part of this process.   

Still, most plastic surgeons won’t commit to an actual ‘size’ for surgery, but will focus on achieving results similar to a photograph or computer simulation instead. New York City plastic surgeon Howard T. Bellin explains that committing to a specific size of implants would ‘tie my hands.' I have a careful discussion with my patients, which may include asking them to bring pictures of what they hope to look like after the surgery.” (Source:

How do I Choose the Right Size so that the Implants are in Perfect Proportion to the Rest of the Body?  

  1. Have your breasts measured by a professional. Many women do not know the real size of their breasts, and are often wearing the wrong size bra as a result.  Having your breasts measured either through a bra fitting or at the plastic surgeon’s office can help you make an accurate assessment of your breasts and learn your real size.
  2. Take a before picture. Taking inventory of your body before any type of cosmetic treatment is an essential part of the process, and this can help you get a realistic look at your proportions and natural figure. A plastic surgeon can then take your picture and mark it up with your proposed breast implant size; some surgeons also offer virtual makeover computer programs in the office, which can help you visualize your future body with ease.
  3. Put on a sizer. Breast sizers are ‘false implants’ that can be inserted into the bra. These can help you visualize the implants with your regular clothes, so you can get a preview of your new look before any type of surgery.
  4. Consider the impact on your skin. Most women who pursue breast augmentation 2 - 3 cup sizes larger than their natural size will experience extensive stretching of the skin. This stretching can cause extensive stretch marks, which do not disappear naturally after the treatment. Laser skin resurfacing techniques can help to reduce the appearance of stretch marks and scarring after breast augmentation surgery, so a few treatments during the recovery phases may help you improve the texture and tone of your skin after the procedure. If you want to reduce the risk of stretch marks, choosing a breast size that is only ½ cup or 1 cup larger than your original size may be a better choice.
  5. Get a second opinion. After you’ve uploaded your photo to a 3D simulation program or taken before and after pictures with and without the sizer, you may want a second opinion on your selection. Meeting with a close friend or family member to discuss the proposed change can help you determine if you are being realistic with your goals of breast augmentation.  

Choosing the right size of implants for your breast augmentation procedure can be challenging, and you’ll need time to find the best plastic surgeon to work with, and review different options available.   

Setting up a consultation with an experienced professional can help you get started on your breast implants procedure. Learn more about breast augmentation procedures and treatment options in our information guide, or search for the best plastic surgeon in your area in our surgeon directory.