Q: How do you know what size and shape and of breast implant is the right one?

What our experts say:

I usually help the patient choose their size and shape based on chest-size measurements and how much volume they want.  We start with size and then go with shape.  A teardrop shape versus a round one doesn’t really matter because they all look like a teardrop in the body.  Some people want the teardrop shape because they think it will look natural, but that is possible with round implants, too, if they are the proper size.  I have patients try implants on in a try-on bra with their clothes on because the patient is the best judge of what is right for her. Trying them on is key. It’s based on what kind of image the patient wants to have with her new breasts; whether she’s athletic, a model, flashy or a stripper.  We start with implant choices that will fit her body, and the patient will tell me what she’s looking for, and we go up and down from there.  I have developed an eye and ear for what patients want.  It’s all about what will balance the figure and what style the patient wants to project.  It may not be my style, but it is their decision. Every surgeon has their own idea of what looks good and guides the patient to what they have had good experiences with. I like smooth, round implants because, with proper massage to keep scar tissue from forming, they give a natural, soft look. Textured implants can be more visible in thin women. 


Dr. Mary Herte

Plastic Surgeon

Las Vegas, Nevada

The primary method at my practice is to let patients try on implants. We have all kinds of sizers including shaped sizers that better imitate what the shape will look like in addition to the size. I don’t think any woman should ask the doctor to make that choice. This isn’t about the doctor’s tastes, it about the patient’s tastes. Trying on the implant is key, but the other thing that I do often is use a 3-D system called Axis 3. It takes six photographs of a woman’s chest and puts them together so we can look at them on a computer screen and simulate different sized implants so the patient can get an idea of what they will look like. It allows you to see different angles, which is really helpful when dealing with cases of asymmetry.

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