Choosing the correct breast implant shape and size


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If you’re considering breast augmentation, one of your most important decisions lies in the implants you choose. Everything from the brand and size to shape and position can make a huge difference to your final outcome, meaning it’s useful to understand your options. Your surgeon will always guide you towards the choices best suited to your needs, so it’s important to pick your team wisely in the first instance – basing your decision upon their qualifications and background in the treatment.

The Breast Augmentation Guide

Which is the best breast implant brand?

There’s a surprising amount of breast implant brands available, but only a few that we would recommend. Without a doubt the most important thing to check is that the brand is fully approved by a certified body and have CE Mark approval. This is the most crucial way to ensure good results and to protect yourself in the future as these are the only brands approved for use in the UK.
CE Mark Breast implants UK
It’s hard trying to find out this information yourself sometimes, which is why your most important job is always to research your surgeon and clinic – check the doctor is on the General Medical Council (GMC) register and the premises are fully CQC registered. Both of these bodies are extremely stringent and designed to protect you – if you’re considering any form of treatment abroad, remember they will not be able to protect you and you may be in a country that does not have any equivalent forces. You’re not only risking good results, but also your health too.

How do I know what size breast implant is right for me?

One thing you’ll probably have seen during your research is the term ‘CC’ with lots of different numbers. This stands for cubic centimetres and is a crucial deciding factor in your final results.

Many patients come to us stating that they want to be a D cup for example, it is great to have a goal in mind but when it comes to breast implants – they do not come in ‘cup sizes’.

The basics of choosing your size is relatively simple; the higher the number, the larger the size and we’d say as an extremely rough guideline that every 150-200 CC’s equates to about one to one-and-a-half cup sizes.

However this can vary hugely and the amount of breast tissue you have, as well as the width of your chest, are always huge factors in the change. To achieve the same cup size as someone else, you may find you have completely different implant sizes. This is normal and never anything to worry about.
When it comes to selecting your ideal implant size, several measurements will be taken of your breasts which includes the breast height, breast width, nipple to inframammary fold, suprasternal notch to nipple and the intermammary distance. All of these measurements will allow your surgeon to work out which implant size is going to best fit your frame.

Find out more about choosing the correct breast implant size and shape here.

Which is the best breast implant shape?

If you’re sure you’ve got a legitimate surgeon and implant brand, the next step might be to think about the shape you want to achieve. Your choice of implants lies in two options; round or teardrop. As an extremely rough guideline, round implants are best for those looking to give fullness to the top of the breast, while anatomical (or teardrop) are better suited to those lacking in breast tissue or seeking a more natural look.

Round Implants
Round implants are the most popular choice for UK women and are generally suitable for most patients. Round implants have the same width to height measurements meaning they are spherical in shape and will give volume to the upper and lower breast. The final appearance tends to be soft, full and proportioned. The best candidates for round implants tend to have little or no droop in the breast and some tissue in the breast already.

Teardrop (anatomical) Implants
Commonly referred to as teardrop due to their shape, anatomical implants or shaped implants produce a more ‘natural’ shaped breast in that they have more volume at the bottom and appear like an oval shape from the front. They are often used for breast reconstruction, or for those who have very little volume in the chest.
There are pros and cons to both implants and these will all be discussed with you during your consultation to help aid your decision making.

What is the Breast Implant Projection/Profile?

An absolutely crucial, but sometimes forgotten factor in how your implants will look is their profile, which determines how far they project from the chest wall of your body. There are four profiles to choose from:

  • Low Profile
  • Medium Profile
  • High Profile
  • Extra High Profile

Profile and Projection of Breast Implant sizing and shapes

Breast Implant Profile Description
Low Profile Low profile implants have the smallest forward projection and tend to be the best fit for those looking to balance a wider frame.
Moderate Profile These are the most common profile used, they give a fairly natural, round fullness with plenty of volume. They are particularly popular with those who are looking to create the appearance of a wider chest.
High Profile These implants have a more pronounced projection from the chest, making them better for those who do not want to as much width to the chest.
Extra-High Profile Extra-high profile have the largest amount of projection compared to the diameter of their base, making them a more suitable choice for those seeking to maintain a smaller chest diameter but a pronounced depth.

It’s important to remember that whatever profile you choose, the projection is not a fixed distance but instead a ratio calculated according to the diameter of the implant base. This means the profile required to achieve the results you need will always be individual to you.

To see patient stories from previous breast augmentation patients click here

What is the best breast Implant position?

Another factor to consider when contemplating the results you’re after is where your implants are positioned.
There are 4 different breast implant positions:

  • Over the Muscle / Subglandular
  • Dual Plane / Subpectoral
  • Under the Muscle / Submuscular
  • Subfascial

Over the muscle (subglandular) is when your breast implants are placed over the chest or pectoral muscles  meanwhile, tends to suit those seeking a faster recovery or those women with enough natural breast tissue to cover the implant.

Dual Plane (Subpectoral) is most commonly known as ‘under the muscle’ despite the placement not actually being under the muscle. When implants are placed in dual plane position they are partially under the muscle so the upper portion of the implant will sit under the pectoralis major muscle but the lower portion is left uncovered. This position is ideal for the majority of patients as it has a reduced risk of sagging or rippling and can also help to provide a slight lift to the breast.

Under the muscle (submuscular) is when the breast implant is placed below the pectoralis muscle and gives the implant more tissue covering and less risk of firmness or visible ripples. However, Under or Submuscular is not commonly performed and usually when surgeons refer to ‘under the muscle’ they actually mean ‘dual plane’ or ‘split muscle’. This is because complete under the muscle implants have a risk of feeling high or too tight on the chest, causing discomfort and changing shape with arm and chest muscle movements.

Subfascial implant placement involves placing the implant beneath connective tissue that covers the pectoral muscle known as fascia. This implant position is not commonly performed as it is a relatively new and very specialised procedure with no long-term comparative studies available.

Find out more about Breast Implant Placements in our blog here

The best implant placement choice for you is something that only your surgeon can decide. There’s no ‘must go to’ formula for where you should have your implants – it’s always down to your natural figure and the shape you’re looking to achieve. Listening to their advice will, ultimately, be the best decision you can make.

Saline or Silicone Implants?

There are two types of filling for breast implants, and these are saline or silicone.

Saline implants are filled with a saline solution which is typically sterile salt water. The implants are most likely to be inserted into the breast empty and then filled once they are in place. Saline implants are not commonly used in the UK as many find the implant is more visible under the skin and often feel quite hard and firm.

Silicone implants is the most commonly used implant material choice in the UK with the majority of UK surgeons favouring them. Silicone is a safe and durable material and offers a more natural look and feel to the breast.

Types of breast augmentation incisions

There are 4 different breast implant incision points although only 1 is commonly used in the UK.

  • Under the breast (Inframammary)
  • Around the nipple (Periareola)
  • Armpit (Transaxillary)
  • Belly button (Trans-umbilical)

The inframammary incision is made within the inframammary fold of the breast which is where the wire of your bra would sit. The incision is usually very small 3-5cm and this will gradually fade over time. This incision placement is favoured due to the ease of being able to control the fold or height of the implant, minimal handling of the implant during incision if using a Keller funnel and the incision is often concealed well which is ideal for the patient.
You can find out more about the other incision points in our blog here.

What type of stitches are used in Breast Augmentation Surgery?

In the majority of breast implant surgery procedures, dissolvable or absorbable stitches are used to close the incision. This means that the stitches or sutures will be naturally broken down by the body in the weeks following surgery.

Breast Augmentation with Asymmetry

Asymmetric breasts are very common, in most cases, a slight difference will not affect your choice of implant sizes. Patients who have more visible asymmetry may be advised to try implants of different sizes in each breast to help correct the asymmetry as enlarging the breasts can make asymmetry more noticeable.
You can find out more about how we treat Breast Asymmetry here.

Breast Implant Before and After Photos

Before and after Breast Augmentation at The Private Clinic.
  Before and after Breast Augmentation at The Private Clinic.

The size of your implants will always be completely individual to you. This is where choosing the right surgeon proves absolutely vital.

To see more of our before and after breast augmentation photos click here

Which breast implant is best for me?

The best implant shape, size, and position always comes down to your own needs.
It’s all about individual results that are best for you.

When choosing the best implants and position for you, it’s important to think extremely carefully about the size and finish you’re after. A good surgeon will have years of experience as well as hundreds of patients behind them, meaning they’ll be able to listen to what you want and show you examples of how your breasts might look with particular shapes, sizes or projections. It’s all about working closely with your team and being completely honest from the start; if you’re not happy with something your surgeon suggests, always tell them. Their job is to give you the results you want and leave you feeling your best – they can only do that if you’re completely open with every aspect.

Remember, implants aren’t your only option. Sometimes, sagging in the breast might be better solved with a Breast Uplift. There’s no set path in terms of treatment, and it’s important to speak to experts with an open mind as only they know what will give you the results you desire. To book a consultation with our expert surgeons click here

Breast Augmentation at The Private Clinic

The Private Clinic prides itself on ensuring you have the best quality and most comprehensive care:

  • 24 hour patient helpline to ensure you are always in the best of hands.
  • As many post-operative care and appointments with your surgeon and nursing team as you require.
  • Three years cover for all surgical, hospital and nursing care, in case of any medical issue giving you peace of mind.
  • Lifetime guarantee on your implant
  • The Private Clinic offers a unique warranty of £1000 towards surgical costs in case of rupture for 10 years from the date of your operation.
  • Comprehensive Breast Enlargement Patient Guide for you to take away at your appointment.
  • Highly experienced Cosmetic Breast Surgeons who have years of experience in Breast Augmentation.
  • Outstanding hospital facilities.
  • Our excellent reputation for patient safety, satisfaction, honest advice and outstanding care means your journey with The Private Clinic will be an exciting experience to a new found shape.
  • View our breast augmentation before and after result photos
  • Hear from previous breast augmentation patients in our patient stories
  • Read our extensive breast augmentation FAQs
  • Watch our breast augmentation videos
  • Find out more information in our breast augmentation blogs

The breast surgeons at The Private Clinic are experts in their field and have years of experience performing breast procedures:

Check out our Breast Augmentation Video Guide the first of its kind aimed to give you as much information as possible about the Breast Augmentation procedure as a step by step video series. Click here to visit our Breast Augmentation Video Guide page.

Chapter 1 – Breast Augmentation Introduction
Chapter 2 – Preparing for your Breast Augmentation Consultation
Chapter 3 – Your Breast Augmentation Consultation
Chapter 4 – Types of Breast Implants
Chapter 5 – Different Breast Augmentation Surgery Techniques
Chapter 6 – Preparing for your Breast Augmentation Surgery
Chapter 7 – Your Breast Augmentation Operation
Chapter 8 – Breast Augmentation Aftercare and Recovery
Chapter 10 – Complications of Breast Augmentation Surgery
Chapter 11 – Before and After Photos of Breast Augmentation Surgery
Chapter 12 – Breast Augmentation Patient Testimonials

If you would like to discuss breast enlargement options please call 03339209135 or use our breast augmentation online contact form.
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