Breast Implant Size: From Big to Small

breast implant size

Wanting to enhance the appearance of your chest is nothing new. For decades, women have sought to improve the appearance of their breasts. Breast implants have been around for more than 50 years, and today, they are safer and more natural-looking than ever.

Whether women have breast augmentation as a stand-alone procedure or with a mommy makeover, breast implants can give you the look you’ve dreamed of.

Early Years Of Breast Implants

The initial attempts at breast augmentation happened in the late 19th century. The first breast augmentation occurred in 1895 to correct asymmetry, where the surgeon moved a lipoma from the patient’s back to the breast.

Another surgeon tried to put paraffin into a women’s breasts, and the results were disastrous, ranging from hard masses in the breasts to ulcers and even blindness.

The first part of the 20th century saw surgeons attempt many dangerous attempts to augment women’s breasts with odd materials, such as glass balls, oils, beeswax, rubber, ox cartilage, Teflon, sponges, and liquid silicone. All of these procedures were ineffective and dangerous.

Silicone Breast Implants Introduced

The first silicone implants were used in the 1960s. The surgeons who did the procedure were named Thomas Cronin and Frank Gerow. They came up with the concept of a silicone breast implant when they squeezed a plastic blood bag and noticed it felt similar to breast tissue.

A 30-year-old woman named Timmie Lindsey was the first person to have breast implants in 1962. In 2012, the woman told the media that she still had the implants and was pleased to have been part of medical history.

Silicone implants had advantages over earlier methods. It felt more natural and softer, and if there were complications, the implant could be taken out with minimal problems. But there were still problems with silicone breast implants, and the FDA paused their use in 1992 to suggest more studies on safety.

Saline Breast Implants Introduced

Saline implants also were released in the 1960s. A French company made these implants with a silicone outer shell that was filled with saline. They didn’t feel as natural as silicone implants, but the breast augmentation procedure was less invasive and was safer if there was a rupture.

The significant advantage of saline implants is that they don’t need to be filled in advance. They can be filled with the solution after they are placed in the breasts. So, surgeons can place them with a smaller incision, and there is less scarring. Saline implants surged in popularity during the 1990s when the FDA paused the use of silicone implants.

Modern Breast Implants Introduced In 2000s

In the last 20 years, breast augmentation has come a long way. Silicone implants were re-approved by the FDA in 2006. Breast implant manufacturers have experimented with outer shell thickness as well as the density of the silicone filler.

Textured breast implants were introduced in the last 15 years, and more shapes and profiles also were offered. Today, about 240 styles and 8,300 types of silicone breast implants are made in the US.

One of the most exciting developments in the last several years is introducing ‘gummy bear’ breast implants. These products have a thicker silicone gel that keeps its shape in any position. This is the strongest silicone available on the market, but the gummy bear implants feel soft and natural.

Some patients prefer these implants because they keep their shape and are not as prone to rippling and wrinkling. Also, they are less likely to leak silicone into the body if there’s a rupture. And, they can have a breast lift during this procedure if they choose.

Breast Implants Today

The feel, longevity, and safety of breast implants will continue to improve as more research is conducted. But it’s not only the implants that are getting better; there also have been advances in the technique used to do breast augmentation surgery.

Patients and surgeons now have more options that allow each procedure to be custom-made for the patient’s anatomy and goals. For example, there are more choices in breast implant placement and the type of incision.

Imaging software helps the patients imagine how their results will look before they decide on the procedure. Also, a new tool called a Keller Funnel makes it safer and easier to place the breast implant.

There also have been changes in breast implant size trends. Breast augmentation used to be about a woman’s breast size only in the connotation that ‘bigger is better.’ But many women today talk to their plastic surgeons about smaller breast implants for a more subtle, natural-looking appearance.

Also, a greater focus on staying healthy and active has women opting for a smaller breast implant size so they can exercise. Some women even decide to have a breast reduction, breast reconstruction, or have their breast implant removed to decrease their breast size.

We can expect that the technology and science behind breast implants and breast augmentation will continue to change in the coming years. And patients will benefit from these advances.

breast implant size selectionHow to decide my right breast implant size?

The most undesirable outcome of a breast implant surgery is being dissatisfied with the results. The crucial factor in ensuring your satisfaction with your post-surgery appearance is selecting the appropriate breast implant size and implant shape. It’s essential to comprehend how the size, type, and profile of each implant will influence your body and overall appearance.

The size of your breasts is likely the most crucial factor influencing your decision to undergo breast implant surgery. It’s normal to reconsider your decision multiple times, but what matters most is that you are content with your final choice.

Breast implants are measured in cubic centimeters (cc) rather than cup size. The range of implant sizes spans from around 125 cc (equivalent to roughly half a cup size) up to 1200 cc. A helpful guideline is to add 250 cc for every cup size you aim to increase. For instance, if you’re looking to enhance your breasts by one and a half cups, you might consider approximately 375 cc-sized implants.

In determining the right breast implant size for you, your surgeon will take various factors into account, including your body frame, current bra cup size, and desired breast size, to offer the most suitable recommendation.

How do I choose my implant shape?

When considering your breast augmentation, choosing the implant shape is really important, you have two options: round or teardrop. Round implants are symmetrical, providing equal fullness around the nipple. On the other hand, teardrop-shaped implants are designed with more volume at the bottom, adding enhanced definition to the area below the nipple.

You may have encountered both types of implants without realizing there was a significant distinction. A teardrop breast implant offers a more natural appearance while maintaining a full, desired shape, whereas round implants provide a more pronounced level of fullness and outward projection, resulting in a more dramatic look. Both options enjoy popularity, and the choice ultimately boils down to your personal preference for appearance.

What types of breast implants can I choose?

When considering breast augmentation surgery, you’ll have the option to choose between saline and silicone implants. It’s crucial to recognize that each choice comes with its own set of advantages and drawbacks.

Therefore, engaging in a discussion with your plastic surgeon is essential to ensure you make an informed and suitable decision for your specific circumstances. Here are a few things to consider:

Saline implants provide a firmer feel and a more customized fit.

Silicone implants have a more natural appearance and a softer feel.

Most patients choose silicone implants, but saline implants may provide a better fit for your body.

What is my breast implant profile?

The breast profile defines the extent to which your breasts project outward from your chest. Visualizing it as a half-circle can be helpful; the distance between the apex of the curved part and the flat portion determines the profile level.

Choosing a low-profile implant can yield a more understated, natural appearance, while a higher-profile implant offers increased projection and prominence for those seeking a more pronounced look, depending on your desired aesthetic.

Questions and Answers

What is the most popular implant size?

Over half of the woman surveyed believed that a C cup size fit their body shape and activity level the best when it came to selecting their ideal breast implant size.

Are high profile or low profile breast implants better?

Here are a couple things to think about when considering implant profile.  In cases where there is minimal natural breast tissue, opting for a high profile implant might be recommended to attain the desired fullness. Conversely, if there is more natural breast tissue, a lower profile implant may be more suitable to preserve a natural appearance.

What is a high profile breast implant?

High profile breast implants offer increased forward projection, characterized by their narrow base diameters and additional fullness in the upper poles. This design enhances cleavage and imparts a rounder and fuller appearance to the breasts. High profile implants are particularly well-suited for women with narrow chest walls.

Request A Breast Augmentation Consultation Today

Ready for your initial breast implant consultation in Las Vegas? Please schedule a consultation with Dr. Rachel Mason today! She will review the options with you about this very personal decision about breast augmentation and discuss your goals to help determine if you’re an ideal candidate for this procedure.


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