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Breast Augmentation Sizing

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Breast sizing is very important! We will meet for a separate “Sizing Visit” to determine what size implant to use. Patients often say, “I want to be a C cup” without really knowing what a C cup is, or how a C cup will look on them.

How do we determine which cup size?

First, it’s important to understand that there is NO universally accepted standard for the volume of an A, B, C, D or whatever cup size. Different manufacturers set their own standards, so the same woman may wear a C cup in a Lily of France bra, a B cup in a Warner bra, and a D cup in a Victoria’s Secret bra. (I’ve just used these manufacturers as an example – I don’t actually know how these bras will fit.)

What this means is when you say “I want to be a C cup”, I can’t be sure that my idea of a C cup will match your specific bra manufacturer. When we do the sizing, I won’t talk about cup size!

Breast Augmentation Before & After Photos

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Dr. Barnett’s sizing method

Having done well over 5,000 breast procedures, the best method I’ve found is this: At your sizing visit (not your initial consultation), I ask you to bring in 3-4 different blouses, sweaters, dresses, jackets, or whatever top you’d like. Nurses and doctors bring in scrub tops, cops bring in their uniform, lawyers bring in professional blouses, stay-at-home moms bring in T-shirts, or whatever they like. The simpler the better (no frills, fringes, ruffles or bright patterns). I’ll have you try on various bra sizes (we have them), and then put different implants into the bra. You then put your clothes on, and you can get an idea of what you’ll look like with different implant sizes. The shape is not exactly what you’ll look like, and it’s not a perfect method, but it’s the best method out there to determine size.

If you want to play around with sizing at home, use a stretch bra with minimal to no padding. Fill plastic bags with rice, and measure the ounces of rice in a measuring cup. Let me know what you’ve found, and we’ll try that implant size. It gives a very similar result.

What about photos?

I’ll show you over 50 before and after photos, and you can ask about them as a rough guide, but there are many factors that determine how YOU will look with a given implant. Your own breast will be enlarged, but skin type (thick or thin – tight or elastic), chest muscle strength and thickness, the width of your chest, shape of your existing breast, and on and on. I can usually show you a similar before and after for shape, but size is best done with the implant in the bra method.

Breast Augmentation Before & After Photos

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What about the imaging systems?

These systems are intriguing, and they are definitely high tech, but they have not been shown to accurately predict what you’ll look like with either adding (implant) or subtracting (breast reduction).

We don’t do implant sizing at the initial consultation because I don’t want you to be rushed. There is a lot of information that I have to give you at that consultation. You’ll have plenty of time at the pre-operative sizing visit to think it through. Bring a girlfriend, boyfriend, husband, partner, (or Mom), and they can give you their opinion. We’ll do our best to get you the perfect result!

To learn more about what you can expect during a Breast Augmentation, or to schedule your consultation with Dr. Barnett at either his San Francisco or Walnut Creek office, please complete the form on this page or call (415) 362-1221