If you’re contemplating a boob job it’s important to be well informed before you make your decision.

Types Of Breast Implants

One of the key factors when considering breast enlargement is the type of implant to use. There are two main types available in the UK, these are silicone implants and saline implants.

Both types of implant have an outer silicone shell and a long safe history of use in the UK. While they mainly differ in terms of material and consistency they do have their own pros and cons to consider.

Saline Implants
Saline implants are filled with sterile water and are inserted empty. They are filled once they have been inserted and positioned correctly, meaning they leave a smaller scar. The sterile water or ‘saline’ is very similar to natural body fluids, and are available for patients from the age of 18 onwards

Saline implants are usually the cheaper of the two, but they have a less realistic look to silicone implants. The fluid used in the saline implants is safe and if rupture occurs, the fluid can be absorbed or easily excreted by the body safely. Ruptures are also obvious, so when they occur they can be addressed quickly, with a decision of what needs to be done made in a timely manner.

The cons of the saline implant, aside from the less realistic look, are that they are more likely to lose shape and feel over time. This is largely down to the fluid used. They are also heavier in general, so have a higher rate of downward displacement.

Silicone Implants
Silicone implants are pre-filled with silicone gel. The gel is thick and sticky, meaning it is similar to the feel of human fat. As they are inserted pre-filled, they leave a bigger scar. Silicone implants are only used on patients aged 22 and onwards.

Silicone feels lighter and has a more realistic look, though they are more costly. They are less likely to wrinkle due to the thick filler and can retain shape for longer, even if a rupture occurs. It is possible that because shape can be retained, a rupture may go unnoticed, and it could take an MRI to pick up on.
When a silicone implant ruptures, the silicone gel may spread outside of the scar tissue that has formed around the implant. This can cause siliconomas (small lumps) which can be tender to touch and may need removing if pain persists.

Breast implants are a serious decision and it is important to remember that they don’t last a lifetime. According to NHS Choices, most women with implants will undergo a second surgical procedure within ten years. The difference between price will vary between providers and it is worth getting several quotes. The marked difference the two is usually around a few hundred pounds, with silicone being the higher end.

Working out which implant is right for you will most likely not be a decision you make yourself. Surgeons will take several factors into consideration when deciding, including body anatomy and type.

A consultation with a surgeon will shed more light on which implant is right for you and your body. You will also have a chance to discuss at length the look you want and the outcome you are hoping for.

Breast Implant Sizes and Volumes

Choosing the Size Of Your Breast Implants

Once you have decided that you want breast augmentation surgery and have organised your financing, one of the most important things for you to consider is what size breast implants you are going to have. All implants vary in both size and volume, and what looks natural on one patient could look extremely large and unnatural on another. When deciding which size implant to have, here are a couple of things you may want to think about:

  • What sort of look are you hoping to create? For example, do you want implants that look natural, do you want to look more in proportion, or do you want it to be obvious that you have had a boob job?
  • Will you still be happy with this particular look and the breast implant size in 10 years’ time?
  • What size implants will best suit your lifestyle? Would larger implants get in the way of any sports you play, or affect your daily work?
  • Could your chosen implant size lead to back pain or bad posture as time goes on?
  • Are you willing to have to consider future surgery should your larger implants eventually sag?

These are all things to consider before your consultation, though your surgeon will also be able to talk you through them and advise where necessary.

Choosing Implants Based on Cup Sizes
A common way that many women think about the size of their breast implants is in terms of the bra cup size they may want to be. This can be helpful as an initial guide, but choosing based solely on cup size is inadequate and can also be misleading. For example, it is common to think that a DD cup size is quite large – however, on some people’s frames, a DD is less noticeable than on others. What a patient may think a DD looks like could actually be a E, F or GG in reality.

It is also important to remember that as with all clothing, different stores vary in their bra sizing. Once you have had your implants fitted, you will probably find that your cup size is different depending on which shop you are in. So if you think you want an E cup, it’s worth taking a look at what E cups look like in different brands to properly gauge what you are after.

Breast Implant Volumes
If you have started researching breast implant sizes, then you are likely to have come across references to ‘cc’s. CCs are cubic centimetres, which is what the volume of the liquid in breast implants is measured in. The higher the cc is, the more solution or liquid is in the implant, and therefore the larger the implant and your overall final effect.

The volume of breast implants can range from 120ccs to 850ccs, though many patients’ implants tend to fall between 250-450cc. It is important to note that, just as the same cup size can look different from one woman to another, so too will the same size of implant. This is because the surgeon will also take into account the client’s own breast tissue – this means that a woman with less breast tissue will require a higher volume cc in their implant to achieve a similar look to a woman who has more breast tissue to begin with.

Choosing Breast Implant Size Based on Measurements
As we have already established, deciding on the size of the implant is not as simple as deciding that you would like to be a D cup. Another thing that your surgeon will also have to consider if your physical measurements, and how these will affect implants of different sizes.

The dimensions of your natural breasts are important, as there needs to be enough room to hold the implant. The measurement is taken in a straight line from the inner part of your cleavage, to the most outer part of your breast, but without the measuring tape curving at all. The average woman will have a breast width of between 11-14 centimetres, which means that most implants will also fall between these ranges. Implants should either be exactly the same width as the client’s natural breast, or slightly narrower.

Another factor to consider when choosing the correct diameter breast implant for your frame is the thickness of your natural breast tissue. Women with thicker breast tissue can usually hold a wider implant than women with less breast tissue. This is because the less breast tissue to ‘protect’ the implant, the more likely it is that the implant will stretch the skin and cause unsightly effects such as rippling.

All of these measurements will be taken during your consultations, so that the surgeon can work with you towards choosing an implant size that is both suitable for your size and frame, and will also give you the look that you are hoping for.

How to Choose Breast Implant Sizes
As well as knowing the scientific details about implant sizing, there are also several easy, more fun things that you can do to help choose which size you would like. Firstly, patients are encouraged to ‘try on’ different implants during their consultation. You can even take along some clothes that you think will look better once you have had surgery, and try these on with your potential new breasts to see which implants give you the look you are hoping for. This will help to give you a good idea of what is available to you, and you can also get more of an idea on how implants with different projections will look.

Another method that you can do yourself at home is the pad a larger bra with DIY implants. Filling a small bag, sock or pair of tights with rice, and then inserting this into your bra, can be a good way of simulating how your breasts may appear following surgery.

Finally, you can also bring a selection of photographs along to your consultation. Bring examples of what you would like your implants to look like, as well as examples of women whose breasts are both too large and too small. These will help give your surgeon a clearer indication of which size implant you will need based upon the look you want to achieve.

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