implants

We asked Dr. Sean Rice, BA, MD, M.SC., FRCSC, of Rice Cosmetic Surgery in Toronto for tips on how to pick the right breast implant size the first time around so that you'll be overjoyed with the results now and in the future.

Some women have regrets about the size they've chosen after having a breast augmentation. "In my experience most women say that if they were going to do it again they would go bigger," says Dr. Rice.

However, he stresses that its important to pick a size that best suits your stature. "Women tend to have a size in their mind, usually based on a friend or picture. For example, if they have a friend with a 400 cc implant and she looks great, they tend to feel that if they get the same implant they will look good too. However, that implant may be too big or too small for their body frame. I try to tell women to ignore the number and try on lots of sizes to see what looks best on them."

Trying on different sizes

The most common method for choosing an implant size is simply trying on different sizes of implants using a bra. "In my office we spend about half of the consultation trying on sizes and styles of implants," he says.

Dr. Rice also offers patients the opportunity to use the Vectra 3D, where a picture is taken of the patient and turned into a 3D image. Then post-operative results are generated so that the patient can visually try on different chest sizes and get an idea of how they will look after a breast augmentation. "All patients find this very helpful," he says. "If you can't decide between two sizes you can put the pictures side by side."

Picking the best implant for a natural look

Dr Rice also advises that if a patient wants their implants to look more natural "The implant should not go above the armpit or too wide on their chest."

Women also need to consider how they will look in clothes, not just how their breasts will look when they're naked.

He also reminds his patients that cleavage is created by a good push-up bra. "Very few people have cleavage naturally," he says. "If a patient gets implants that are just too big for her body frame it can cause the skin to stretch over time and she may notice rippling of the implants."

If your nipples are near the centre of your breast, a round implant will work well says Dr Rice. If there is some droopiness, an anatomical (tear-shaped) implant will be needed. If the drooping is more severe you may need a lift before getting a rounder implant.

Being happy about your decision

"I tell my patients never do any surgery for someone else," says Dr. Rice. "These are very personal issues, which should be discussed with your partner, but remember it is you that has to go through with the surgery, and if it is something that you really don't want to do you may not be happy with the results."

Dr. Rice also reminds patients to wait about six months after surgery before judging their final shapes since implants need time to "settle" and for healing to occur. Cost: