The trend in breast augmentation surgery is leaning toward more conservative sizes, which are loosely defined as 400 cubic centimeter (cc) implant or smaller. The goal is to achieve natural results and eliminate the telltale signs of plastic surgery, such as rippling, palpability, and “rounded” look.
A 400 cc breast implant could deliver a 2 cup size increase for an “average” American woman. Nevertheless, the exact amount of augmentation depends on several variables such as body frame, chest and breast measurement, preoperative tissue, and other related anatomies of patients.
Most patients seeking a conservative breast implant size want to achieve just a certain amount of fullness that is within the range of what looks normal. They generally want natural-looking results and are averse to “too much” attention or appearance that “screams” plastic surgery.
Aside from personal preference, patients asking for a conservative breast augmentation result want to maintain their professional or corporate look. Women in the entertainment business, meanwhile, may request for more augmentation in an attempt to achieve a more “flamboyant” look that is often necessary to succeed in their industry.
While some surgeons attempt to describe conservative breast implant size as 400 cc or smaller, the most accurate definition is an implant volume that matches and respects the patient’s anatomy—not just the chest area but also the shoulder measurement, waistline, hips, height, and overall body frame.
The amount of augmentation, according to leading Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smaili, should also match the amount of pre-existing soft tissue of the breast. The idea, he further explains, is to prevent skin thinning, visible scalloping or rippling of the implant underneath the skin, and implant displacement.
Dr. Smaili says conservative-sized implants also promote “graceful aging” of the breasts because of their minimal impact on skin and tissue elasticity.
In addition, conservative implant size is also popular among women with active lifestyle because it is less obtrusive and has no or minimal impact on their “center of gravity,” posture, and performance.
For many athletic women, another impetus for choosing smaller implants is the lower incidence of wrinkling and palpability, which they are at risk because they usually have low body fat percentage, explains the celebrity Beverly Hills plastic surgeon.
But Dr. Smaili says that choosing small breast implants may have one major drawback: they might not meet the postop size and overall look the patients want to achieve. For this reason, he highlights the importance of open, honest communication between a surgeon and his patient to make sure they are on the same page.