As a plastic surgeon who specializes in both primary and secondary breast enhancement, one of the most common questions I am asked is not only how to choose the right breast implant style and size, but also which ones are most common to my practice. For years, while I had a basic idea, I didn’t know specifically how to answer this question. Until now.
This past month, I asked my Allergan breast implant representative to run 2016 numbers so that I could give my clients a solid answer when it comes to which styles I use and which sizes tend to be most popular. But before I give you the answers, let’s talk about the actual differences between styles, as well as why some patients might choose a specific size over another.
Keep in mind that everyone of you is different and that comparing your breasts to your friend’s breasts is simply not going to give you the right answer. And the same rings true with photos on the Internet. While I always ask my patients to bring in examples of a proportionate “look” that they are striving for, I caution them to avoid choosing this look based upon a specific cup size or implant volume. Every single person is unique and how a specific implant volume will affect that person’s breasts is also unique!
Inspira breast implant styles
Since I currently am exclusively using the Allergan Natrelle Inspira breast implant line, lets talk about what is available in terms of styles. There are 5 styles and each can be discussed in terms of its relationship to the width of the implant (distance from one side of the implant to the other) and projection of the implant (distance from the back of the implant to the front) relative to a specific fill volume. As you go across various styles for a certain amount of volume, implants within that range simply get narrower and more projected:
- SRL (Smooth Round Low Profile) → widest base/lowest projection
- SRLP (Smooth Round Low Plus Profile)
- SRM (Smooth Round Medium Profile)
- SRF (Smooth Round Full Profile)
- SRX (Smooth Round Extra-Full Profile) → narrowest base/highest projection
To understand this, let’s go back about 15 years or more when I first started practicing plastic surgery. At that time, there was only one breast implant style. Our patients were faced with the decision of either choosing an implant that fit the base width of their breasts (distance from the inner portion at the bottom of the breast to the outer portion) or choosing a volume that they really wanted but accepting the fact that their breasts would turn out a little wider than they wanted. And this was NOT a good choice! Over the years, implant manufacturers recognized that patients were not simply trying to increase the volume of their breasts; they wanted to improve volume and affect shape and do so in a way that created a look that was natural. And breasts that were too wide simply did not look natural!Within these five styles, I almost exclusively use the latter three (SRM/SRF/SRX) and have used the first two only on very rare occasions. What really dictates why you should choose one over the other?
The most popular breast implants at BEAUTY by BUFORD
When we ran the numbers, the top style came as no surprise. We found that our patients chose implant styles in the following ratios:
- SRF: 71 %
- SRM: 21%
- SRX: 8%
These numbers were not surprising, given the fact that a majority of our patients are very athletic, lean, and have breast base diameters averaging around 11.5 cm. Couple this with the fact that our average size came in around mid-300cc to mid-400cc, and you can see why the top styles look so appropriate. What is even more interesting is the fact that since we attract patients from all across the country, these numbers are not just reflective of patients who live locally in Denver; these are national numbers.
Which breast implants are the best choice for you?
But is this style perfect for all of our patients? No! There is no one-size-fits-all. We individualize style and size for all of our patients, which is why we also use the other two styles and also a wide range of sizes. And so the question remains as to why and for whom we would use the SRM and SRX implants for.
- SRM implants tend to be a great choice if you are choosing a low volume implant. In this size range, base width is going to be relatively narrow in most implants and so you would emphasize a wider-based implant to fill out the breast width in a natural and proportionate manner.
- SRX implants are the narrowest implants and tend to be a more appropriate choice for very slender patients looking for a much higher breast implant. For these patients, we can use a bigger implant without running the risk of it being far too wide for their chest wall.
That being said, these are only averages and do not apply to every single person. At your preoperative examination, I will still ask you to bring in 2-3 photos of a proportionate look that you are trying to achieve and will evaluate that look against your own individual measurements to identify a specific style and a size range appropriate for you. From there, sizers will then be used in the operating room to identify how your breast tissue responds to a specific breast implant volume and, ultimately, which size is optimal for you.
We found this information to be very helpful and hope that you will, as well. As I emphasize to every single one of my patients, breast enhancement is more an art than a science and so its critical that you choose a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with experience, as well as an aesthetic eye that will help you achieve your aesthetic goals.
Be well! Thank you again for your continued support!