Many women who undergo a mastectomy as an aspect of breast cancer treatment also choose to undergo breast reconstruction. The process of reinstating breast contours provides a sense of closure for many women; even a sense of renewal. Having breast reconstruction means having to make more important decisions about the future. This final aspect of breast cancer treatment may be one of the most exciting because it involves considering how one wants to look. One of the common questions, then, is whether to go smaller or bigger than what was naturally present before mastectomy.
Here, we discuss some points of consideration in choosing implant size for breast reconstruction.
- Work with what you’ve got. One of the key elements of breast reconstruction, as with all breast augmentation, is how much the surgeon has to work with. When you consult with Dr. Dahan, he will assess the amount of skin and muscle tissue that is available and discuss the appropriate range of breast implant sizes to fit within that scope. In some cases, breast expanders are inserted first to create more space for implants.
- Age and stage. Breast enhancement is a truly personal decision, so we suggest considering age and stage of life lightly. One cannot say that a younger woman might want larger breasts while an older woman would not. However, statistics have indicated that women in varying age categories do tend to choose similarly-sized breast implants.
- Body size and type. Ultimately, when tissue availability is not a significant issue, the size of breast implants we suggest relates directly with body type. The objective of surgery is to reinstate curves that complement the body, not that exaggerate proportions.
- While breast implants have evolved to look and feel more natural than those that were available just a decade or so ago, some women prefer the idea of a completely natural breast reconstruction. Fat and tissue grafting make this a possibility. Natural breast augmentation typically does not achieve the same degree of fullness as implant augmentation, but size may increase one-half to one cup.