Let’s (NOT) Talk Bra Cup Sizes

When considering breast enhancement surgery, it is natural to think in cup sizes. For instance, you might wear a B cup now, and want to go to a C cup. While that is useful information to share with your surgeon at your consultation, it’s important to realize that it is just a guideline and that implants don’t come in cup sizes. Breast implants are sized according to their volume in cubic centimeters (cc).

One of the first things to consider is that all “C”s are not created equal. A 32C is significantly smaller in volume than a 38C. Then there is variation in cup size by the manufacturer—a Bali 32C may be bigger or smaller than a Victoria’s Secret 32C. There is even variation in cup size with different type bras by the same manufacturer.

A 32C demi bra by Victoria’s Secret may fit, while a 32C pushup may not. So, while it’s useful to have an idea of the cup size you want, remember that there is no standardization of cup sizes.

Below is a photo of four C cup bras by the same manufacturer:

A group of bras

Now take a look at this chart designed to help you figure out your proper bra size:

Bra size chart

First, you measure around your chest, then measure around the breasts where they project the most. The difference gives you the cup size. It seems a bit confusing, right?

Now take a look at this chart:

Bra size chart

This chart gives an idea of what volume in ccs each cup size represents. The hard part comes when the patient is thinking in B, C, D, and the surgeon is thinking in ccs.

What has worked in my practice is to first talk to the patient and listen to what they want, look at pictures of what they might want to look like, and then actually try on some implants. An implant is placed into each cup of the bra, then with a tee shirt on, we get an idea if we’re in the right ballpark. We go up or down in size as needed. Often, the patient will turn to me at this point and say, “So, this is a C?” In response, I tell them if they like the way it looks in the mirror, that’s the one we use, and then find out what cup size it is when they go bra shopping after surgery.

We are usually fairly accurate in getting the size right in terms of patient satisfaction, and having done this for 20 years, I have a very good idea of what volume will make a patient a desired cup size. In the end, as long as the patient is happy with the result, and the size; then the letter, or cup size, really doesn’t matter. It’s just a guideline.

If you’re considering breast augmentation surgery, take the first step by scheduling your consultation today.

Understanding Your Implant Options, Part One: Saline vs. Silicone

People have very strong opinions on this topic and, unfortunately, most of the information on this topic is not based on facts. Understanding the history of the different types of implants may help shed some light on the topic.

The History of Silicone & Saline Implants

Woman preparing for breast augmentation surgery

The first silicone implant for breast augmentation was made in 1961, and the first saline implant in 1964. The silicone implant went through various changes for the next several decades in attempts to improve the longevity, feel, appearance, and texture. Saline implants were not used frequently, as the feel and look of the silicone was far superior. In 1992, the FDA placed a moratorium on the use of silicone implants, stating there was insufficient data proving their safety. Basically, the FDA was saying not to use these until we have a lot more research showing they are safe. At this time, saline implants were used in almost every case except for patients undergoing reconstruction or those involved in the clinical trials.

Concerns With Saline Options

Saline implants worked fine, but there were problems. Saline implants tend to show more ripples, so placement was almost always under the muscle. This requires slightly longer recovery, and over time the implants, in some patients, tend to shift down and out. This is perhaps due to the action of the muscle in combination with the viscosity of the saline. At any rate, pocket revisions for implants sliding off to the side of the chest were not uncommon. Because the muscle only covers a portion of the implant, ripples could be seen on the lateral or outer portion of the breast. The biggest downfall of saline implants is the rupture rate of 3-6 percent at three years, and 7-10 percent at 10 years. Saline implants can rupture without any cause, and it usually happens a week before a scheduled vacation. Joking, but its never convenient to wake up and discover your breast has gone flat. The rupture rate of silicone, by comparison, is less than 1 percent at 6 years.

Rise of Silicone Implants

In 2006, the FDA allowed the manufacture and use of silicone implants once again. The studies proving their safety were to continue for an additional 10 years. During this time, there were no studies that showed a correlation between silicone implants and any disease process or syndrome (chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, lupus, etc.). The silicone implants used today are vastly superior to the ones used back in the ’60s. The outer shell of the implant is pliable but very resistant to tearing or leakage. The biggest improvement is in the quality of the gel. All silicone implants made now have some form of cohesiveness. That is, the silicone gel isn’t a liquid that will leak out if the outer shell is damaged. There are gummy bear, memory gel, and cohesive gel implants that all have slightly different qualities, but basically, if the implant is damaged, the gel will stay within the shell. If pressure is applied to a damaged implant, the gel will come out of the implant and then return to the inside of the shell once the pressure is removed.

Silicone implants can be placed in front of the muscle or behind the muscle, depending on the amount of available breast tissue. If a patient has adequate tissue to cover the implant, then in front of the muscle is an excellent option. The recovery for this surgery is two to three days. In very thin patients with little breast tissue, the implant is placed behind the muscle.

The bottom line? Both saline and silicone implants will augment the breast. Silicone implants, in my opinion, are vastly superior to saline in terms of natural feel, appearance, and longevity.

For more answers to common questions about breast augmentation, visit our FAQ page. Or, to speak directly to Dr. Kinsley about your questions and concerns, schedule a consultation today.

Flat to Fabulous in 2 Hours: Mastopexy (Breast Lift) With Implants

One day you wake up and realize your breasts look like they belong on someone else’s body—someone like your elderly aunt. And as we say in the office, that’s not the look you were going for. When breasts lose volume and sag, it may seem like a lost cause, but it’s not. There’s hope.

Dr. Kinsley’s Advice

After kids, and with normal aging, breasts lose volume. Ordinarily, the volume can beA woman's chest marked for surgery in Mandeville, LA replaced with implants alone. If the tissues drop or sag, however, an implant alone may not provide enough lift, and a breast lift or mastopexy is needed. A word of caution—over the years, I have seen many patients opt for a large(r) implant instead of a lift with a small implant to avoid the scars associated with a breast lift. What frequently results in these cases is a larger, saggy breast, like a grapefruit in a sock. My advice is to do what’s needed or do nothing at all.

In the past, some surgeons were reluctant to perform both of these procedures at the same time, opting to do a breast lift then come back a few months later and place implants. In my practice, I routinely perform these procedures together with proper patient selection.

During the Procedure

The surgery is done as an outpatient procedure under general anesthesia, and it usually takes less than two hours. While the patient is awake, I mark them while they are in the sitting position. Then, the surgery begins by placing the implant. To me, this is like pouring the foundation of a house. I place the implant, and then with the patient in a semi-sitting position, I tailor tack the skin around the implant to get the perfect shape and lift. Tailor tacking means stapling the skin without cutting it so that the incision lines can be fine-tuned. Once this is done, the skin is marked again, and then the breast lift is done. The few extra minutes it takes to “tailor” the breast make a huge difference in results, in my opinion.

After the Procedure

The patient wakes up in recovery in a bra after the procedure. As far as discomfort, a breast lift with implants is comparable to a breast augmentation. For the first two weeks, restrictions will be in place for high impact sports and activities, as well as heavy lifting.

For before and after photos of my work, view previous breast augmentations. If you’re interested in setting up an appointment, fill out the contact form.

What You Should Know About Breastfeeding With Breast Implants

If you are considering breast implants, one of the concerns you may have is how the implants will affect your ability to breastfeed. In a nutshell, the answer is not very much.

The Procedure

If you consider how this type of breast augmentation is done, it is easy to understand that the implants shouldn’t affect the actual function of the breast at all. A pocket, which is a space not naturally present, is made either behind the breast, behind the muscle, or some combination of both. This means the natural configuration of the nipple ducts gland is completely intact. Therefore the breasts’ ability to produce milk should be unchanged. Think of it this way, in either the submuscular or subglandular position, the implant is merely pushing or filling the breast out. The implant is behind the breast. It doesn’t sever any connections between nipple and gland and only comes into contact with the back of the breast. The implant simply pushes the breast outward and upward.

The Speculations

The only wrinkle here is that some approaches may be more invasive than others. A periareolar incision may actually necessitate disrupting some breast tissue, and there is the chance that milk production could be decreased. However, this is speculative as there is no real scientific data to support this claim.

Image of Breast Implant - Elizabeth A. Kinsley, MD

Lastly, some patients worry if it is safe to breastfeed with implants in place after breast augmentation. The answer is absolutely, yes. As the above image shows, modern implants are very sturdy and your body makes a natural capsule of scar tissue around the implant. There is no communication between your implant and your breast, and ultimately your milk production goes on unchanged.

End of Year Special: $500 Off All Breast Surgeries

breast augmentation special photo -  Elizabeth A. Kinsley, MD

Have you always wanted a breast augmentation for larger, more shapely breasts, or a lift for a more youthful appearance? Maybe you’re not happy with your existing implants and would like a revision, or you’re tired of the constant back pain you experience and are finally ready to have a breast reduction. Regardless of what breast surgery you’re considering, now is the time to make the leap with our End of the Year Breast Special.

From now through December 31, we are offering a $500 discount on all breast surgeries scheduled at our comfortable, state-of-the-art facility. This promotion is valid for any breast surgery that takes place before the end of the year.

This is a significant discount! For example, the cost of a $6,400 breast augmentation will be lowered to just $5,900 with this special offer.

The End of the Year Breast Special price includes all elements of your surgery, with no surprise bills arriving during your recovery period.

For breast augmentation and many other procedures, one flat fee includes:

  • All pre- and post-operative visits and care
  • Imaging
  • Breast Implants
  • Anesthesia
  • Surgeon’s Fee
  • Operating Room Fees
  • Surgical Bra
  • Follow ups for one year​

The turnaround from consultation to surgery can be as little as one week. Best of all, women who undergo breast augmentation or other types of breast surgery can usually be back to light activity within the next 7 days. Start thinking ahead—now is the perfect time to get your breasts ready for next summer!

Spots are filling up quickly as this special is only applicable for breast surgeries scheduled and completed by end of 2016, and is subject to surgery schedule availability. If you’ve been considering a procedure but aren’t sure whether breast augmentation or another type of breast surgery is right for you, schedule a consultation today. We can thoroughly explain your options and help you make the best decision for your lifestyle and personal goals. Call today to get on the books for the End of the Year Breast Special!

Financing for your procedure is available through Care Credit and American Healthcare Lending, and you can even apply online.

Breast Implants 101: How to Choose the Perfect Implant for You

Ok, so you’ve decided to have a breast augmentation. You’ve done hours of research on the internet and talked with friends who’ve had it done. You’ve asked questions on Image of breast implant - Elizabeth A. Kinsley, MDrealself.com and gotten a ton of good advice. So now it comes down to choosing the perfect implant for you. How do you do that? Trick question, lol, as there is no such thing as the perfect implant for you.

Many of my patients stress sooooo much over making this decision that I often point out that there is no one single correct answer, no one implant that will work if they research enough to find it. The truth is, for most patients, any number of implants will work nicely.

Not too many years ago, the only choices were saline or silicone, smooth or textured. There were moderate and high profiles (profile is how much the implant sticks out from your chest). Today there is an incredible array of implants available to use in a breast augmentation. We still have smooth or textured, saline or silicone, but the choices now include an incredible variety of shaped implants with varying profiles:
Photo Of Breast Augmentation Implants Of Varying Profile Size - Elizabeth A. Kinsley, MD

This picture demonstrates the different profiles available in a classic round, textured, gel implant.

Now throw shaped implants into the mix:
idress tulle prom dresses

Keep in mind that there are 3 manufacturers in the US—Allergen, Mentor, and Sientra—and each has an extensive collection of shaped implants. Some are longer and more narrow, some shorter and wider. Some have a wide base, and some have a narrow base. So how are you ever going to pick the right one?
The answer to this trick question is don’t even try. Do your homework, find a reputable, board certified plastic surgeon, and let her help you decide which of the dozens of breast augmentation implants on the market is right for you. Then turn off your router! It’ll all be ok!

3 Simple, Overlooked Ways to Prepare for Breast Augmentation

As you anticipate your upcoming breast augmentation surgery, you likely have a good idea of the length of the recovery process and what you should expect. However, when the time approaches, it might also be helpful to have this handy list of must-do activities. Here are a few items to help you prepare for your changed body and anticipate your needs during recovery.

Set up a Self-Care Corner

Self-care should be a part of everyone’s day, but it’s an absolute necessity in the time after you receive breast implants. Create a self-care corner to encourage this impulse. Fill the corner with things that remind you to prioritize your body. Items to choose may include lotions, soaps, bottled water, healthy snacks, magazines, and other things that will help remind you to relax and take care of yourself during recovery.

Clear Your Calendar of Responsibilities

Even in the aftermath of breast augmentation surgery, absolving yourself of all responsibilities is just not going to happen. However, you need to clear your calendar as much as possible in the week following surgery. You have to be practicsatin cocktail dressesal about the fact that you need to seek alternative care for kids and pets. Don’t try to carry out responsibilities all on your own, or you will be cheating both of you of the care you deserve. The recovery is usually just a long weekend, so you won’t need too much help with the kids.

Prep Your Post-Operation Bra

As your doctor has probably suggested, you will be in a surgical bra right after the breast augmentation that will be easy to handle and very breathable. It needs to be comfortable to support your recovery, and you need to be prepared to wear it for the first several weeks after surgery. Beyond that, you’ll be able to use sports bras for exercise and supportive full coverage bras for daily wear. Between one to two months after you get implants, you can then buy regular bras, and what a joy that shopping trip will be in your new body.

Finally, keep in mind that you can reach out to your doctor with questions you may have before the breast augmentation surgery. You should always go into this surgical procedure feeling ready and confident with your decision. This is your chance to do something special for yourself, so it’s important also to take the time to be fully prepared.

Envison Implants

Due to the clinical success of the Envision Implants Sizing System, Dr. Kinsley’s patent and the Envision Implants brand are now integrated into the Natrelle Pre-Consultation Kit offered by breast implant manufacturer Allergan.
The Envision Breast Implant Sizing System contains the tools you need to help you make the second most important decision about your breast augmentation surgery (the choice of your surgeon being the number one decision).

  • “Tester implants” in four of the most popular sizes
  • A Breast Sizing Ruler to help you find a “starting point” for which implant size might be best
  • A booklet written by Dr. Kinsley that will answer many of your questions about breast augmentation
  • An instructional DVD that shows you how to use the Envision System
  • Some “before and after” photos of women who have had breast implant surgery

An “Envision Bra” is a perfect way to use your “tester implants”.