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Breast Augmentation: Translating the Jargon

Sep 1, 2007
Many women say that they would like bigger breasts without really considering precisely what 'bigger' means to them. Even the ones who know exactly the look they aspire to -- and have seen it modelled perfectly on their favorite celebrity -- think in the terms that have been familiar to women since they bought their first training bra: cup size.

But when it comes down to the nitty gritty of breast augmentation, surgeons generally use different terminology, and while the words '800cc breast augmentation' means something very specific to a plastic surgeon, the women that the things are going into are thinking, 'What on earth?'

Many women, when contemplating breast surgery, have a particular vision of what they would like to look like post operation, but achieving the desired look is not always straightforward. While women will think in terms of cup size, the implants that a surgeon will use to augment your breasts do not operate according to this kind of measurement.

Implants are filled with liquid, usually saline or silicone gel, and so they are measured accordingly. It is estimated that each cup size you would like to increase is worth approximately 236cc, but unfortunately, this is not the exact science we might imagine it to be.

An 800cc breast augmentation, for example, will not result in the same look when implanted in different women. While an implant of that size will unquestionably result in a breast of significant size, there are many other factors that will contribute to the overall look of the augmentation.

Apart from the different types of implant that are available, including shapes that can be round or teardrop shape, much of the final look will depend on the woman herself, and her original shape.

For this reason, it is important to choose a breast implant based on cc measurements alone -- the same implant can look vastly different when inserted into different women, depending on many factors including the patient's weight, the amount of original breast tissue present, and the shape of the patient's chest cavity.

This is why it is immensely important to take seriously the opinion of your surgeon. He or she is a medical professional who, through experience, will be best qualified to indicate the implant most likely to achieve the look you want.

If you have a precise image of how you would like your breasts to look post surgery, it is best to provide your surgeon with visual aids, as words can create vastly different images for different people.

Before your surgery, collect photos of breasts that look the way you would like to appear, so that your doctor can translate this into the material, shape and ccs that give you the breasts you've always wanted.
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