By Dr Nikesh K. Patel

The time has come to choose your breast implants. Size really matters — but how do you find your ideal size? You have already made the most difficult decision by electing to have cosmetic surgery. Your next decision, while an important one, does not have to keep you up at night. In fact, if you keep a few simple guidelines in mind, you may even find you enjoy the next part of the process. After all, whatever choice you make will directly lead to the improved appearance you have long wanted.

Know Your Type

You probably spend a fair amount of time deciding whether a particular clothing item really flatters you and if you will wear it more than once. You want to look your best because when you look good, you feel good, too. You not only know what you like, but you also know what does and does not work for you. You factor in many things — your height, your weight, your body type, and your style. Yet sometimes you might decide to spend a little too much on a dress that you never actually wear.

While you would never treat breast augmentation surgery like dress shopping — we do not suggest this, either! — in both instances, you will get the best results if you know your current body, your desired look, and your personality and lifestyle very well.

When choosing your implants, think about the attire you most like to wear and your favorite activities, for example. Will the size of implant you want complement them or get in the way? Do you like to feel like the center of attention, or do you prefer to have a more relaxed presence? Do you feel confident that you will still love your new look in 2 years’ time, or 5? While this may feel like the right time to have a breast augmentation surgery, you will know when you have found the right look for you. Take your time, as your new look will last years.

Get a Second Opinion

To continue the analogy a bit, while dress shopping, you might also bring a friend for that vital second opinion. Similarly, you might want to consider bringing a friend or loved one along to your consultation — someone who knows you, your tastes, and your lifestyle well. Having someone you trust along with you can help you cut through any self-doubt or indecision you may have and help you make the choice most closely aligned with your ultimate goals.

Don’t forget, however, that you chose your doctor for his years of experience in aesthetic procedures and his direct experience determining “best fit” between a woman and her new implant. Using their trained eye and firsthand knowledge, your doctor can point out details during the fitting which you may not have noticed or even considered.

Try Your New Breasts on for Size

Many things we have to see — and feel — in order to understand. Breasts implants also follow this rule. Just as you would certainly try a dress on before buying it, you will also have the opportunity to try on your new breast implants as well. Take as much time as you need during this process. After all, you will wear your new implants every day for years to come.

Try on different sizes once you and your doctor have narrowed down the size range best suited for you. See how they look with your body, test how they feel as you move, and determine if they fit your style.

Your cosmetic surgery specialist will have a few ways for you to try on your new implants. Before your procedure, for example, you can wear “sizers” which you can put in your bra and try in your daily routines. Even on the day of your procedure — if you still do not feel sure about the right size for you — your doctor can insert a single-use “sizer” post-incision (this is called “interoperative sizing”) to get the most realistic size assessment.

Enjoy the Experience

You will ultimately determine how you want your body to look and what will make you truly happy. The final decision remains your own. You can, however, rely on the opinion and expertise of your doctor. A board-certified cosmetic surgeon will not only put your safety first but will also strongly advocate for you.

While you will make few more important decisions than electing a cosmetic surgery procedure, you have chosen this course because you want to look and feel your best. Enjoy the process as well as your new look. You deserve it!

Dr Nikesh K. Patel practices at New Reflections Plastic Surgery, located in Freehold, NJ.