How to Choose Breast Implants

We have 6 Ways to help you choose the right breast implants for your desired result.

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Certification, Affiliation, and Memberships

  • Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery
  • Attending Plastic Surgeon at Rush University Medical Center
  • Member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons
  • Member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
  • Member of the Illinois Society of Plastic Surgeons
  • Member of the Chicago Medical Society

John Q. Cook, M.D.

Chicago 312-751-2112
Winnetka 847-446-7562

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Are you intimidated by the process of how to chose breast implants?

If so, you are not alone.

Perhaps you already had a consultation with a plastic surgeon who may have said, “A 300 cc implant will work just fine for you.” You might leave the office thinking, “What exactly did that mean?” The real question is, “How will they look in my breasts?”

How to choose breast implants is a perfectly legitimate question and touches on a very important point: The same implant will have very different effects in different types of breasts. We have put together a 6 Step program that will help you to visualize your goals for breast surgery, and to select the size, shape, and projection of your implants to meet those goals.


The Whole Beauty Breast Center Has Six Ways to Help You

Step 1: A DETAILED CONSIDERATION OF YOUR GOALS
This step is too often neglected in breast augmentation consults. It is not just a matter of going from one cup size to another. Over the years I have discovered that over half of the patients who come to me in consultation for breast enhancement surgery wish to correct issues relating to asymmetry, volume balance, breast shape, breast projection and the relationship of the breast to the rest of the body. There are also important considerations that regard lifestyle, activity and plans for future pregnancy that should be covered as well. When we thoroughly discuss these issues, I can be of best service to my patients.


Step 2: CAREFUL DIMENSIONAL PLANNING
After our conversation to assess your goals, I perform a detailed analysis of the dimensions of your breasts. The measurements that I obtain are important to both of us because they allow me to narrow the focus to a range of implants that will meet your goals but also respect your natural breast structure.

As a general rule, a respect for the natural dimensions of your breasts is the key to obtaining a result that does not appear to be surgically created.

For some patients, Mother Nature may have been unkind in terms of the natural breast structure. One example would be a patient with very narrow breasts on a wide torso. In this case we will go beyond what nature has given us and intentionally alter fundamental breast dimensions, but always with the goal of maximizing the naturalness of the result.


Step 3: I HELP YOU TO VISUALIZE YOUR OWN BREASTS
We have an advanced digital photography system so that as soon as I photograph your breasts the image is transferred to a monitor in the exam room. This enables us to further the discussion and address subtle issues of breast form, structure and symmetry.

This process is much more helpful than just looking at your breasts in the mirror. This is because the process enables you to step away from yourself and visualize your breasts in an accurate manner.


Step 4: CUSTOM BREAST SIZERS PROVIDE A BETTER SENSE OF THE RESULT YOU WILL OBTAIN
Once we have determined a recommended range of implant sizes, the next step is to give you a reasonable approximation of the effect these implants will have on your breasts. A common practice is for the surgeon to give you an implant of the specified size, which you place inside your bra.

Unfortunately, this does not do a very good job of approximating what the implant will actually do when it is under your breast, especially if the implant is to be placed under the pec muscle.

We help our patients to visualize the results of breast implant surgery through the use of custom breast sizers. These curved shells were the product of careful study of what a given size breast implant does to the actual shape of the breast. You will place a pair of these sizers on your breast and hold them in place with a stretch bra.

This process provides a much better simulation of the results of breast enhancement than any method we have used before. In my opinion it is more helpful than 3-D imaging because you can actually experience how your breasts will look in the real world. You can also see how your new breasts will look in clothing, which is an important consideration.


Step 5: 3D SIMULATION OF YOUR BREASTS WITH DIFFERENT SIZE IMPLANTS
There are several 3D systems on the market that provide an approximation of how your breasts will look with various sizes and shapes of implants. For some patients this information can be helpful, but it is important to remember that this is only a computer simulation. None of the current software, in my opinion, is completely reliable in predicting breast shape. As long as you keep these limitations in mind, 3D simulation is one more piece of data that will help you make an informed decision.

Most of our patients tell us that the custom breast sizers (step 4) are more helpful than 3D imaging when it comes to actually getting a realistic sense of the effects of breast implants.


Step 6: WE HAVE A LARGE COLLECTION OF BREAST PICTURES, THANKS TO OUR PATIENTS
Many of our patients have generously given permission for us to use their before and after pictures for educational purposes. This often allows us to provide you with images of patients who have body types and breast shapes similar to your own.

A 300 cc implant in an athletic 23-year-old woman will have a very different effect from a 300 cc implant in a 35-year-old woman who has breastfed three children. If we are able to find pictures that show the results of breast implant surgery in people whose bodies are similar to your own, this can be very helpful.


Our Commitment Is to Give You The Best Possible Information

This will help you make an informed choice about breast implant surgery. We hope to eliminate as much as possible the guesswork involved in the selection of breast implants. The six steps that we have just discussed are designed to provide our patients with the best possible information, so that each patient can make a truly informed choice about her surgery.

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