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Breast Surgery

Implant guide

Authors: Mia Demant, MD, Magnus Balslev Avnstorp, MD and Mia Steffensen, MD

Choosing the right size and type

When planning breast augmentation with implants there are a number of factors to consider:

  • Shape and size of the patient’s thorax
  • Skin quality (thickness and elasticity)
  • The amount of sagging/ drooping of the breasts
  • The patient’s expectations, and desired look and size

Implant shape

Overall, implants are divided into two groups in terms of their shape:

Round (full and symmetric): implants generally provide a little more fullness upwards.

Anatomical (or “teardrop” – are fuller and project more at the bottom): implants can help “lift” the breast a bit if the patient wants to avoid breast lift, but there is a small risk that the implant will rotate so that the breast looks crooked.

Implant type

  • Saline-filled or silicone-filled
  • Smooth or textured

Implant dimensions

  • Diameter/width (in centimeters)
  • Projection/profile (in centimeters)
  • Volume (in cubic centimetres, “cc”)

The diameter/width of the implant must match the width of the patient’s chest. The wider chest, the wider the implant should be. All the diameters come with different projections. Most women’s breast width is between 11-14 cm.

The projection/profile of the implant refers to how far the implant will project from the chest wall. Patients that want a “natural look” and have a wider frame will often be matched with a low profile implant. Thin/ narrow women that want a “push-up-look” will usually be matched with a high profile implant.

Volume ranges approximately from 100 cc to 800 cc.

Figure 1 | Implant guide for anatomical and round implants.

Preoperative measurements

Figure 2 | Preoperative measures.
  • Base width (BW): A horisontal line between the medial to lateral aspect of the breast tissue (usually between 10-15 cm)
  • Brest height (BH)
  • Suprasternal notch to nipple distance (SSN:N)
  • Nipple to IMF distance (N:IMF): usually between 5-9 cm
  • Intermammary distance (IMD)
  • Skin laxity: “pinch”-test


40 year old female with breast width of 12.5 cm and the hight of 11 cm.

During the consultation process, the patient discussed her desired look and size. She wanted a natural looking size and projection.

Together with the surgeon, the patient chose a breast augmentation with Mentor CPG(TM) anatomical implants with medium height and moderate projection (width: 12.5 cm, height: 11.8 cm, projection: 4.4 cm and volume: 315 cc).


IllustratorsCaroline Lilja, stud.med., Christian Kaare Paaskesen, stud.med.

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