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Proportionate harmony – that’s the key to getting a body that will turn heads.

Breast augmentation has been the most popular procedure in North America for several years, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, and I must say that it’s the most requested procedure at my practice as well.

I’ve been a plastic surgeon for over 30 years, and have seen more than my fair share of patients. When a woman comes to me asking for bigger breasts, I know that I have to consider her aesthetic goals, medical history and current condition to determine if she’s the right candidate for the operation. I also have to figure out if the size she’s asking for is medically safe.

Size is important… but so is balance

One of the most important aspects of the pre-surgery planning phase is determining the right implant size for a patient. It should be one that will fulfill the patient’s goals and expectations while minimizing the risk of complications. To put it plainly, it’s not all about having an ample bosom. It’s about having a breast size that is balanced with the rest of your body.

Breast implant sizes range from a modest 80cc to massive 800cc, with the average size ranging between 300c and 500cc. I determine the right fit for a patient by considering a number of factors:

  • Lifestyle
  • Body type
  • Skin quality
  • Natural breast size

I also apply a specific technique known as dimensional breast augmentation, which is something I’ve been teaching my students for years at the University of Toronto. The dimensional approach considers the following measurements:

  • Breast width
  • Breast height
  • Ribcage width
  • Shoulder width
  • Weight
  • Height

Finally, I also assess the patient’s body contour, looking at her front and side view. This is where balancing out the top with the bottom is crucial.

Ideal body measurements

You may have also heard of “36-26-36”, a woman’s “ideal” breast-waist-buttocks measurements. Scientists have actually conducted several studies on what the most attractive measurements are for women in the Western world. One social experiment found that the waist-to-hip ratio (circumference of waist/circumference of hips) should be about 0.7, and the waist-to-chest ratio (circumference of waist/circumference of chest) should be about 0.67, with an 18.9 BMI.

The truth is that each individual’s body and goals are different, so it wouldn’t be fair or logical to even attempt to apply these idealistic standards to every patient. After all, they are ideals and plastic surgery is not about perfection – it’s about improving what you have. However, what we can draw from these values is the concept of proportions: consider the circumference of your hips and buttocks when choosing your implant size. Generally speaking, the circumference of the breasts should be close to or equal to that of the buttocks, and the waist should have the narrowest width, giving you that hourglass figure many men and women find most attractive.


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About The Author

Articles by

Dr. Ronald Levine is a board-certified plastic surgeon with over thirty years of experience and contributing writer for Zwivel. He’s also a Full Professor at the University of Toronto’s Department of Surgery and the Director of Post-Graduate Surgery, where he oversees all of the surgical disciplines. As the founder of Harmony Cosmetic, he specializes in breast augmentation, tummy tucks, and other body contouring procedures.

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