There is an interesting debate going on regarding bra stuffing for implant size at PRSonally Speaking. In the interest of full disclosure, I use normal saline implant sizers which I place inside a thin sleep bra. I then inflate with sizer (usually use two different sizes for comparison) with air. I then have the woman place her shirt on and stand in front of the full length mirror. It has worked well for me over the years. And, yes, I know it is not perfect, but it allows the two (or three if a friend or spouse has come with her) to assess how she looks AND presents herself. (photo credit)
It has amazed me over the years how some women will decide on larger implants when I show them what a “C” cup for their body really is [the volume for a 34C is not the same as for a 38C] but also how some will decide they can’t go as large as they intended. It has worked both ways. Most of the time the decision is made in one office visit, occasionally two. Rarely, do they come back wishing we’d made a different choice on size.
The discussion is in regards to an article in the PRS Journal’s June 2010 edition (full reference below)
A portion of Dr. John Tebbett’s comment
The authors characterize their bra stuffing implant sizing methodologies as “simple” and “accurate”. Simple? Up to three visits to the surgeon’s office to ruminate over shades of gray using a totally subjectively derived decision processes based on indefinable cup size parameters and patient’s visual perceptions? Accurate? 30% of sized respondents reported that the sizing methods were inaccurate.
Choosing breast implant size by bra stuffing has a repetitive, three decade track record of 15-25% reoperation rates (and a major percentage of reoperations for size change) …...
The authors’ implication that objective, scientifically validated, defined process implant selection methods preclude or minimize patient involvement in the decision making processes is misguided and incorrect…
A portion of Dr. David Hidalgo replies
……..What is truly outdated is the model of the surgeon as an autocratic figure that dictates what is best while ignoring patient input beyond presenting anatomy. The trend today instead is towards personalized medicine. ……….
While FDA PMA studies may show a 15-25% reoperation rate preoperative sizing techniques are not specifically implicated as the source of the problem, as implied. In fact the vast majority of reoperations today are for capsular contracture, implant malposition, and saline implant deflations. ……
To be clear, preoperative sizing is not a precise method and is of course subjective. Improvements in the technique would be helpful and hopefully forthcoming. We do not believe that the ongoing advances in three dimensional patient photography with implant size simulation is the answer. There is no substitute for the patient trying on different sizes and visualizing the effect in clothing as well as experiencing the implant weight. The method is very instructive in revealing the patient’s aesthetic vision in a way that dictating a size based on tissue characteristics alone can never do. …….
Thoughts? Add them here or over at PRSonally Speaking
Preoperative Sizing in Breast Augmentation; Hidalgo, David A.; Spector, Jason A.; Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery. 125(6):1781-1787, June 2010; doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e3181cb6530
Five Critical Decisions in Breast Augmentation Using Five Measurements in 5 Minutes: The High Five Decision Support Process; Tebbetts, John B.; Adams, William P.; Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery. 118(7S):35S-45S, December 2006; doi: 10.1097/01.prs.0000191163.19379.63