Predictability in breast augmentation
Received: 5 June 2003 / Accepted: 19 February 2004 / Published online: 16 December 2005
Ó Springer-Verlag 2005
Abstract Plastic surgery literature does not teach us
much about the size of breast prostheses required to get
the cup size the patient wants in breast augmentation.
The purpose of this study is to allow predictability of the
increase in cup size using a series of measurements and
to correlate them with volume changes and the required
volume of implants to achieve the desired change in bra
Keywords Breast prostheses Æ Breast augmentation Æ
Cup size Æ Size predictability
Media and publicity love to present a charming female
silhouette as the image of the modern and dynamic
woman. However the ideal shape of the female breast
cannot be deﬁned and this is an individual variation.
Female patients, candidates for breast augmentation,
who come to the plastic surgeon have already decided on
the cup size they want. It remains a challenging problem
for the doctor as to what type of prosthesis, volume, and
shape he should use to fulﬁll that patient’s aspirations.
The literature does not help him!
In order to get an understanding of the impact of the
implant on the ﬁnal volume of the breast, we have to
evaluate some of the physical characteristics:
1. The prosthesis itself;
2. The breast with an implant; and
3. The chest after augmentation.
From 1994 until 2001, 1,609 white females, patients
for breast augmentation, were measured. They all had
symmetrical near-normal breasts without ptosis or
hypertrophy and wanted only simple augmentation.
The prostheses: mathematical characteristics
For the theoretical part of this study, we limited our-
selves to prostheses with a circular base and with an
ellipsoid elevation. The volume is then proportional to
the surface of the base and the height of the prosthesis.
Mathematically expressed, we get the following:
Vol ¼ fðD
f Factor of proportionality
D Diameter of the base
h Height of the prosthesis.
For Eurosilicone prostheses (Eurosilicone, Apt France)
these characteristics are provided in Table 1 and Fig. 1.
For other manufacturers, they are comparable.
On top, the volume depends mainly on the shape of
the prosthesis. The volume of a prosthesis is at the
maximum, half a sphere as mentioned above and at the
minimum, to some extent, a right-angled cone. In real-
ity, the shape varies between both extremes, even with a
variable protrusion h, what means for the volume of a
cone and a sphere respectively:
; \ vol \ 2R
In this way the height of protrusion is related to the
volume by its third root and a factor depending on the
manufacturer, this implies that it changes little.
h ¼ f :
(Table 2 and Fig. 2)
H. Hart Hospital, Tienen, Belgium
J. Vandeput (&)
50 Leopoldplein, Hasselt, Belgium
Eur J Plast Surg (2006) 28: 451–457