5 Breast Implant Terms You Need to Know before Augmentation

beautiful woman in cotton underwearIn order to see the best possible breast augmentation results, it’s important to understand several measurements and commonly used terms. These words and phrases not only have to do with what size implant will help you meet your goals, but also how much your breast could increase and in what dimensions, along with a greater understanding of the qualities that come together to create beautiful, natural-looking breast enhancement.


Volume is simply the measure of how much area a breast occupies. Breast size will increase with the volume of the implant selected. However, just knowing how much the volume could change is not enough to accurately predict the outcome of your breast augmentation surgery, due to the fact that the breast expands both out from the chest and laterally across the chest. Different implants can expand more in one dimension than the other while still giving the same volume increase.

Volume is directly related to surface area. This means that as the volume of the breast increases, the surface area will also increase. An increase in surface area leads to a tightening of the skin, which is a factor in the size of implants that can be chosen, or may determine if other procedures could be more likely to help achieve your desired results.


Profile, also referred to as projection, is the measure of how much the breast sticks out from the chest when viewed from the side. Between two implants with the same volume, the one with the lower profile will have the wider width diameter. Implant profiles come in a range of options: low, moderate, moderate plus, high and ultra high. Together, an implant’s volume plus profile help determine your final look, whether you want that to be a subtle enhancement or a dramatic enlargement.

Breast Width Diameter

Breast width diameter, also referred to as base width diameter, describes the lateral size of the breast as measured from the inside edge of the breast to the outside edge. Implants with a greater width diameter (like low and moderate profile implants) will cause the breasts to increase in size across the chest to a greater degree. Cleavage could be improved with this measurement.

Breast width diameter affects the size of the implants that can be placed inside the breast. For example, a woman with a small breast width diameter would be a better candidate for a high profile implant, which has a narrower base, than a wider moderate or moderate plus profile implant.

Subglandular Placement

Subglandular or submammary placement refers to the placement of implants directly underneath the breast tissue and over the pectoral muscles. This approach can be used to avoid the scars of a minor lift by slightly giving the appearance of corrected breast sagging.

Submuscular Placement

Submuscular or subpectoral placement is the other placement option for breast augmentation. The implants are inserted under both the breast tissue and the pectoral muscles, allowing the implants to rest on top of the chest wall.

Benefits of Doing Your Homework

An understanding of volume, profile, placement and breast width diameter is essential preparation for your breast augmentation. Not only are these factors very important in determining what size and shape implants will work best for you, but these measurements also define the ways in which your breasts will change size and shape, allowing for a more accurate pre-operative prediction of your final result.

Understanding these terms should allow for a more informed consultation with your plastic surgeon when planning for your procedure, and aid in a more productive discussion. Being an informed patient can mean more realistic expectations along with feeling happier about your new look.