Embarking on a breast augmentation journey can expose you to a whole new language. At the start of that journey you won't be alone if it's all just... unknown.
Like, what is BWD?!
BWD = Breast width diameter
BWD is one of a few measurements that your Board Certified plastic surgeon will take to establish your existing breast anatomy.
The way a plastic surgeon knows what size breast implants are available to you (as a unique individual) come from balancing your augmentation goals with the limitations of your existing anatomy.
Your surgeon will establish your 'existing anatomy' during your consultation through a physical exam and by taking specific measurements of your breasts and chest.
BWD is one of these.
It's a really important measurement to take because it helps your surgeon select the possible sizes of breast implants that will best fit your body.
To take this measurement your surgeon will use a special instrument called a 'caliper'. You likely won’t have one of these at home so any attempt to take this measurement yourself may not be 100% accurate.
Breast Implants and Your Breast Width Diameter
Breast implants come in various sizes (cc's - volume) AND dimensions. Diameter being one of them.
When your surgeon has established what your breast width diameter measurement is it will guide him/her to size charts provided by breast implant manufacturers. These charts help your surgeon narrow down your breast implant options as the diameter of the breast implant you can have will be determined by the diameter of your breast.
A breast implant diameter should fit within the diameter of the breast base.
You'll find that most surgeons will recommend implants that fit within your breast width diameter measurement.
If an implant that is wider than your breast width diameter it can lead to stretching of the breast skin, increased risk of post-op numbness and complications requiring revision.
If your breast augmentation goals mean you're leaning towards an implant size that has a diameter much bigger or smaller than your breast width diameter your surgeon should make you aware of the possible impact on the appearance and possible effects on your breasts over time.
Once your breast width diameter has been measured and you have implant sizes to choose from (with an implant diameter that will fit you) your surgeon may use gel implants sizers or 3D imaging technology (e.g. Vectra) to show you what those sizes of breast implants will look like on you after surgery.
If implant size options that will fit your breast width diameter fall short of your size expectations you have the options of adjusting your breast implant profile.
A good Board Certified plastic surgeon will establish during your consultation what your breast implant options are and how, by balancing your augmentation goals and existing anatomy, to get you to your dream boobs!