International Society of Plastic and Aesthetic Nurses

PSN Journal

January - February, 2015
International Society of Plastic and Aesthetic Nurses

Kathleen Mortl, RN, CPSN

Out with the old and in with the new or out with the new...?

It is 2015 and I made my resolution list for the New Year. Thus, I am trying to clean my office. "Organize", I keep telling myself. You see, I have been told numerous times to label the files on my desk, and to make files on my computer. I am always reassured that this will help me clear the clutter. To my colleagues, I am known as the Post-it note queen, and I hear the chuckles when I use my Rolodex. I have had my Rolodex for well over twenty years—it is priceless. I saved every business card and put a note on the back, I cut and pasted people’s contact information from their emails, and put in the Rolodex. I have everything from recipes for procedures to medication compounds in my Rolodex. Yet, just when my Rolodex makes me feel as if I am organized, I look to the right of my desk and see that massive pile of scattered papers.

The files that I have go back many years. I save the pearls that I have come across at conventions, journal clubs, chapter meetings, newsletters, and Residents Talks/Grand Rounds. Just by saying that, I sound like the Medical College of Wisconsin Plastic Surgical Librarian. I can truthfully say that I am a resource, but not a librarian by any means. I would like to share with you some of the pearls that I have: copy, paste, and print. That is how I roll now.

In 2006, I attended a meeting and was enlightened by a RN who amazed me with her knowledge base. I kept her "Rice Test" for breast implants. I do not use it often, but it does help when I have a cosmetic augmentation. She can pick any size (within reason and in regards to safety). I also use this with a delayed bilateral reconstruction. I would like to share this with you, but please remember that this is not exact; rather, this is a tool that will open discussion for sizing a patient. The patient and the Board Certified Plastic Surgeon will make the final decision.

"The Rice Bag Test"

This test provides a rough approximation of how you will look with various size implants. It is fun to try and experiment with various sizes while standing in front of a mirror to see what you could look like after breast augmentation.

For each cup size you want added to your bust line use approximately 150cc to 200cc of rice. For example, if you are presently wearing an A cup bra and want to move up to a C cup, you would be going up two sizes. Increasing two sizes would require approximately 300cc to 400cc of rice in a zip lock baggie.

To use the rice bag test you will need:
Quart or sandwich sized zip-lock baggies
Measuring cups
A bra in the size you want to be able to wear. Also, many doctors recommend using a sports bra for this test in order to give you a more accurate feel of the compression of the implants once placed within your body.

To convert your standard measuring cups into cubic centimeters (cc's):
1 cup = 236cc
¾ cup = 177cc
2/3 cup = 156cc
½ cup = 118 cc
1/3 cup = 78cc
¼ cup = 59cc
1/8 cup = 30cc

Example: To create a 300cc "rice" size, take 1 ¼ cup rice and place in a baggie (making sure the air is pushed out of the bag). Now place baggie in bra to fill the gap. Add or subtract rice until there is no gap between you and the bra. Try on different tops. Then measure out the rice for each breast and let us know the measurement.

Keep in mind that this test is a very rough approximation. Every woman's body is different. You should meet with a Board Certified or Board eligible Plastic Surgeon in order to get more specific sizing recommendations.

So now you have one of my pearls. Copy, paste, print, and start your very own files. A very wise man gave me a framed picture with a quote written across the bottom. It is hanging next to my files, and above my beloved Rolodex. It says, "If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?" -Albert Einstein.

12th Annual Aesthetic Symposium
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