I'm 5'5,125 lbs, A cup, broad shoulders/lats, want full C to D cup. Is compression a factor in determining implant size? (photo)

I am very fit, active, and keep in shape by weight lifting. One MD has recommended 380 ccs, silicone, under the muscle placement and didn't mention compression at all. Another MD recommended 425 ccs, advising I needed to increase 50 ccs to achieve the look I wanted due to the effects of compression. Is this true? I would appreciate any feedback on this and in general, based on my goals and attached photos.

Doctor Answers 10

Is compression a factor in determining breast implant size

Either eighth 3 86 cc or 425 cc breast implants should give you a nice result.  If your tissues will easily accommodate the larger size then for 25 cc as possible.

In time breast implants fall to an expected size which is usually equal to that of an implant placed beneath the breast only.  This is because there is always an opening left at the bottom of the chest muscle which allows the implant to migrate down into a normal position.   In my practice I rarely if ever place a larger breast implants simply because is going under the muscle.

Implant size and compression

It makes sense that, when an implant is placed beneath the muscle, it will not have the same appearance as one placed above it in terms of volume.  Implant sizing is an art which requires interaction between the plastic surgeon and the patient.  It is individualized and certainly not something that we can be definitive about in an online forum.  This is why we size patients at repeat visits in the office. 

Robert L. Kraft, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Breast Implants

First of all congratulations on the decision and the research you have done so far in your process.  Knowing about breast augmentation and the subtle differences is important for anyone undergoing the procedure.  I would not place too much on compression or cup sizes.  The best thing to do is really examine your body shape with implant sizes during your consultation.  I have all my prospective patients try on the implant sizers in front of a mirror.  The best thing to do it look and see which size fits your body shape and your desires best.  Cup sizes vary drastically between all manufactures, but generally the sizes you give will place you at a good size that likely will put you where you want to be.   Best wishes.

Matthew G. Stanwix, MD
Richmond Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Implant size

To achieve a full D you will need somewhere between 425-475.
I would recommend a textured silicone implant.
Your plastic surgeon of choice should offer you a sizing system to determine what size specifically matches your goals.
Good luck.

Marcelo Ghersi, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 114 reviews

Choosing implant size in breast augmentation

I often find it difficult and restrictive to commit to a specific size preoperatively! Additionally, depending on the implant brand your sizing may be slightly different based on your measurements.  I typically will have patients play with our implant sizers preoperatively and get a 50-75cc range for implant size to use during surgery. In this way, I have a little flexibility to choose the size that fits and looks best for your body.  Additionally, I use 3D imaging to give patients a simulated idea of what a certain size looks like.  And honestly, a 25 or even 50cc difference in size may not be a huge clinical change in appearance.  There are several variables to consider in breast augmentation--incision placement, implant position (above vs. under muscle), and implant size/brand.  This is something you should spend some time discussing with your plastic surgeon. If you are a very fit person that enjoys lifting weights you should certainly discuss the +/- of implant position (above or under the muscle) with your surgeon.  There are risks and benefits to each position.  Under the muscle in a thinner woman will make the implant a little softer and natural appearing because there is an added layer of tissue between the skin and the implant. However, you risk animation deformity under the muscle.  There is a 3rd, less commonly used option which is sub-fascial where the implant is above the muscle itself but under it's thick protective tissue lining.  It is true, however, that when an implant is placed under the muscle they can look smaller than they actually are so you may want to plan on a slightly larger size than you think if you go that route.  Your best bet is to find a board certified plastic surgeon with experience in cosmetic breast surgery that can discuss all of the factors and variables with you to help you decide the best option! Good luck!

Megan Jack, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Implant Size

There are several factors that plastic surgeons consider when recommending implant sizes. I consider two factors when selecting implants for my patients:

1. Dimensional planning
2. Gel Implant Sizing system

Dimensional planning – The measurements of your chest wall are taken. Also, the breast dimensions including the height, width, and current dimensions of each breast form the basis of dimensional planning. Based on these measurements, the implant size is recommended. This will give you a unique breast implant that is suited for your body frame. However, there are some limitations of what size we can recommend. For instance, some implants may just be too big for a narrow chest wall. Your surgeon can review this with you during the consultation.

Gel Implant Sizing system – During the preliminary breast implant consultation, you will be provided with an option to “try on” a variety of implant shapes and sizes. You can also visualize the possible outcomes of your surgery which helps you to get that perfect size to give you the shape that you longed for. This way your preferences are known and you can then pick a range of implants that will “fit” just right to give a soft natural fuller look. Hope this helps.

Dr. Basu
Houston, TX

For an avid weightlifter, I’d recommend subglandular placement.

It’s true you do need to plan implants slightly bigger to compensate for some compression when choosing submuscular implants, but I’m surprised your surgeon recommended that placement at all when you’re an avid weightlifter. Implants will noticeably “jump” when you flex your muscles, which is known as animation deformity. You have little natural breast tissue, so I’m sure there are concerns about implant visibility but I think that you could see nice results using “gummy bear” implants over the muscle. That way you avoid the animation deformity problem. Plus, they’re ideal for subglandular placement in small-breasted women because they won’t ripple like saline, and their teardrop shape means a more natural result than round silicone gel implants.

David N. Sayah, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Implant volume and cup size

Unfortunately, you have not told us your bra size just your cup size. If you are 32 or 34 each 100 cc’s of implant corresponds to 1 cup size change. If you are 36 or 38 each 200 cc’s of implant corresponds to 1 cup size change. From this, you can compute the volume required to achieve your desired goal. I always recommend small round textured silicone gel implants placed retro-pectoral since they look and feel more natural, are more stable, less likely to ripple or have complications needing revision. Implant profile is irrelevant in the retro-pectoral position since the muscle compresses it.

Best Wishes,

Gary Horndeski, M.D.

Gary M. Horndeski, MD
Texas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 180 reviews

I'm 5'5,125 lbs, A cup, broad shoulders/lats, want full C to D cup. Is compression a factor in determining implant size?

Basic over the internet answer is go larger than you think. I think 450+ range. I stopped using compression over 20 years ago...

Breast augmentation

You can have a breast aug behind in whatever position you want if you have enough soft tissue to cover the implant.  If you are thin then it can be placed behind the muscle and you will be fine.  In terms of compression I use photos and sizers to help avoid these problems.

In breast augmentation I have chosen to spend time reviewing photographs with patients to fully understand their expectation of size and shape. Many times this simply raises more questions. I will make measurements and use the implant guides to allow the patient to understand exactly the sizes that are reasonable for their body type and measurements.

Please find an experienced Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and member of the Aesthetic Society using the Smart Beauty Guide. These Plastic Surgeons can guide you on all aspects of facial surgery, breast augmentation and body procedures including tummy tucks or mommy makeovers!

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.