Why Don't Surgeons Use Breast Implants Less Than 250cc?

Breast implants come in all sorts of sizes but in my experience I am noticing that surgeons generally don't like to use an implant that's smaller than 250cc. For whatever reason they always frown upon something smaller. Now they make implants starting at 80cc for Allergan and 100cc for Mentor. Obviously, these sizes were made available for a reason but I can't understand why surgeons don't want to use anything less than 250cc. So can someone explain why they don't like to use 175cc or 150 cc or even 125cc?

Doctor Answers (21)

Smaller breast implants vs larger breast implants

+4

Most of the implants we use are in the 210 cc to 360 cc range, so 225 cc is definitely not outlandish. We even occasionally use a 150 cc or 180 cc implant, especially in patients with asymmetries.

Every patient is different, and every chest diameter, breast diameter, lower pole, amount of droopiness, size need, etc. are also different.

Rather than place very large sizes which require more removal of the chest muscle from the sternum (causing motion artifact), we are much more likely now to measure and place an implant that fits the patient's body.

Perhaps it is the nature of my practice, but more and more women are choosing moderate rather than larger size implants.


Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 92 reviews

Implants under 250 cc are rare for good reason

+3

If you go to Seattle plastic surgeons on RealSelf and look at patient reviews you can see a patient's photos who is early postop from 200 cc subpectoral implants. I am sure as an athletic person she is initially very relieved not to be too big but I can almost guarantee you that in a year she will feel too small and will dislike the wide gap she is going to have between her two implants.

So the reason for rarely using these little implants is that they are not wide enough for most chest walls to make a natural look. They tend to look like two tennis balls with a mile between them.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Of course we use implants smaller than 250cc!

+3

Where did you get the notion that we don't use implants smaller than 250? I use implants in the 150-225cc range nearly every week!

Breast size is distributed across a bell-shaped curve. Most women need implants in the 225-300cc range - if the surgeon is sizing based upon what is appropriate in size for the patients tissues.

If a surgeon sizes according to capricious wishes of a patient, then much larger sizes are frequently used.

I don't know why the 80 or 100cc implants are made...at that point they are so small that the amount of size increase they offer does not usually justify the risks and costs. They are used only infrequently and usually for the purpose of matching sizes between breasts rather than augmentation per se.

Steven Teitelbaum, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Small Breast Implants

+2
Small breast implants are often used in my practice for small framed women who want a very moderate increase in the size of their breast. It is important to select the shape and profile of the implant carefully for natural looking result. Even small implants can look very unnatural if appropriate pocket dissection is not employed.

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Small breast augmentation

+2

The size of the implant should be selected in general by the patient. You are the one who is going to wear them for next 10 years or so!

If you are a very small framed person and simply want a small augmentation then an implant under 250 is the right one for you. It all depends on where you want the surgery to take things. We often use these smaller implants to match the opposite breast if it is a unilateral surgery as well.

The reason most don't use implants that are less than 250 is because most patients don't pick that size. It's totally a matter of your selection with the guidance of your board certified plastic surgeon.

Best Wishes,

DoctorMeade

Ricardo A. Meade, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 53 reviews

Why Don't Surgeons Use Breast Implants Less Than 250cc

+1

Our judgment is dervied from extensive experience with patients who generally desire larger implants. Having siad that if a patient requests a 150 cc implant augmentation or needs one for asymmetry correction, I have used it with satisfactory results.  

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Small Breast Implants

+1

Plastic surgeons generally are happy to use small implants if the implants will achieve the patient’s aesthetic goals. If you are getting resistance from a plastic surgeon about placing a smaller implant it may be because she/he believes that your goal cannot be obtained using an implant smaller than 250cc. My practice uses implants less than 250cc when indicated. However, in general, the goals of more than 90% of my patients are in line with using implants of 250cc or larger. It is rare for a woman to return after augmentation complaining that she wishes a smaller implant had been used. The opposite is not uncommon.

Jeffrey Weinzweig, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Using breast implants less than 250 cc's

+1

Plastic Surgeons use implants of different projections and sizes.  It all depends on the goals of the patient, and what can be done anatomically.  During the consultation with the board certified plastic surgeon, this should all be discussed.  Good idea to bring photos of what you want.  Together you can formulate a plan to pursue your goal.

Jeffrey Roth, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Smaller breast implants not as popular

+1

It is true that I put in more implants that are larger than 250cc than those that are smaller.  It isn't that I don't want to use smaller implants (they are much easier to put in) but women choose the smaller sizes less often.  When they do choose smaller sizes, plastic surgeons worry that they may be dissatisfied with their choice, 7 of 8 women who are unhappy with their implant size wish they had chosen a larger size.  Communication with your plastic surgeon is the key to finding the right size for you.

Daryl K. Hoffman, MD
Los Gatos Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Small Breast Implants

+1

Hi,

Thank you for your question.

This is not necessarily true. I use a wide range of implant sizes in my practice, including sizes smaller than 250cc. It all depends on the patient. Every patient is different. They have different chest diameters, droopiness, nipple postion, symmetry, skin laxity, etc. It all depends on those factors, expectations of the patient, and reality of results.

Most women are between a 250-350cc range and most go from an A cup to a C cup. This general rule does not mean this is what you should do though. Smaller implants such as 125cc are rarely used, but mostly in augmentation cases that are trying to achieve a more symmetric look.

Best regards,

Dr. Speron

Sam Speron, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon

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.