Your plastic surgeon will hopefully perform a breast implant sizing procedure during your consultation. This involves placing breast implants sizers into a non-padded bra so that you can see how you will look with various implant sizes. It is most important to focus on the look you want and not on cup size as different stores label the same bra a different cup size.
Generally speaking it takes 150-200 cc of breast implant to enlarge you a cup size. Therefore to go from an a to a C you are most likely talking about a breast implant in the 300-400 cc range. You may also do the Rice test in the privacy of your own home.
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It sounds like you've done some research. I would not focus on how to figure out cc I would focused on the look that you want and your surgeon will figure out which volume implant would best match your desired look. Saline implants are fine if placed beneath the muscle. There should be very little evidence of rippling.
I would recommend an implant in the mid 300s to get you to a full C cup. The 360cc mid profile saline implants give a great result for someone your frame size without going too big and minimizing rippling.
If you can find a surgeon with 3D imaging with the Vectra machine then you can get an accurate representation of what it will look like after surgery.
Sizing is a very personal decision. In our office, we allow you to try different volumes using external sizers that gives you a relatively good approximation for what you would look like after surgery. Even within a specific size, the various types of implants can determine what shape and look that you have after surgery.
I would definitely consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon prior to your surgery and when your breasts have returned to normal size after you've stopped breast-feeding.
If your breasts are small and you do not have much soft tissue coverage you may notice ripples from the implant. In general for every 200 cc of implant volume will increase your size by one cup.
Your surgeon can discuss the pros and cons of each type of implant and help you understand what size implants would be appropriate for your chest. It is important to not choose only the size that you want but also consider what size implant fits the base diameter of your current breast. 3D Vectra imaging may also be helpful to show you with a simulation what your breast would look like after an appropriate sized augmentation.
If you are thin then you most likely will have some degree of rippling from saline implants. As to the amount of ccs that would work for you, quit worrying about it, that is a decision that should be guided by your surgeon based on your goal size and your starting anatomy and requires an exam to determine.
The decision for sizing and saline versus silicone implants are difficult decisions. Both implants have advantages and disadvantages. Saline implants have the advantage of easy detection if ruptured because the implants goes flat or flat enough that you know something is wrong without needing any more tests. Silicone implants can be difficult to detect ruptures and may need an MRI to detect a rupture. The real advantage for silicone is the softness and more natural feel of the implant.
Size can be determined in many ways. I employ both the Vectra system and sizers for patients to try on the implants as not one system works for everyone. Both systems are to give the surgeon an estimate of the look you are going for and are not absolutes. Your surgeon can fine tune the result based on what overall look you are striving for.
It will be very important for you to have an in-depth conversation with your surgeon preoperatively. At that time you should ask all of the questions you have regarding size. Many surgeons employ the Vectra 3-D imaging system to help discuss and determine the optimal size for you. There are surgeon may also employ the use of external sizing implants so that you can stand in front of a mirror to help select and visualize your size postoperatively. Your surgeon may also take measurements of your breasts which will help determine the optimal size for you. Most surgeons would agree that silicone implants provide a more natural feel and appearance and are less likely to show wrinkling. It's very important however they you feel comfortable with your decision and choose the implant that is best for you. It will be very important for you to have an in-depth conversation with your surgeon regarding the pros and cons of silicone versus saline. He may decide after
There is no reason you can not have saline implants but there disadvantages to them. They will ripple more and not feel as natural. They are easy to detect when they leak. I would listen carefully to your surgeon on what size will be best for you because he or she can only work with what is possible and not always what it is wanted.