What Size Implants Are Best For Me?

I'm 5'7 108 lbs v slender upper body-30" ribcage looking to be more in proportion (hips are 35") but still wanting SMALL and natural looking breasts. My surgeon recommended 230cc high profile unders but I'm worried this will be too big. He said I could have 190 instead and using the rice test I prefer this size, but how does the rice test compare to the end result? My surgeon is very experienced but not v chatty so I'm looking for some advice.

Doctor Answers 7

What size implants are best for me?

Please search RealSelf for many answers to your question, both the general ones about "best size" and the ones that list height, weight, chest dimensions, breast base dimensions, cup sizes, and so forth. Conveying what exactly is in your mind's eye to your surgeon is critical to achieving the result you want, and no amount of doctor 'chattiness" helps YOU tell HIM (or HER) what you want. But then you must listen to what your surgeon says about what your anatomy allows within the parameters of your wishes!

You are tall and don't want to be too large. You have a slim torso and slightly wider hips, but want a "natural looking" result. All great so far. THEN, you ask about specific implants, and find your own testing with rice in a bag doesn't agree with your surgeon's recommendation, but with only a 40cc difference.

First of all, realize that 40cc is less than 3 tablespoons of volume. Put 3 tablespoons of liquid in a small bowl and tell me if you think that volume of additional mass spread over an entire breast will be visible. I can tell you that the LEAST visible amount by a patient is 50-60cc, and causally-visible asymmetry of the slightest degree is usually around 75 -100cc. For a woman of your size, 250cc equals 1 cup size, so 190cc would add about 3/4ths of a cup to your present bra size. Also, you want an implant base diameter that at least approximates your own breast base dimension (too large and you get an upside-down margarita-glass-appearing breast; too small and you get a plum in a sock appearance). Since you want "SMALL," I would suggest the widest implant in the small size range you and your surgeon choose, namely a moderate profile. High profile implants in the size range you are selecting from will have a too-narrow base, in my opinion. Now, what size?

One thing an individual patient cannot know is that a specific implant, when placed inside a patient's body (especially under the muscle, but also when just under the breast) ALWAYS looks smaller than it did outside the body. I have learned over thousands of cases that I must use implants that are 50-100cc larger than the patient's selection in order to achieve the look she desired with implant sizers or rice bags. For this reason, if you like the 190cc volume in the rice bag test, I would recommend a 225cc-250cc moderate profile implant. Silicone gel is my preference for many reasons. See my article "Are Silicone Breast Implants Safe?" for more information.

The 225cc (moderate profile) implant has a 12.2cm diameter; the 250cc implant has a 12.3cm base. Your own breast base probably measures about 14cm, so these dimensions are a good match, whereas the high profile 225cc implant has a base width of 10.1cm, and the 250cc high profile implant 10.5cm, both too narrow--they would "slide around" too much to look natural, and might give you a too-wide cleavage, another no-no for most patients!

Another helpful way of letting your doctor know what size you want is to find pictures of breast sizes you find attractive (internet or adult magazine, since breasts on bra-clad models or swim-suited women are NOT accurate ways to convey size). Forget what the data sheet says about cup size or what the doctor's website says about implant size--there is no way to tell if it is accurate or "just a guess." Find a look you like, and let your surgeon use their expertise to get you as close to your desired look as your anatomy allows! Best Wishes!

Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 255 reviews

A personal descision

The rice test is one way to make a better decision about what size is best for you but it is definitely not perfect.  The difference you are talking about is 40cc which is a little more than a tablespoon - it will be very difficult for you to tell the difference once the implant is below the muscle.  Good luck!

Bivik Shah, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Breast implants

First, you  have asymmetry between the two breasts so you will probably want two different volumes.  Second the simplest thing for you to do is a baggy test and fill it with water or rice and get an idea of the volume you want.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

What Size Implants Are Best For Me?

Thanks for the question and posted photo. You are asymmetric and need different sizes. the 1900 to 250 range is OK. Just be sure you are fully informed. From MIAMI Dr. Darryl j. Blinski

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Picking the best implant size for you.

It is very easy to be confused by this measuring system. Cup sizes are only used as estimates for clothing. Although the measuring technique for determining cup size is precise, the results of these measurements are not. Let me give you an example; weight is a very accurate measurement. However two patients that weigh 120 lbs are not likely to look alike. The same is true with two patients that have C cup breasts. This is why physicians tend to use volume (cubic centimeters or cc) as a more accurate measurement. Note: If you are trying to figure out what breast implant size you want to obtain, you can try the szing tool available through b4bra.com or read the articles about measuring there.

Size is a complex decision that is not only based upon your height, weight and current cup/bra size but ALSO on also on your breast diameter, waist, shoulder, and skin envelope measurements. These can only be assessed in person during a consultation. A good place to start is using my "Find your perfect size" tool listed in the left hand column of my bodysculptor.com home page. Another good place to look is the searchable database section of the physicians' photos on implantinfo.com. Best of luck.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Choosing breast implant size

This issue has been addressed in so many answers on RS.  If you search them you will see that nothing we can say here will substitute for a clinical exam with the doctor, not the nurse and a dimensional analysis of your body, your breast tissue starting point, your (a)symmetry, and your goals from the procedure.  It is inappropriate for a patient to "choose" their implants (how can you possibly know what's right???) and the doctor needs to use years of experience and their good ears to help reach a mutual decision.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

What size implants are best for me?

While there is no perfect way to choose implant size, it is important to try on sizers to see what you find pleasing. The rice test would be a reasonable substitute.

The implants seem to look a bit smaller once they're inside. For this reason I usually recommend going about 10% larger than the sizer.

It is certainly the case that patients are very concerned about going too large. It is equally the case that after surgery the vast majority feel they could have selected a somewhat larger implant.

Eric Pugash, MD
Vancouver Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 136 reviews

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.