Variation in Implant Size vs. Results

I have 375cc HP, saline under the muscle implants. I was very surprised I went from a 36b to 36dd. Is this common? I also had a lift along with my augmentation, lollipop lift. My scars are already very thin white lines and I am only 2 months PO.

How is it that the same size implant can vary so much in size, even in women with very similar stats?

Doctor Answers 8

What Cup Size Will I be After 375 cc Breast Implants?

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Dear jojo42,

Breast augmentation patients often ask about breast implant volumes and cup sizes after surgery. A general rule of thumb is that for every 175-200 cc of breast implant volume, the cup size will increase by one. Please keep in mind that this is only a rule of thumb, or approximation, and that the true relationship between implant volume and cup size depends on a number of factors including your current breast size, the location of the implants, the projection (or "profile") of the implants chosen, and the bra worn (cup sizes may vary between different bra manufacturers). Having said all this, I too am surprised that your bustline increased by three cup sizes with 375 cc implants. I suspect that your bras may not fit properly or come from different vendors. I hope this helps.

Warmest wishes,

Larry Fan, MD

San Francisco Plastic Surgeon

Bra size after augmentation

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There is no set standard for bra sizes between manufacturers.  Just like you wear different pants or shoe sizes depending on who make them, you will also have variations in bra sizes.  375cc usually makes most patients a Fuller C/D cup.  However, I have some patients who may wear a C cup bra from Target and then get measured as a DD at Victoria Secret.

Stanley Castor, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 128 reviews

It is hard to predict bra size.

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It is very hard to predict bra size because different bra makers size the bras differently.  The bra size depends on your chest circumference, the size of your breasts and the implant size and who makes the bras.  Because there are so many variables,  you cannot say that one size implant will make you a certain cup size.  As long as you look great - who cares what the number is!

Breat Implant size and cup size

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Many patient mistakenly believe that a certain implant size - 300cc, 374cc, 450cc, etc, correlates to a specific cup size.  It does not.  The final cup size is determined by the implant volume, the breast volume and even the density of the breast tissue.  Please also remember a "cup size" is not a scientific measurement, a Bali C, is different than an Olga or Victoria Secret C.

Vincent D. Lepore, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

Implants and cup size

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Cup size varies quite a bit with different bras and it is difficult to mathc the volume of an implant with the final cup size. 

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Bra size after augmentation

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There is so much variation in bra size that it is confusing to patients and surgeons.

  Bottom line question: are you happy with the way they look and fit your body? If yes, then forget the little letters at the end of the bra. Recently a patient of mine was sized at a C cup in one store, only to drive down the road and be sized as a DD cup at the next store. Obviously they were the same breasts, sized on the same day. So is she a C or a DD?

She loves her breasts (350cc by the way) and whether it says DD or C on the bra does not matter to her. We do augmentations to improve volume, to make patients more proportionate, to fill out bathing suits, etc.  We do not do augmentations to match a specific bra size, because bra sizes are not standardized and vary so much even within one company.

Best of luck.


Francisco Canales, MD
Santa Rosa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Variations in Implant Size Results

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There is no standard cup size change for a given implant volume.  Having said that, I too am a bit surprised that you would see a three cup size change with a 375cc implant.  There is a lot of variation in cup size among manufacturers.  Perhaps you are wearing a bra from a different manufacturer now or were wearing an improperly fitting bra before your augmentation/mastopexy.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon

Implant Size and Breast Augmentation Results

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Thank you for the question.

Unfortunately, there is no direct correlation (despite many attempts to try to create one) between breast implant size and the results of breast augmentation surgery (for example cup size).

Much of the final “look” achieved after breast augmentation surgery  depends on several factors:

1. The initial shape, size (volume of breast tissue), symmetry of the patient's breasts. In general, the better the  preoperative breast appearance the more likely the breast augmentation “look” will be optimal.

2. The experience/skill level of the surgeon is important in determining the final outcome. For example, the accurate and gentle dissection of the breast implant pockets are critical in producing  long-term  well-placed breast implants. I personally think that these 2 factors are more important than any others, including type (saline or silicone)  or model (low/moderate/high profile)  of implant.

3. The type of implant used may  determine the final outcome, especially if the patient does not have significant covering breast or adipose tissue. For example, some surgeons feel that silicone implants have a more natural look and feel than saline implants because silicone gel has a texture that is similar to breast tissue. Each patient differs in the amount of breast tissue that they have.  If a patient has enough breast tissue to cover the implant, the final result will be similar when comparing saline implants versus silicone gel implants.  If a patient has very low body fat and/or very little breast tissue, the silicone gel implants may provide a more "natural" result.
On the other hand, saline implants have some advantages over silicone implants. Silicone implant ruptures are harder to detect. When saline implants rupture, they deflate and the results are seen almost immediately. When silicone implants rupture, the breast often looks and feels the same because the silicone gel may leak into surrounding areas of the breast without a visible difference.  Patients may need an MRI to diagnose a silicone gel rupture.   Saline implants are also less expensive than the silicone gel implants.
Other differences involve how the breast implants are filled. Saline implants are filled after they’re implanted, so saline implants require a smaller incision than prefilled silicone breast implants.
On May 10, 2000, the FDA granted approval of saline-filled breast implants manufactured by Mentor Corporation and McGhan Medical. To date, all other manufacturers’ saline-filled breast implants are considered investigational.
As of 2006, the FDA has approved the use of silicone gel implants manufactured by the Mentor Corporation and Allergan (formerly McGhan) for breast augmentation surgery for patients over the age of 22.

4. The size and model of breast implant used may  make a  significant difference in the final outcome. Therefore, it is very important to communicate your size goals with your surgeon.  in my practice I find the use of goal pictures to be very helpful.  in your case you could use your own before breast-feeding pictures as the goal. I have found that the use of words such as “natural” or “C cup” or "fake looking" or "top heavy" means different things to different people and therefore prove unhelpful.
Also, as you know, cup size varies depending on who makes the bra; therefore, discussing desired cup  size may also be inaccurate.
Also, as you know, cup size varies depending on who makes the bra; therefore, discussing desired cup  size may also be inaccurate.
I use  intraoperative sizers and place the patient in the upright position to evaluate breast size. Use of these sizers also allow me to select the breast implant profile (low, moderate, moderate plus, high-profile) that would most likely achieve the patient's goals. The patient's goal pictures are hanging on the wall, and allow for direct comparison.
I have found that this system is very helpful in improving the chances of achieving the patient's goals as consistently as possible. 

I hope this helps.

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.