I'm 35, and I can't decide between a full C or a regular D. Wondering what would look more natural on my body. Advice? (Photo)

I've breastfed two kids, and gained and lost the same 30lbs a few times. My measurements are 36" above the breasts, 38" across the breasts, and 34" just below the breasts. I believe I have minimal sagging, thanks to regular exercise. I want to achieve a nice full look. I've never had much cleavage to speak of. My shoulder width is 40" around, waist is 28", hips 38". I'm 5'6" and 130lbs

Doctor Answers 10

Breast Implant Decisions

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Dear kelserdj,

I think you should discuss this with your plastic surgeon and bring pictures of models whose breast size and shape you like. You should also consider trying on different implant sizes in the office with a sizing bra so that you and your PS are on the same page.

I hope this has been helpful.

Robert D. Wilcox, MD

Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 22 reviews


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From you measurements you would do well with a large implant. You should see a BCPS for sizing so that you may try on sample implants and get an ideal which size that you're comfortable with. 

Good luck and be well


I'm 35, and I can't decide between a full C or a regular D. Wondering what would look more natural on my body. Advice?

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The issue of size and aesthetics is so subjective that the answer to your question becomes very difficult.  My advice is to find a surgeon whom you trust and have confidence in, show photos that demonstrate the proportioning and contour that you seek, and then allow him/her to do their best to optimize your breasts close to that goal.  I feel that the best time and opportunity to "fine tune" aesthetics is during the procedure when test implants, called sizers can be positioned and inspected.

The good news for you is that you have excellent shape and fullness to start and consequently you have a high chance of obtaining a successful and aesthetic result as long as you avoid setting too large a goal for your own tissues.  I think that a full C cup or a mid D cup would both be just fine.  Remember, that as I tell my patients, the implants don't come out of the box saying "this is a full C cup and not a D cup" and it is a subjective assessment during the procedure.  Different bra manufacturers use different fitting and cup size standards further confusing the monenclature.

Once you've discussed this with your surgeon (ABPS Certified) allow him/her to do the best job for you and enjoy your results. 

Jon A Perlman MD FACS 

Certified, American Board of Plastic Surgery 

Extreme Makeover Surgeon ABC TV

Best of Los Angeles Award 2015, 2016 

Beverly Hills, Ca

Jon A. Perlman, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

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Cup Size

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You need to get the cup size issue out of your head as no surgeon can make you a specific cup size. The bra sizes are imprecise as each manufacturer has a different idea about what is a C or a D. And a C on one woman can be very different than a C on another woman. Show your surgeon photos of the look you want and a good surgeon will create that for you. 

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Breast augmentation

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Hello and thank you for your question. You are a great candidate for a breast augmentation.  The size, shape, and profile of the implant is based on your desired breast size/shape, your chest wall measurements, and soft tissue quality.  This decision should be based on a detailed discussion with equal input from both you and your surgeon.  This entire surgery can be performed with a small incision technique.  Make sure you specifically look at before and after pictures of real patients who have had this surgery performed by your surgeon and evaluate their results.   The most important aspect is to find a surgeon you are comfortable with. I recommend that you seek consultation with a qualified board-certified plastic surgeon who can evaluate you in person.

Best wishes and good luck.

Richard G. Reish, M.D.
Harvard-trained plastic surgeon

Richard G. Reish, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Breast Implants/Breast Augmentation/Anatomic Gummy Bear Implants/ Silicone Implants/Breast Implant Revision Surgery

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I appreciate your question.

The size of implant best for you is dictated by your chest wall measurements.  Once we determine that we can choose the profile based on what you want or need to achieve.  If you are seeking a natural look, then the diameter of the implant should be equal to or, more ideally, smaller than the width of your breast. The breast width is a measurement of how wide your breast is at the base, which should be measured at the level of the nipple. Choosing an implant that is smaller in diameter than your breast width will avoid the "side breast" fullness that is often associated with a more artificial appearance.  Other than that, you should choose the implant based on volume, not on the dimensions of the implant. You should choose a board certified plastic surgeon that you trust to help guide you in this decision.  

Silicone will give you a fullness at the top (upper pole fullness).

Silicone implants come pre-filled with a silicone gel and are the softest implant available. They feel more natural, which makes them a good option for women with less natural breast tissue; but they require a larger incision. It may be more difficult to realize if this type of implant has ruptured, so it is important to monitor them with annual follow-up visits. Additionally, because this implant contains a more liquid silicone (less cross-linked), if this implant should rupture, it will leak only into the scar capsule formed around the implant but may cause some discomfort or implant distortion.

Anatomic gummy bear implants might be a good choice to give you volume.

These highly-sought-after, anatomic implants offer a look that more closely resembles the natural silhouette of a breast, and, therefore, are a very attractive option for individuals seeking a natural-looking, aesthetic primary breast augmentation. Additionally, these implants are an especially excellent option for patients undergoing restorative or corrective breast surgery because they provide more stability, shape, and reduced incidence of capsular contracture. Compared to other types of silicone gel implants, the silicone in the cohesive gel implant is more cross-linked; therefore, should the implant shell “rupture,” it maintains its shape and silicone does not leak.

During your breast augmentation consultation, you should feel the different types of implants available, and try on various implant sizers in front of a mirror to help you to get an idea of how you will look following the surgery. You should also bring pictures of the look you would like to achieve, as well as a favorite top to wear when trying on implant sizers.

The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam.

Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic and restorative breast surgery.

Best of luck!

Dr. Schwartz

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon



Wondering what would look more natural on my body.

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Thank you for the question. Based on your photograph, I think that you are starting at a good place and should have a very nice outcome with breast augmentation surgery.  

Ultimately, careful communication of your goals (in my practice I prefer the use of goal pictures, direct examination/communication in front of a full-length mirror, in bra sizers, and computer imaging) as well as careful measurements (dimensional planning) will be critical.


Generally speaking, the best online advice I can give to ladies who are considering breast augmentation surgery ( regarding breast implant size/profile selection) is:

1. Concentrate on choosing your plastic surgeon carefully. Concentrate on appropriate training, certification, and the ability of the plastic surgeon to achieve the results you are looking for. ***Ask to see lots of examples of his/her work.

2. Have a full discussion and communication regarding your desired goals with your plastic surgeon. This communication will be critical in determining breast implant size/type/profile will most likely help achieve your goals. 

In my practice, the use of photographs of “goal” pictures (and breasts that are too big or too small) is very helpful. For example, I have found that the use of words such as “mor natural” or "nice full look" or "C or D cup" etc means different things to different people and therefore prove unhelpful.

Also, as you know, cup size varies depending on him who makes the bra; therefore, discussing desired cup size may also be inaccurate. Again, the use of computer imaging has been very helpful during the communication process, in our practice.

3. Once you feel you have communicated your goals clearly, allow your plastic surgeon to use his/her years of experience/judgment to choose the breast implant size/profile that will best meet your goals. Again, in my practice, this decision is usually made during surgery, after the use of temporary intraoperative sizers.

I hope this (and the attached link, dedicated to breast augmentation surgery concerns) helps. Best wishes for an outcome that you will be very pleased with. 

I'm 35, and I can't decide between a full C or a regular D. Wondering what would look more natural on my body. Advice?

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You have excellent breast anatomy and should be able to achieve a very nice result with breast augmentation surgery.  The size of breast implant will be determined by a measurement of the base width of your breast.  Your plastic surgeon will measure the base with beneath your breast and use that number  to choose a recommended size based on a chart provided by breast implant manufacturers.

A very inaccurate general opinion is that it takes 150-200 cc  to increase the breast by one cup size in the same style and manufacture of bra that you currently wear.

You can also do the Rice test at home  which is described in the link below on sizing:

Breast augmentation/lift

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Thank you for your question and photographs.

I would recommend that you schedule a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon to have an examination of your breasts done. At that point, the surgeon can recommend whether you need a breast lift, breast augmentation or both. From the photos you have posted, it is hard to accurately determine whether a breast lift is necessary, a breast augmentation with implants may be sufficient to correct the sagging appearance and add projection and volume. It may be a case of giving your permission for the surgeon to determine during the surgery if a lift is necessary after he places the implants. At my office, we use Crisalix which is a virtual reality device that will allow you to view what your breasts would look like after a lift, or view different sizes of implants and pick which best suits your desires.  As the only board certified plastic surgeon in Pittsburgh offering this virtual reality imaging system, we have a 100% satisfaction rate.  Crisalix  is truly a unique experience for our patients as they can view themselves using virtual reality goggles and can instantly visualize their own breasts changing in size and shape with all of the various brands, sizes and shapes of breast implants.  Thus, our patients leave the consultation feeling confident with the size of the implant they chose.  
Best of luck in your endeavors!

James Fernau, MD, FACS
Board Certified ENT
Board Certified Plastic Surgery
Member of ASPS, ASAPS, ISAPS, The Rhinoplasty Society, AAFPRS, OTO/HNS, ASLMS, International Federation for Adipose Therapeutics & Science

James Fernau, MD, FACS
Pittsburgh Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

The natura look

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It is impossible to say what bra cups you will be after implants as cup sizes differ between different manufacturers. You might be a C in one and an E in another. In terms of what implant size is best, your board certified surgeon will measure your chest and decide with you what he thinks is best for your body/breast size. Often after having children though to get a nice full shape and uplift might be needed too. Be sure you see a board certified 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.