Breast Size After Augmentation?

I am 25 years old, 5'6" tall, and 144 lbs. I am currently a B cup and I am getting 400cc Mentor Gel implants (moderate profile) in about a month. I am going to have them placed under the muscle, and the incision will be in the lower fold of the breast. What size will this make me at the end of the surgery? I want to be a full C or small D, but can't figure out the cc conversion for cup size.

My biggest concern is that if I get an implant that is too big, then I will look top heavy. I am very athletic and don't want these implants to weigh me down (I still want to maintain an active lifestyle, running, swimming rock climbing, and working out on a daily basis is a high priority for me). Any advice would be most helpful. THANKS!

Doctor Answers 17

See a board certified plastic surgeon experienced in breast augmentation

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Your concerns and questions regarding breast augmentation are very appropriate to all women undergoing this procedure. I must strongly encourage you to see a board certified/eligible plastic surgeon that is experienced in breast augmentation. For many reasons, this is the very most important step to take. After a thorough medical history and examination, he/she will be able to appropriately advise you.

Your wants and needs, body dimensions, vocation, and outside activities are always considered when choosing a breast implant size. In other words, we always individualize. I will pass on some basic information and facts that you may find helpful.

First of all, the average American woman is 5’ 4’’ and weighs 140 lbs…so, you are of average build. Taking all comers, 95% or more of our patients choose breast implants between 300-450 cc, or the equivalent of 10-15 oz. Keep in mind that a coke can is only 12 oz. So, it really does not take a large volume to give you your desired look.

Taking in consideration your active life style, I would probably downward shift you to a range between 300-400 cc. You stated that you are a B cup. There is no conformity in bra size, but this should place you at or near a full C cup. However, the most important maneuver is to take these implants and place them into you bra. The proper implant size should generate a feel of comfort.

Again, I must strongly encourage you to see a board certified/eligible plastic surgeon that is experienced in breast surgery. I hope you find this helpful!

Englewood Plastic Surgeon

Breast Size After Augmentation

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You are not the only one that can not figure out the conversion of breast implant size and cup size. There is no direct correlation between the two as cup size is an unreliable measurement that varies greatly among companies and even within the same company.

You are asking the right questions as the size of the breast implants should be consistent with your goals/objectives which should include lifestyle.

For your stated objective, 400 cc MP breast implants is a reasonable recommendation. Your surgeon is the best one to guide you as he or she knows the scope of the surgery and the specifics about you.

The size of the implants are based on a combination of a patient's goals and objectives and her anatomy. In order to provide a natural looking augmentation, the surgeon needs to evaluate many factors including soft tissue coverage, skin laxity, chest wall width, breast imprint width, the shape of the breasts and relative level of constriction to ensure that the breast implants are appropriate for your body. 

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Discuss this technique with your surgeon

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I use a technique called dimensional breast augmentation which involves taking in a number of factors and measurements, so each patient is unique. That being said, given your height, weight, and your activity level, along with the fact you are considering a lift, I would say you are probably not that far off in choosing an implant in that range. Best thing to do is to see a qualified plastic surgeon that has good breast expertise.

Breast size

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It is difficult to predict cup size because cup size varies by designers and is not standardized. I consider two factors when selecting implants for my patients:

1.Dimensional planning
2.Gel Implant Sizing system

Dimensional planning – The measurements of your chest wall are taken. Also, the breast dimensions including the height, width, and current dimensions of each breast form the basis of dimensional planning. Based on these measurements, the implant size is recommended. This will give you a unique breast implant that is suited for your body frame. However, there are some limitations of what size we can recommend. For instance, some implants may just be too big for a narrow chest wall. Your surgeon can review this with you during the consultation.

Gel Implant Sizing system – During the preliminary breast implant consultation, you will be provided with an option to “try on” a variety of implant shapes and sizes. You can also visualize the possible outcomes of your surgery which helps you to get that perfect size to give you the shape that you longed for. This way your preferences are known and you can then pick a range of implants that will “fit” just right to give a soft natural fuller look. Hope this helps.

Best wishes,

Dr. Basu

Toronto BBA

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There is no way to guarantee a particular bra size. Bra sizing varies greatly between bra manufacturers and a C in one bra will be a D in another. What matters more than the assigned bra size is the way the implant looks on you. The best option for your body and aesthetic goals can be determined in a thorough implant sizing session.

Implant sizing depends on several factors. One of the most important factors is your breast width. Generally, your surgeon will measure your breast width, and then provide you with a range of implant sizes appropriate for your native breast size. There are more nuances to it than just what I've described, but this approach works for most women.

I usually have my patients bring in a large bra and a tight t-shirt to do sizing. I'll then choose 3-4 implants that I feel are appropriate, and have my patients place them in the bra under the tight t-shirt. My patients can then look in the mirror and get a good sense of what they will look like with the provided implant sizes. My patients like this approach and get a great idea of how they will look.

By using this technique, your surgeon can outline a range of appropriate implant sizes that will be aesthetically pleasing, and you make the final decision.

I hope this helps. Good luck!


Asif Pirani, MD, FRCS(C)
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Implant Selection Process

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In order to make an accurate size recommendation, I would need to assess your chest wall and breast mound measurements and characteristics.  Unfortunately, there is not a general rule of thumb or objective criteria to implant selection.

Your plastic surgeon will perform several measurements of your chest wall and breast anatomy and determine a range of implants that both fit your chest wall and reach your desired goals.
The next step is to try on this range of implants in the office with your doctor.   The key to this success is showing your surgeon the body proportion you desire with a bra sizer and allowing your surgeon to guide you to the right implant.   It will be much easier to communicate in implant cc's than cup size when determining the appropriate implant for you.
I wish you a safe recovery and fantastic result.
Dr. Gill

Paul S. Gill, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Breast Size After Breast Augmentation

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Communication with your surgeon is critical in achieving the results you wish. I find that this is best done with the use of pictures as opposed to trying to predetermine specific implant size or profile.

The more breast surgery I do the more I realize that there is no correlation between the size or model (profile) of implant used and resulting cup size.  This may have to do with several factors including: the amount of breast volume the patient starts with, the shape of the patient's chest wall (concave or convex), the type and model of breast implant selected (saline/silicone  and low/moderate/high profile), bra  manufacturer variance  in cup sizes, the  degree  of filling of the cup  with breast tissue,  and the subjective differences in patients perceptions of cup size. 

 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.

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.
By the way, the most common regret after this operation, is “I wish I was bigger”.

I hope this helps.

Cup size and breast implants

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Starting with a full B and adding 400cc's will certainly increase your cup size at least 1 -2 cups. You should be at least a full C or even a D cup.

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

Best to consult your surgeon and try implant sizers

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There isn't a good conversion from cc's (or milliliters) to cup size. Also, I do not think patients get much help from comparing their pre-op breast size or appearance to their friends or pictures on the internet. The best way I have found for a patient to visualize their result is to use an un-padded bra and external sizers, both with and without clothes. With this method, you have to consider that you will not get as much projection as you see, but you will get more cleavage.

In addition, the patient's response to seeing themselves with the sizers allows me to understand better what they want to achieve.

You are wise to be concerned that large implants will interfere with your athletic activities. Most of my dedicated athletes chose somewhat smaller implants than you mentioned.

Sutton Graham II, MD
Greenville Plastic Surgeon

Breast size for augmentation all about meeting expectations

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It is not easy to exactly predict cup size but in general, for someone your size and weight every 200 cc of implant volume will take you up about one cup size. Sometimes, it helps to try sizing implants on in your bra, as this at least gives you a general idea about what a particular volume will do for you.

I encourage patients to bring in pictures of what they would like to look like. I review these during the pre-operative appointment, and we try to finalize the size, shape and volume that will me the patient's individual needs and desires.

A combination of open communication as well as graphic representations of expected results helps to at least define what a patient is expecting. In spite of everything, nothing evokes more anxiety that determining size following breast augmentation. Its all about meeting expectations.

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 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.