What is the Breast Implant Rice Test?

I saw "rice test" mentioned when considering the right breast implants. I have never heard of this and Googling it doesn't give me the answer.

Doctor Answers 9

The "Rice test" for breast implants

neither the rice test, or breast implant sizers are an accurate method of determining the appropriate breast implant. Biodimensional planning can help a doctor select a range of sizes, shapes and plaementt that will result in the ideal result.  

Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 118 reviews

What is the Breast Implant Rice Test?

After a "quick" google search I found this 2008 article, hope it helps.

If you are considering breast augmentation, choosing the right size for your implants is an important decision, especially considering that more than half of all breast revision surgeries are performed just to change the implant size.

Breast implant volume is measured in "ccs" (cubic centimeters), and a given implant size may end up being a "C" cup on one woman's frame and a "B" cup on someone else. Frankly, the whole thing can be a bit confusing. So how do you figure out what size is most comfortable for you? Try some new breasts on for size with the rice test.

Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: 15 minutes to make the "implants", plus 2-3 days (or longer) for wearing them in your bra
Here's How:
Make the "shell." You may use zip-style locking plastic bags for a quick and easy solution if you like. However, a more natural and comfortable feel can be achieved by cutting a 12-inch length of nylon stockings.(use the foot portion, or use the leg portion and tie it off at one end.

Measure or weigh the rice. There are several versions of the test that use different measurement, but because of the ways implants are sized, it can be difficult to get an accurate measurement.

Using a small food scale, all you need to know is that 1 ounce of rice is equivalent to 30cc. So, for example, 5 ounces of rice would be roughly the same size and weight as a 150cc implant (and so on).

Using a measuring cup, use the following as a guideline:


1/8 cup rice = 30cc
1/4 cup rice = 59cc
1/3 cup rice = 78cc
1/2 cup rice = 118cc
2/3 cup rice = 156cc
3/4 cup rice = 177cc
1 cup rice = 236cc

Fill your new "implant." Fill the bag or stocking with the amount of rice you have chosen. Close the bag or tie off the other end of the stocking.

Try them out. Place the sealed bags full of rice into a well-fitting sports bra and wear them while you engage in all your usual daily activities. Pay attention to both how they look and how they feel.

Change it up. If you don't like the first size you try, dump out the rice, re-measure, and add the new amount. Repeat step 3.


Interview with Adam Tattelbaum, MD; Rockville, MD; conducted on 12-21-03

This is an entirely unscientific test which will provide only a rough guideline, and is not endorsed officially by any medical group. However, it has helped many women with their decisions about breast implant size, and can help you adjust to the look and feel of having larger breasts before making a permanent decision. Ask your doctor if he recommends this or other methods to help with your decision.

If your implants will be placed under the muscle, you may need to adjust the size of your implant upward by about 15% from the amount you liked during your rice test in order to account for the compression of the pectoral muscle on your implants. However, the use of a sports bra during your test may help to simulate this compression effect, thereby giving you a more accurate result.

Alternatives to the rice test include using water as a filler (not as popular because of the potential of leaks and messes) or using pre-made "sizers" which are sold commercially for this purpose.

What You Need:
uncooked rice, instant mashed potato flakes, or oatmeal
a food scale or measuring cup
an old pair of nylon stockings or ziploc bags
a well-fitting sports bra (or a regular bra in your "goal size")

Regards Dr. Darryl J. Blinski

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

Choosing breast implant size before breast augmentation

The most important decision for breast augmentation is to choose the correct breast implant size. Some doctors recommend filling in zip lock bags with different amounts of rice and then placing it in their bra, in order to see which size looks best on them. this method definitely works, but I have a better idea. I have my patients try on different size breast implants in a soft bra during their consultation.

Sean Younai, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

What is the Breast Implant Rice Test?

Although useful as rough guidelines and as communication tools, all the modalities currently used to predict what breast implant size/profile will best achieve a patient's goals with breast augmentation are not very accurate, in my opinion. The use of the rice test, sizers placed beneath a patient's bra, goal pictures, computer imaging technology… are all useful, but not necessarily as accurate as one would hope.
In my opinion, nothing will replace careful verbal preoperative communication with your plastic surgeon, preferably in front of a full-length mirror along with the use of as many "communication" tools” listed above.
In my practice, I use all of the above modalities and then use intraoperative temporary sizers to help determine the best breast implant size/profile to achieve a patient's specific goals as closely as possible. For this reason, I think it is helpful to have the entire range of breast implant sizes/profiles available in the operating room.
Achieving realistic expectations prior to proceeding to the operating room is also an important part of the preoperative communication process. Patients should be aware that the results of their breast augmentation will not necessarily match exactly what they are visualizing with anyone of the above-mentioned communication tools.
Given your questions and concerns, and given that your surgery is coming up soon, I would suggest that you schedule additional time to spend with your plastic surgeon. This additional time spent will be helpful in the communication process and in alleviating some of your anxiety.
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 “natural” or "C 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.
Best wishes; hopefully you will be very pleased with the outcome of the planned procedure.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

"The Rice Test" for determining breast implant size

I recommend that my patients do the "rice test" at home to help them determine what size implant they will want. We have found that using the sock part of an old pair of stockings works better than zip lock bags, as it is easier and more comfortable to move around. Get a soft bra, without underwire,  that would be the size you think you want, start with one cup of rice on each side, do not tie the stocking too tight, the rice needs to be able to move around a bit. Then try on different clothing, including a snug T shirt. Add or decrease rice until you get the look you want. Then measure the rice, your surgeon should be able to determine what size implant based on the amount of rice.

Miguel Delgado, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Breast augmentation - rice test

As mentioned below you can measure the amount of rice in a bag placed behind your bra or t-shirt. Pour this into a measuring cup and the ml's is the same as cc's. This gives a rough estimate as when implants actually go into your body it looks different.

David E. Kim, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 97 reviews

Rice test

The rice test is a simple way to see how you might look with a certain volume implant. It gives a rough estimate.  Measuring the rice in cc's in a measuring cup and placing that volume in a bag and then placing it in your loose bra over a t-shirt can help your decision to choose the right implant.

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

Rice test for implant estimation

The rice test is simply a "home" way of testing roughly how much volume you want to add to your breasts to like the size better.  You would be better served in terms of really seeing the various "looks" you can create by visiting a board certified plastic surgeon and trying on real implant sizers because these come in different profiles (projections) and the rice test doesn't.

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

Rice test

The rice test is one way someone interested in having a BA can get an idea of the size implant they like.  Raw  rice is weighed in grams and then placed in a bag.  An old pair of stockings that have been cut and tied work well for this. Be careful not to tie the bag too tightly because you want the rice to sit snuggly over the breast, and not take on the appearance of a rubber ball.  Create several pairs in increments of 25 grams and compare them.  Although this will give you an idea, it is very inaccurate.  Keep in mind that there are several variables that a plastic surgeon will review that will help to determine the best size implant to acheive your desired goal.

Beverly Friedlander, MD
Short Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 15 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.