Breast Implant Sizing Question. Is This Too Big For My Measurements?

I am scheduled to get BA in a couple of weeks but I'm worried about the size I selected. I am 5'3",115 lbs., and I currently wear a 32A. The implant size I selected is 425cc moderate profile, which will be overfilled to 475cc, and placed under the muscle. Do you think that this implant is too big for someone with my measurements (33-24-35)? A small D is as large as I want to go.

Doctor Answers 9

Picking the right size breast implant

How Big is Too Big? - the answer is in the eye of the beholder. Not all D cup sizes are the same depending on the manufacturer and style of the bra for example. Even it this was not the case,
it is very difficult to determine the exact size and shape implant that would suit you without an examination by a board certified plastic surgeon. This is because several measurements not to mention your breast characteristics are needed to determine the optimal implant size to obtain your goals. Without knowing these dimensions it would be tough to answer your question. For example your native base width of your breast will determine in many cases the maximal volume per implant profile that you can accommodate. To illustrate a 100 cc difference may make a significant difference with a narrow base width, but much less of a difference if you have a wide chest wall and wide breast “foot print”. Additional critical decisions will also be made by your plastic surgeon such as: whether your implants will be above or below your pectoralis muscle. These choices are recommended to you based on the look you desire, the amount of sagging you may have, and other deciding factors. I always find it helpful for patients to bring in photos from my or other plastic surgeons’ websites to illustrate what they would like to look like. I bring these photos to the operating room for reference during surgery so that I have the advantage of “seeing through my patient’s eyes” to achieve their wishes.
I personally order more than one set of implant sizes and use sterile sizers placed in the pocket during surgery to know in advance exactly which implant would work best for you. Software morphing programs can be helpful in some but not all cases (e.g. doesn't work well in my experience with existing implants, sagging or asymmetric breasts).

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Toronto BBA

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 size

It is really difficult to answer your question without a phyisical exam.  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.  If you have decided on saline implants, then based on the gel sizer you select, we can guide you to the saline implant that achieves a similar look.
Hope this helps.
Dr. Basu
Houston, TX

C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 210 reviews

Implant sizing by cc's

The short answer is, yes, I think it's too big for your likely measurements. It's like saying the reverse of "will my small foot fit in this size 10 shoe?" or "will my small body fit in this size 12 dress?"

Implant sizing if far from precise and there is no good measure of overall breast size before or after surgery. The way to make sure the implant will fit is similar to what an orthopedic surgeon would do to fit you for a hip implant -- measure you where the implant has to fit. If the width of your breast is measured upright with arms down and allowance is made for the skin/fat layer, then the correct diameter of the breast implant that fits you will be known and if it's a round implant, this will determine the height of the implant. Your choice is the forward volume (profile) as there are at least three forward profiles for a given width (four choices in saline-filled) and your tissues will accommodate the various forward volume choices. A medium profile saline-filled implant of the Mentor or Allergan company that is scaled properly to the width of your breast will increase your apparent breast size in a 32 inch chest by about 1 1/2 cup sizes. My estimate of this would be about a 300 cc implant. A Mentor Moderate Plus saline-filled implant will increase your breast by more than 1 1/2 cup sizes but less than 2 and a high profile saline-filled implant (Allergan) will increase you by 2 cup sizes. If you have too big an implant put in or overfill it, you are asking for problems and deformities requiring revisional surgery. It just doesn't make sense to pick an implant size in cc's and force it to fit. 

Scott L. Replogle, MD
Boulder Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Implant sizing requires a thorough discussion with your plastic surgeon

Given your body characteristics, a 425 cc implant may give you a full, versus a small, D-cup. However, remember cup sizes are not standardized (one company's D-cup is usually not the same size as another D-cup). Determining the ideal implant size for you involves a thorough discussion and exam with your surgeon. Examining actual implants in your size range is also useful. Good luck.

Steven Goldman, MD
Cleveland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 142 reviews

Best Breast Implant for Me?

Thank you for the question.

Assuming you have chosen your plastic surgeon carefully, the next step would be  to communicate your goals  carefully with your plastic surgeon. This communication will be critical in determining which operation and/or 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. I have found that the use of words such as “natural” or "small D” etc 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.

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.

I hope this helps.

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

Breast Implant Size

The most important considerations when choosing a breast implant are the patient's aesthetic goals as well as an evaluation of tissue quality and measurements of chest dimensions.  Taking all of this into account, your surgeon should be able to determine an appropriate size for you.  I do not expect my patients to pick a specific implant size but rather to inform me about the look they are trying to achieve so that I can pick an appropriate implant size.  Although not all surgeons feel it is useful or necessary, I find using a sizing implant in the OR to be very helpful before making the final decision about implant size.

Richard Kofkoff, MD, FACS
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Avoiding problems with large saline filled implants

With your small frame combined with the use of a large saline filled implant you may experience rippling along the lateral edge.  If there is insufficient soft tissue coverage in this zone the implant edge may be noticeable.  By keeping the base of the implant about the size of your existing breast base you may be able to avoid this particular problem.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Breast implant size.

It is very common to second guess your choice of implant before the surgery. It's very difficult to give recommendations based on numbers and not being able to evaluate or see the sizers in place. However, a 425 cc moderate profile implant will likely get you to a D cup. Did your surgeon try sizers and measure your breast width? Did you consider a Moderate Plus Profile implant that will give you more projection with a smaller base diameter? This may fit your frame better based on your description. 

You have time to contact your surgeon and review your choice and make changes if desired. Good luck.

Brian J. Lee, MD
Fort Wayne Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 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.