Breast Implant Size to Achieve Medium C Cup?

Hi, I am looking for some advice. I am currently a large A/small B cup and I'm looking to go to a medium C cup. I am 5'8' and 175 lbs. my ribcage is 35" and my BWD is about 14.1. Any recommendations about Breast implants sizes in cc as well as the profile? Thanks for your help!

Doctor Answers 26

Breast Implant Size to achieve a C Cup

Here’s one of the most important things to understand about breast augmentation – maybe THE most important: based on the breast ‘soft tissue envelope’ that you are starting with, and by that I mean the breast skin and subcutaneous breast tissue that will cover and conceal your implants, there is a limited range of implant shapes, dimensions and volumes that will produce 1. A natural-appearing result, which in turn provides you with 2. A very low likelihood of needing a reoperation (or a series of reoperations) for the problems associated with overly large breast implants: visible implant folds and ripples, implant malposition (usually ‘bottoming out’ and/or ‘lateral drift’), lower pole skin stretch deformity, easy implant palpability, stretchmarks and capsular contracture.

And yes, I do believe overly large implants have a higher rate of capsular contracture, for any one or all of the following reasons: a possible direct mechanical adverse effect on breast soft tissues; the fact that the bigger the implant is (i.e. the lower the ratio of natural breast volume to implant volume) the more obvious a mild or moderate contracture will be; and what I think is a high probability that surgeons who are willing to place unnaturally large breast implants are, as a group, less likely to be compulsive about using the intra-operative measures and techniques that have been shown to lower the incidence of capsular contracture.

If you want a natural-appearing result that is stable in appearance over time, find a surgeon who uses biodimensional planning principles and who recommends a smaller volume, moderate projection implant.  Given your body size and the size of your natural breast (A), you are probably a perfect candidate for shaped, form-stable implants.  275 – 300cc is plenty of implant for you, maybe 350 at the most depending on your actual measurements.  Don’t obsess about ‘C’ or ‘D’. Just ask the surgeon for the fullest volume breast implant that your natural breast tissue can effectively conceal (and not just for the short term but over time) based on biodimensional planning. You’ll get an outcome that looks full and beautiful but also natural, and that doesn’t cause you problems that  lead to frustrating reoperations with a few months or years of your augmentation surgery. 

Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 98 reviews

Your cup size depends on your total volume of your breast

It is difficult to say what size implant you would need without seeing how much breast tissue you have currently. For a average size woman (and you are a bit taller than average), you would need to be about 520 cc total volume for an average C. If you have 150 cc of your own breast tissue, you would need to get about a 370 cc implant to make a total of 520 cc. This is an average and also depends on your body shape and size. You would have to be examined to be clear. This is also complicated by the fact that bras are not regulated, so what is a B for most companies, Victoria Secret call that same bra a C cup for marketing reasons (women would like to think that their cup size is larger than they are). You need an physical exam to be sure!

Dan Mills, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Cup Size after Breast Augmentation

I always stay away from postop bra size, because there are no guarantees and if you are shooting for a particular bra size after surgery, you will be greatly dissappointed.
You need to focus on the look you are going for and perform the Rice Test. This is a way for you to relay to your plastic surgeon as to the look you are going for and how large you want to be. So I recommend looking at my website where I discuss how to perform this test in one of my journal entries. It is very simple and will get you pretty close to the volume you need for the look you are going for.
Good luck.

Farbod Esmailian, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Implant Size

It is very important to communicate your size goals with your surgeon.  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 “C cup” or "fake looking" 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.
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 press 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.

Stop thinking of cup size!!!!!!!

Many women ask "how many cc's to be a b?" "How many ccs to be a d?"

The problem with that is that a B from Victoria's Secret does not fit the same as a B from La Perrla.

All women have more than one bra size in their dresser before surgery, and no doubt will have more than one bra size in their dresser after surgery. So to talk about an "upper B" v a "middle-B" is basically meaningless.

This is what you should focus on: do you want to see the outline of the implant? Do you want to look round? Do you want an upper pole convexity? Do you want to look obviously augmented? And if so, are you wiling to pay the long tem price of skin stretch and thinning of your tissue from pressure?

Or do you want the implant to be inconspicuous? Do you want the upper pole to lack a bulge? Do you want to look basically natural? Is preserving your tissue over the long term important to you?

Those are the questions you should ask. Forget about cup size. That is inaccurate and leads to disappointment. If you want to look round, bulgy, and fake, then just try sizers on in a bra and pick the one you want. If you want to look more natural, go to a surgeon competent at mneasuring and select the size that optimally fits your tissues.

It is really that simple. As unhelpful as it is to ask a surgeon who is seeing you in person how many cc's it would take to get to a particular size, it is utterly worthless to ask that question to doctors on the internet who have not seen you.

Steven Teitelbaum, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Try on sizers!

You need to try on sizers and see which volume you like the best.  There is no other way to determine which implant fits your perception of the right size.

Breast implant size to achieve medium 'C' cup?

Hello! Thank you for your question. In general, implant size does not correlate with bra cup size. The cup size itself will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer as well as who is doing the actual measurements. Thus, cup size is never a reliable indicator for your breast size. I typically encourage my patients not to communicate her desires in cup size but more on the actual look and appearance.

Good communication between you and your surgeon of your expectations is warranted - choosing your surgeon wisely is the first step. Discussion of your wishes and having an honest and open dialog of your procedure is mandatory (e.g, implant type, incision, placement, lift, etc). I have found that photographs brought by the patient is helpful to get a visualization of the appearance you wish for in terms of size, shape, fullness, etc. In addition, your surgeon's pre and postoperative photographs should demonstrate a realistic goal for you. Once this has been accomplished, allow your surgeon to utilize his/her best medical judgment during the procedure to finesse the best possible result for you after preoperative biodimensional planning and fitting the right implant for your breast width.

Hope me that this helps! Best wishes for a wonderful result!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Implant size to cup size

A common misconception among patients preparing for a breast augmentation surgery is that a certain implant size equates to a certain bra cup size, or they can look at pictures of friends' augmented breasts and pick their implant size based on what they like on other people.

Every individual has a different breast width, is different in height, and has different amounts of their own breast tissue that contributes to the final size and shape of an augmented breast. The other problem with talking in terms of cup size is that there is no standard within the bra industry as to how much volume defines a B, C, D, etc., cup. 

When the goal is to provide an appropriately shaped, natural result, the reality is that the volume of the breast implant is the least important when selecting the breast implant measurements. A qualified, board certified plastic surgeon will measure the width of your breast and select a breast implant with a base diameter that fits your chest appropriately. The projection of the implant is determined by your preferences for final breast shape, the amount of natural breast tissue you have before surgery, and the stretchiness of your breast skin. After the ideal implant width and projection are determined, the volume of the implant is essentially defined.

The reality, however, is that it is much easier for patients to think and experiment with different sizes of breast implants. I encourage my patients to experiment with different breast sizing systems at home and in the office. Essentially breast implants of different sizes are slipped into a bra insert so that a patient can determine what size gives them the appearance they are looking for in clothing. This can also be simulated with baggies of measured amounts of dry rice at home. One of the critical roles of your surgeon is to make sure that the implant size selected has an appropriate width and projection to give the patient an optimal aesthetic outcome. 

Clay Forsberg, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Breast Implant Sizing

One of the most important decisions facing breast augmentation patients is the size of breast implants that will be used. Most patients are striving for harmony, balance and proportion with the surrounding anatomic structures. Typically, they want a natural look with some fullness in the upper breast area.


Most patients tend to speak in terms of cup size. Unfortunately, cup size is not always helpful because manufacturers of bras label their products differently and women don’t always wear their bras the same way. In other words, some women wear their bras snugly, while others wear them loosely. This creates communication problems when talking cup size.


In an effort to determine breast size in a more objective manner, I utilize external silicone sizers and the Vectra 3D computer imaging system. These systems help patients visualize what their breasts will look like with a specific sized implant. Patients find this to be extremely helpful.


The ability to visualize your projected surgical result alleviates much of the anxiety associated with the procedure. It’s important to remember that final adjustment in the size of breast implants will ultimately be made in the operating room based on anatomic considerations.

Best Implant Size to Reach a C Cup

With your goal in mind, it is very difficult to determine the exact size and shape implant you will require to reach a C cup without an examination by a board certified plastic surgeon. This is because several measurements in addition to the ones you noted 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).
My advice is to accept advice from your board certified plastic surgeon after a formal consultation and examination with measurements.. If still confused don't hesitate to get a second opinion.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 110 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.