Breast Implant Sizers in Sports Bra or T-shirt Bra?

I am going to try on breast implant sizers on Friday. Is it better to put the sizers in a sports bra or a t-shirt bra for the size I'd like to be (a D)? I'm just wondering, which would look more accurate? I've also been told to go up 30 cc since I am having unders (I'm a 34b, 30 inch RC and will be having either 270 or 300cc silicone gel mod profile). Thanks so much for the help!

Doctor Answers 10

Dimensions trump sizers in bra!

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The only roll for sizers is to see that the size that fits your tissue is in the ballpark of what you want. It is not at all to make decisions about which size is best. To say it differently, the size you get should be based entirely on your tissue based measurements. The use of sizers should only be to help you know what you will look like.

The biggest mistake women make with breast augmentation is pickinga size based upon some subjective goal they have in their mind for their breast size rather than what is ideal for their tissues. Make sure your surgeon measures you well,and only use the sizers to check that the recommedation is appropriate for what you want.

So what if you want something much smaller than your measurements suggest is ideal? Realize that you will be underfilled, so you will have less upper pole fullness.

What happens if you select something larger than is ideal for your measurements? Then your breast will look overfilled, a bit round, perhaps bulgy on top, and with a more visible rounded look. That's in the short term; in the long term, ther will be greater stretch of your skin and compression of your breast tissue from the too large of an implant, leading to more implant visibility later.

So your question about whether to size in a bra or a tshirt misses the point of sizing. It's true that in the old days that surgeons selected implant sizes on the basis of what a patient wanted in a bra, but today the published data clearly shows the best outcomes when implants are sized objectively.

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

See my other answers related to implant size

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Forget about the volume. Volume is a by-product or a result of the analysis of the dimension of your breast. A 300cc implant can produce three different results depending on the style. First start with your breast width and the relative position of your nipple. That will determine the most natural fit. The nipple should sit about halfway up the vertical height of a round implant and the implant should sit within the width of your natural breast tissue. The lowest proflle will give the most natural appearance in a normally shaped small breast. This analysis will then indicate a particular implant that is of a certain pre-determined volume with each manufacturer. Your surgeon can help gauge if this will give you the look you want that is dependent not only on the implant but on your own breast tissue. You can then vary the width, the projection, or even the model style to get closer to your goal. The volume will then determine itself.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Where to Put Those Breast Implant Sizers

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There are two totally different items that are called sizers:

  • One is a teardrop shaped cup-like device filled with soft solid silicone. These are made by Mentor and are meant to be inserted in a bra to estimate your desired implant size.
  • The other are exact replicas of actual silicone gel or saline implants and are made by all three manufacturers. Though not designed for this purpose, they are commonly used to choose implant size  - also by placing them in a bra.

I don't know which of these your PS intends to use (more use the latter) but it really doesn't matter. Neither works.

The teardrop shaped ones work somewhat better but even they are, at best, a rough guess. Your breast tissue is unique and is going to be shaped by your implants in a thousand complex ways. Putting any device in your bra is never going to be the same as putting it in your breast. It's like trying on a dress by holding up in front of you.

That's the bad news. The good news is that the implant replicas are actually meant to be inserted temporarily in surgery. Your plastic surgeon can put them in, sit you up, and see EXACTLY what your implants will look like. He can even try different sizes and profiles to find the very best breast implants for you.

So skip the office-based, bra-stuffing ritual. It might get you close, but if it yields the actual optimal implants for you, it's just luck. Have your surgeon use intra-operative sizers. That way there's no guessing!

Robert J. Schwartz, MD
Richardson Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Bra in preferred size and tight fitting shirt

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Sports bras may compress your breasts and the sizers too much. I recommend wearing a regular bra in the size you'd like to be, then put on a tight fitting shirt over to see how you look.

However, please note that trying on sizers may give you a good idea about how you may look after surgery, but they aren't totally accurate. They are used to just give you a general idea.


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I understand cup size can very, this is evident by all the different brand bras fitting differently but yet saying their the same size. I perform over a 1000 breast augmentations per year and have asked my patients when they come back how much do they think they went up. Now after years of doing this and having an extremely large group of patients and listening to them this is the estimates I would consider

Under five foot tall 180cc per cup

5'-5'3 about 200cc per cup

5'4- 5'7 225cc per cup

Taller then that most patients feel 225cc up to 250cc can be a cup.

I think what more important than cup size is conveying to your surgeon what your expectations are for size. Thats why I believe all patients should perform some type of sizing method disregarding cup size but focusing more on what you like when your wearing the sizers. I would recommend the rice test site. Remember cup size varies based on how the person wears their bra. It also varies based on your anatomy and frame size not to mention how you may like to wear your bra. I would suggest performing the rice test which can be found online to help you with this.

William J. Hedden, MD
Birmingham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 334 reviews

Sizing implants

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I prefer patients place the sizers in a loose fitting bra and then placing a t-shirt over it to see how they look. This gives patients a rough idea of how they may look in terms of volume.

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

Dimensions more important than sizers!

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Thank you for your question!

Either should be fine since this is just a test to give you a more realistic idea of which size you like best. This can be different than the actual size that is best for you. This is based on your body dimensions and skin elasticity. If you get implants that are too large for your body type, you are at risk for sagging breast and stretching and thinning the skin. You board certified plastic surgeon should let you know what is the best size for your body.

Best regards,

Dr. Speron

Sam Speron, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon

Breast sizer in bras do not translate into implant size needed

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Trial bras and sizers can be very helpful to some when they are uncertain about the 'feel' or look of a fuller cup size. There are several ways to do this, one of which is to place a breast implant used in augmentation into a stretch bra or sports bra to test out the new look. A better plan is to shop for a bra with a cup size that you hope to wear, and pad out the cup softy to smoothly fill out the cup. Some will use a fiber fill or even tissues, some patients have found rice in zip bags to contour nicely over the breast. Others have found silicone conformers or enhancers which will fit expertly over the breast, somewhat more expensive but the look is quite good. When you find just what you like it can be best to sport this new look at your surgeons office, as then it can be clearly appreciated just what you wish your augmentation to look like.

The problem with stuffing an augmentation implant into a bra is that they fit under the breast, not over. They don't conform well and give a rough representation of the look and feel of augmentation. The relative volume can be deceptive as well and have little bearing on just what the final implant volume will fit the bill.

I cannot say you shouldn't try the implant trick. patients ask to do this in our office all the time, just don't rely on it. Some of the other suggestions I've made might suit you better.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

T shirt bra.

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Putting implants in your T shirt bra will give you an idea of the look you are seeking. And implants do look 20 to 40 cc's smaller once they are inside your tissues (even over the muscle).

Your surgeon will tell you what range of sizes is safe and natural looking for you based on measurements of your chest, your breasts, and your tissue tightness.

In Manhattan, we make the final decision during surgery. We use disposable breast implant SIZERS inside your implant pockets to actually see what a particular size looks like on your body. Only then do we open the permanent implants from our inventory. This takes all the guess work out.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Sizers in a sports bra

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In my office, we typically use a sports bra to insert sizer implants to trial the look the patients want to achieve. I still base my decisions on dimensional measurements and volume but for the patients it is more of a visual thing. I typically add about 50 cc's to the final implant size from the one that looked best in the garment because I always go under the muscle.

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.