How Do I Choose The Right Implant Size?

I will be getting a vertical lift. I am a saggy 34/36 C. My PS said 375- 425 cc silicone mentor mod +. I tried the 375 and that was the smallest I liked. Would 425cc under the muscle look like the 375 sizer did or more like the 400? (trying to decide on 400 or 425 ?) The implant will be under muscle so it will visually look smaller than the same cc sizer...right?

Doctor Answers 12

Choosing the right implant size

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I agree with the other surgeons' responses to your question.  The difference of 25 cc's is about the equivalence of 2 tablespoons or one shot glass of fluid.  It is not something to stress over.  If you are worried that you are going too small, my suggestion would be to choose the slightly larger size for peace of mind.  In my practice, I don't have the patient select the exact size of implant.  I have our patients size with the implants and provide me with a range (for example 275cc-350cc).  I then instruct them to go home and do "their homework" by looking at before and after pictures on the web and selecting a few that they like and don't like. I have them write down notes as to what they like and dislike about each picture.  These photos stay in the patient's chart and then are brought into the operating room with me.  I then use the information provided to me by the patient, along with the use of gel sizers in the operating room, to put in the different volume sizes and see which size achieves the "look" the patient is going after.   I rarely have anyone come back unhappy about the size of implant that was selected.  Good luck!

Lone Tree Plastic Surgeon

Breast implant size

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Listen to your Plastic Surgeon's advice! If you think the bigger implant is better; you may make the breasts "fall" much faster due to the weight of the "too large" implant. Communication with your surgeon, who you trust, is imperative.

William D. Merkel, MD
Grand Junction Plastic Surgeon

Choosing the right size implant

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First, don't get crazy about 25cc! My guess is that you couldn't tell the difference. Have faith in your plastic surgeon. If you did your homework and like the way your consultation went, trust your surgeon's judgement. That being said - this is what I recommend:

Go to a breast implant website - like

Search the surgeon before and afters. Here's the secret for success - 

First search by height and weight.

Second - find someone who has breasts that look like yours. (Be honest with yourself! If you're not sure what your breasts look like - look in a mirror!)

Third - Find a half dozen or so results that you like. Print those and take them to your surgeon. When you print them, there will be some information about what implant was used. I will bet you that there will be a pattern which will be very similar. Your surgeon will be able to confirm your goals and discuss the implants with you. Try it - it works.


Good luck.

Implant size

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This is most certainly an FAQ.  Trying on implants in the office really helps.  Make sure you take a good look with a full length mirror to see how the implants look with the rest of your body.  Proportion is very, very important.  Also, make sure your surgeon is taking your breast diameter into consideration.  It is important that the implants "fit".  It is true that implants under the muscle won't project as much as an implant stuffed in your bra. 

Another useful tool is the (surprise!) Internet.  Go on line and find someone with breasts like yours and is similar age and size.  Find a result you like and show your surgeon.  I have found this to be a very, very useful tool in size selection.  Also, examples of what a patient does not like can be helpful.

Lisa Lynn Sowder, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

How to Choose the Right Implant Size

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Every surgeon has a slightly different method of recommending a particular implant for a patient, but in general I like to start with the patient's goals, starting anatomy including size and shape.  I think photos can be helpful as well but in the end it comes down to really letting your surgeon know what you want and then allowing him to make a recommendation to you.  In your case, it's hard to know if 25 or 50 cc will make a significant difference without a consultation, so I would recommend speaking with your surgeon again prior to to your surgery just to make sure you're both on the same page.

Shahram Salemy, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 155 reviews

Choosing the implant

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Choosing the right implant is a multifactorial decision. It is based upon the patient's anatomy, their desires, and my recommendations. I often use sizers with patients to get an idea of what they are envisioning, and then go from there.

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

Question on implant size

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Questions about specific implant sizes are very common in this forum particularly with regard to 1 or 2 different specific sizes. Personally, I do not leave it up to my patients to make a specific size determination - that is my job. To them, it is a number that does not translate directly into a look.

It is extremely important for the plastic surgeon and the patient to be on the same page regarding the desired appearance and this can be accomplished in a variety of ways. However, as I have already stated, you should leave the determination of the final size and style of the implant up to your plastic surgeon - during surgery.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

If you are already a C cup, 400 cc breast implants are too big.

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1)  This is the most common type of question on RealSelf.

2)  It is the surgeon's job to pick the right breast implants, not the patient's. Implant selection is really pretty technical.

3)  Make sure your surgeon REALLY understands the look you want. Mentioning a cup size is not enough. Show your surgeon pictures of breasts you like.

4)  Then your surgeon has to tell you if your chosen look is realistic for your anatomy.  The most common mistake is to go too big.

5)  I recommend that  the surgeon NOT make a final implant choice in advance, because this is just an educated guess.

6)  The surgeon should have a large inventory of different size and shape implants available in the operating room.

7)  Then the surgeon can put sterile disposable implant SIZERS in your breasts during surgery, to see what a particular implant really looks like inside you. This is how to make the best choice. A sizer costs only $45, and takes all the guess work out.

8)  Finally, the sizer is discarded, and the correct breast implants (based on what you want and on your anatomy) are opened from the operating room inventory, and put in your breasts to complete the operation.

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

How to choose the right implant volume?

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I choose the proper left side volume and the try to get the right to match the left. Sorry my filter was turned off. On a serious note, This determination can be estimated based on wearing a sizing bra and implants. I always have many implants available in the OR because I cannot tell until I place a sizer in the OR what a breast will look like. Something lead you to your PS choice. If you are familiar with their work then proceed. Get another opinion to help give you more confidence. Good luck

Craig Harrison, MD, PA
Tyler Plastic Surgeon

Implant size decision

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Communication between the patient and surgeon is critical when choosing the optimal implant size (and shape).  First I ask patients about their goals.  Then I examine them to determine what size range I believe will look best for their body.  We look at pictures of other patients together and agree on a general size.  In the operating room, I confirm with sizers within that range which implants look the best.

David Stoker, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 62 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.