How Do You Know How Many Ccs to Get, How Does That Compare to Cup Sizes?

Currently a 36c with one breast about a half of cup larger than the other. Currently looking into getting breast implants, still very undecided on whether to get saline or silicone. Looking for a look that is the most realistic as possible.

Doctor Answers 12

Breast Implant Size?

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 Thank you for the question.

Much of the final “look” achieved after breast augmentation surgery  depends on several factors:

1. The initial shape, size (volume of breast tissue), symmetry of the patient's breasts. In general, the better the  preoperative breast appearance the more likely the breast augmentation “look” will be optimal.

2. The experience/skill level of the surgeon is important in determining the final outcome. For example, the accurate and gentle dissection of the breast implant pockets are critical in producing  long-term  well-placed breast implants. I personally think that these 2 factors are more important than any others, including type (saline or silicone)  or model (low/moderate/high profile)  of implant.

3. The type of implant used may  determine the final outcome, especially if the patient does not have significant covering breast or adipose tissue. For example, some surgeons feel that silicone implants have a more natural look and feel than saline implants because silicone gel has a texture that is similar to breast tissue. Each patient differs in the amount of breast tissue that they have.  If a patient has enough breast tissue to cover the implant, the final result will be similar when comparing saline implants versus silicone gel implants.  If a patient has very low body fat and/or very little breast tissue, the silicone gel implants may provide a more "natural" result.
On the other hand, saline implants have some advantages over silicone implants. Silicone implant ruptures are harder to detect. When saline implants rupture, they deflate and the results are seen almost immediately. When silicone implants rupture, the breast often looks and feels the same because the silicone gel may leak into surrounding areas of the breast without a visible difference.  Patients may need an MRI to diagnose a silicone gel rupture.   Saline implants are also less expensive than the silicone gel implants.
Other differences involve how the breast implants are filled. Saline implants are filled after they’re implanted, so saline implants require a smaller incision than prefilled silicone breast implants.
On May 10, 2000, the FDA granted approval of saline-filled breast implants manufactured by Mentor Corporation and McGhan Medical. To date, all other manufacturers’ saline-filled breast implants are considered investigational.
As of 2006, the FDA has approved the use of silicone gel implants manufactured by the Mentor Corporation and Allergan (formerly McGhan) for breast augmentation surgery for patients over the age of 22.

4.The size and model of breast implant selected. Unfortunately, there is no direct correlation between  the size of breast implants  and the resulting cup size.

In planning your breast augmentation procedure it will be very important to communicate your size goals with your surgeon.  in my practice I find the use of goal pictures to be very helpful.  in your case you could use your own before breast-feeding pictures as the goal. I have found that the use of words such as “natural” or “C cup” or "fake looking" or "top heavy" 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 breast 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.

I hope this helps.

Selecting Breast Implant Size

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The actual size of a breast implant, measured in cc's, is really not very descriptive of what a breast augmentation will look like, or what the cup size will be. It is all relative to the size of the breast and the size of the patient preoperatively. A tall, broad-shouldered patient with small A-cup breasts may require 450cc implants to achieve a C-cup breast volume postoperatively, while a shorter patient with medium B-cup breasts may only need a 250cc implant to achieve a C-cup breast volume.

If a natural appearance is the goal, then the way to get the size right is to 'try out' different implant volumes and profiles in the operating room. Once the implant pockets have been created, sterile sizers can be placed in the implant pockets, and the upper half of the O.R. table raised so that the resulting breast appearance can be assessed with the patient in an upright 'sitting' position (chest fully upright) while under anesthesia. These sizers are available not only for each implant size but also for each implant profile: low, moderate and high (in this practice we use high-profile implants only in rare instances). Inflatable sizers are used for saline implant augmentations, and pre-filled gel sizers are used for gel implant augmentations.

For any patient there is obviously a range of implant volumes that would be considered natural-appearing, and a volume at which the upper pole of the breast begins to look very unnatural. While one patient may seek an augmentation that is 'perfectly natural', another may be interested in a result that is more on 'the full side of natural', and many patients do ask that the largest implant volume be selected that does not produce an unnatural fullness in the upper pole. By using breast implant sizers intra-operatively to determine exactly what breast implant profile and volume produces the best breast appearance in the O.R., patients can be provided with the closest possible approximation of their preoperative goals, and can be assured of a natural-appearing result.

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

Breast Augmentation / Implants: what size should I get for a natural C-cup look?

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Breast Augmentation is a very safe and commonly performed surgery.  To ensure fantastic, sensual, symmetric, and natural results, the surgical plan should be tailored to your specific anatomy and goals.  Your difference in breast sizes is a very common thing.  Most women have a baseline asymmetry between breasts.  The way to correct this asymmetry is for the surgeon to try different implant sizers (temporary implants used during surgery) to find the size combination that gives you the best match.  You will likely have different sized implants in each breast.  The majority of my patients prefer the look and feel of silicone implants.  They typically give a more natural result.  Choosing the implant sizes should be based on the cup size and look you are striving for.  This leaves the surgeon some creative license to use his artistry to pick the implant size that gives you the cup size and look you want.  The way I have my patients estimate implant volume is to try different implants in their bra while looking in a mirror.  The goal for a natural look is to find the sizes that make both breasts look symmetric and also balance your breast width to your hip width.  Both Saline implants and silicone implants are safe and effective.  This will be an estimate of the implant size you need and will put your body in proportion and balance for that sensual, aesthetic, and beautiful look. 

John G. Apostolides, MD, FACS
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

How much is a cc in terms of cup size?

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240cc makes 1 cup (just like a measuring cup).  Keep in mind that the number of cc's in one woman will look quite different in another.  It is recommended that you choose the size of your implants by how they look and feel on you rather than strictly by the cc or cup size.

Robert N. Young, MD, FACS
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 73 reviews

Implant Size

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For a realistic look the most important things are to not go too big and to go behind the muscle.  I believe silicone and saline implant look the same, but silicone is softer.  As far as the exact cc's that you will need may not be determined until you are in the operating room.  Once you have decided on the look and cup size that you want I use a temporary to then determine how many cc's it will take to give you that look in the operating room.  Most patients seem to have some asymmetry and this is easily corrected with different sized implants.


Gary Hall,MD

Gary Hall, MD (retired)
Kansas City Plastic Surgeon

How Do You Know How Many Ccs to Get, How Does That Compare to Cup Sizes?

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As surgeons, we wish that there was a chart that told us how many cc's equaled what cup size!!! But unfortunately it varies with each patient and one size does NOT fit all! There are so many factors to consider and that is where the art meets skill in the process...It does help a bit for you to show pictures to your surgeon of results you like.

John J. Corey, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Is there a correlation between cc's and cup size?

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You ask a very important question.  I remember years ago a paper that claimed that a cup size was equivalent to 170 CCs.  So the implication is that if you want to go up two cup sizes, you need 340 CCs.  This is certainly an over simplification of a very complicated clinical situation. Going from a 32A to a 32C may require fewer CCs than going from a 38B to a 38C. In  your case, you have an asymmetry situation as well as the desire for fuller breasts.  There are many ways to determine the difference in CCs, and I go over these with my patients in the office during the consultation.

As far as the difference between silicone and saline, they each have their pluses and minuses.  I feel these issues are too complex to go over in an email.  Dr. Pousti has covered most of the important points.  I try to sense how the patient feels about the different types of implants and take that  into consideration when I recommend one or the other. Usually there is no absolute right or wrong answer.  Good luck

Paul W. Loewenstein, MD
Milwaukee Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Ccs for breast augmentation

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The ccs of the implant is only one factor in the determination of the final result.Your anatomy, the type of implant ie moderate vs high profile,your breast volume are all factors thAT INFLUENCE THE FINAL RESULT.

Choosing implant size for breast augmentation

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Having your surgeon review pre- and post-op pictures from his or her portfolio will give you an excellent idea of the surgeon's concepts of balanced breast augmentation.  Chose someone Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and make sure you get to see a representative series of pictures.

My approach is to bring to the OR a complete set of implants and then I use temporary sizers in surgery to see which sizes and shapes yield the best results.  I then know exactly which implants to place.

The most important concept is balance:

Balance L vs R;

balance top to bottom for overall figure proportionality;

balance skin vs. volume for breast aesthetics.

How to chose a breast implant size

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Breast implants vary according to the width of the implant and its projection.  The implant chosen must relate to the patient's goals and  measurements.  All women know that there are no standard bra sizes.  Likewise, implants will fit differently on different patients depending on the shape and size of their native chest wall and  breast volume and skin tightness.  A patient should never look for a size implant because they saw someone on the internet with that size or because they want to be a certain cup size.  This should be explained at length in a plastic surgery consultation.

Elizabeth S. Harris, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon

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.