Cup Size After Mastectomy with Saline Implants?

I will be having a right simple mastectomy. I'm a "A" cup, and I'd like to have an idea about the cup size I would have after mastectomy, with 450 to 500cc of saline injected into my tissue expander? I will then have two implants placed on both sides.

Doctor Answers 13

Cup size is unpredictable

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Cup size is one of those intangibles that do not have a simple answer. It depends on a great number of vriables. A 450 cc or 500 cc implant will yield a different cup size on a woman who is 5 feet tall and has a narrow chest than it will on a woman who is 5'10" and has a broad chest. The diameter of your present breast is an important parameter.

When you say you are an A cup, that size varies with a woman who is a 32 A or a 38 A cup so it would be helpful to know how tall you are and whehter you wear a 32, 34 ,36 or other bra. As all women know, a C cup at Victoria's Secret is different than a C cup at Sears. Most women who fill a C cup can also wear a D cup depending on the bra manufacturer.

I would have a long conversation about dimensions, volume and size with your plastic surgeon. He/she will be able to guide you because they have examined you and done specific measurements. Good luck with your surgery.

Santa Rosa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Breast Reconstruction: Expander and Implant Size

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You've have provided us with alot of information and I wish you the best of luck in your subsequent treatment.

Remember that the overall goal is to treat the primary and chemotherapy, if necessary, may delay or effect the reconstruction timeline.

Having said that, it has become increasingly difficult to pin down an exact size at this time.

Also the final size of the expander does not directly equate to the size of the implant. In fact, many surgeons "overexpand" for a prolonged period in order to create stretched skin that may mimic a real breast when a smaller implant is placed and has some "jiggle" room.

In addition, there are combination expander implants that act as the expander and have a separate port through which they are filled. This is commonly placed in the armpit area. When the right size or overexpansion has been achieved the fill tube is removed via a small 1 inch incision in one simple operation and the expander is left in place as the "permanent" implant. Now this is the ideal circumstance and frequently I find that I have to change the implant position/size/shape necessesitating a larger operation. However, I would discuss this option with your surgeon. It allows you to give your input as you proceed with the expansion process.

In regards to shape, there are round and "anatomic" also descriibed as anatomic expanders. Anatomic saline implants are available but to the best of my knowledge at the writing of this comment, anatomic silicone implants are not currently available.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Cup size after mastectomy

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A tissue expander is thicker than a regular implant due to the medal valve and thicker shell. The tissue expander alone carries approximately 75 to 90 cc in volume. With 450 to 500cc saline injected into a tissue expander, you are looking at the final volume of 600cc implant. Without any breast tissue, a 600cc implant would give you a C to D cup depending on your height and chest circumference.
I recommend that you seek consultation with board certified plastic surgeon who specializes in breast reconstructions.

Mytien Goldberg, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

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Breast reconstruction with tissue expanders

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Breast size after reconstruction is a challenge.  I currently use the Jockey Bra system for this.  I have found this system the most effective in establishing a bra size.  Each 200cc or grams roughly represents a cup size.  

Please find an experienced Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and member of the Aesthetic Society using the Smart Beauty Guide. These Plastic Surgeons can guide you on all aspects of facial surgery, breast augmentation and body procedures including tummy tucks or mommy makeovers!

Translating ccs to cup size is challenging.

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Even in cosmetic breast augmentation, navigating the discussion of cup size versus cubic centimeters is very tricky. The truth is, it is almost impossible to tell exactly what cup size you will be after reconstruction. Although 200 ccs is roughly equivalent to one cup size, this number varies a lot from woman to woman. What looks like a B cup on one patient may seem more like a C cup in another, even though the implants may be the exact same volume. I recommend getting some photos of what your hopes are for an ideal profile after your reconstruction surgery and using those as a visual communication with your surgeon about your goals.

David N. Sayah, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Expanders and breast implants

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As I am filling up the expander, I ask my patients at what point do they like the size. Once we reach that level, I usually overexpand the tissue expander and then replace it with an implant that matched the patient's volume preference (of course, the shape as well).

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

Your final size will vary depending on several factors

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It is difficult to determine the final cup size at the time a mastectomy is performed. Although weighing the amount of tissue removed is used as a guide by some plastic surgeons, several other factors must be considered. Among these are the amount of tissue remaining following the mastectomy, the amount of skin laxity you posess and the size and amount of saline used to fill your expander.

I explain to my patients and their families that size is determined during the expansion process. A patient s desires, amount of skin elasticity and saline placed in expanders, gives the most accurate determination of ta patients final cup size.

David A. Robinson, MD
Munster Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Few simple rules

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It is always a pleasure to spend time with my patients on the pre op day trying to get to the best possible breast shape and volume following reconstruction.

I will try to be as simple as possible in telling what I would do in my consultation:

1-Your actual breast tissue volume now is giving you a 32A size. This volume will be confirmed immediately after the mastectomy when the specimen is weighted. This is very valuable information that helps the surgeon to fine tune his choice of expander.

2-The first question I ask my patients are how big (if any) they would like to be? A general rule of thumb is that very cup size is another 150-250 cc of volume. This is not an exact science since there is a major difference between height, weight and chest diameter.

3-It is very helpful to know the breast diameter as I would choose an implant diameter within these measurements.

4-Now my choice of expander is a volume range that I would bring to the OR with me. Once the breast volume is measured intraoperatively, i add the desired volume difference and fine tune my choice. It is important to point out all these small details pre-operatively to my patients. The truth is that at the end most of my patients would leave me some choices to make.

I have to point out that the using new 3D devices could help in the future to make this choice easier. We published a paper few years ago on the validation of the 3D technique in measuring breast volume. It is very promising.

I hope this will help

Hisham Seify, MD, PhD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Cup size depends on the band measurement of your bra.

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To sbear,

Hi!   It's very hard to answer your question without knowing more about your measurements. For example, a 34A is quite a bit smaller than a 38A.  If you are small and thin, 500cc in your mastectomy side would give you something in the range of a C cup.

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

Cup sizes are quite inexact

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There is no exact science to cup sizing but roughly there are 250 ccs in a cup size. So 500 ccs would be 2 cup sizes. All manufacturers are different and cup sizes vary with the band width of the bra also.

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.