Debating 286cc Vs 304cc Natrelle Implants For My 34A Frame.

I'm 5'5" and 130lbs with a 32" ribcage wearing a 34A that I barely fill. I'm getting implants in 2 weeks and my doctor initially recommended 304cc implants. I'm worried its going to make me top heavy and my boyfriend is convinced if I get the 304's that I will look fake and is pressing for the 286's for the "natural" look. I'm agonizing over this decision to the point of obsession. My doctor is wonderful, but very hands off in the decision making part. Need help PLEASE

Doctor Answers 18

Implant size

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your boyfriend should have no input into this decision.  he could be gone tomorrow: the implants are theoretically forever. i am not sure that if we put the 2 implants together that you could even tell the are obsessing about an amount slightly greater than a tablespoon.  pick the ones you want and look for a new boyfriend. good luck.

Newark Plastic Surgeon

Your boyfriend's advice regarding implant size choice is incorrect.

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I'm trying to restrain my shock and disdain at you even considering your boyfriend's "advice" over your surgeon's. I know he cares about you, but his belief that 304cc wil look "fake" and 286cc will be "natural" is just plain WRONG! If you were having your heart valve replaced would you accept his advice regarding selection of the proper heart valve size? Or even your correct shoe size at the store?

The difference of 18cc is barely over ONE TABLESPOON volume, and not even the most skilled plastic surgeon observer could ever tell the difference between a 286cc or a 304cc implant in your body. Most of us can't even detect a 50-60cc difference (2 ounces). It takes about 250cc to equal one bra cup size, and an entire can of soda pop is 360cc. So he is wrong about "fake" vs. "natural" since these are essentially identical sized implants. What this means is that if 304cc is "fake" looking, then 286cc will be indistinguishable and EQUALLY "fake." (Or equally "natural") Honest.

So YOU are obsessing about the wrong thing! You should be deciding that if you "barely fill" a 34A bra, adding just over a cup size of breast implant volume will make you a small to middling B cup. Do you really want only a B cup at 5'5" and 130lbs? Most women ask for a "natural C cup."

Read more about choosing implant size on this site (many answers by myself and many of my expert colleagues), in my article about this topic (on my "About" page), and either ignore your well-meaning boyfriend or have him get educated before he comments about something he know absolutely nothing about. This is not intended to be harsh, but it really is critical that you understand how totally incorrect obsessing about an 18cc difference is, or that it will make the difference between "fake" and "natural!"

Your surgeon is the MOST critical factor in delivering "natural" as is implant placement, prevention of capsular contracture, and proper position of properly-chosen implant dimensions for your anatomy. BTW, you can have "natural" results at pretty much any reasonable implant size if the surgical details are attended to. Best wishes!

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

Implant Size

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I  have a hands off approach too in my practice.  Everyone has a different opinion on what they think looks best. I rarely have had a patient think they were too big...but I have had many who wish they were bigger. On a 5'5 frame, you can easily handle the 304cc implants without question.  Again, you must be comfortable with the size though.

I wish I went bigger...

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is the most common complaint I hear from my patients after they spent agonizing over the size to go with.  You should not really appreciate the difference between adjacent sizes and I always tell my patients, when torn between adjacent sizes, to simply go with the larger one.  And not one has ever been disappointed.  Mind you, my practice is in California.  Best wishes with wonderful outcome!

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Too small of a difference to be overly concerned

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I agree with the other surgeons.  There is such a small difference between the two sizes that you are considering that it would be very hard to even notice the difference.  Do not be overly concerned, however, it is ultimately your body and your decision and no one elses.


Renato Saltz, MD
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Implant choices

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If you are between two implants that are only about 20 cc's different then congratulations!  That is a small number and I would not sweat it!  Discuss your concerns with your surgeon.

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

Breast Implants Sizes

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Many patients find themselves on the fence between two sizes.  In some ways you have answered your own question.  You realize the difference is so small, it probably won't matter.  You also said you wanted to avoid going too big or being too heavy, so it sounds like you are tending to go down in size and are favoring the smaller choice.  All the best in two weeks, "Dr. Joe" Gryskiewicz

Choosing implants for breast augmentation

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Points to consider:

Nice breasts derive from a good balance betweeen skin and volume.

Implant base diameter must match the diameter of your chest.

Review of your goals with your surgeon should include review of his/her pre- and post-op picture portfolio so you can get an idea of how he/she views the balanced female form.

If your surgeon does not give you confidence during pre-op consultation then you need another opinion.


How to pick breast implants.

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Hi.  I hope you find this article useful.  14 cc's don't make much difference, but you need guidance about final shape and size.  Get another opinion.  Good luck.

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

Implant size should not be an obsession.

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Focusing on your desired outcome instead of implant size is very important for a successful procedure.  It would be almost impossible to tell the difference between two implant sizes that are only 6% different after the procedure.

 It is likely that the difference between your own breasts is more than 18cc volume, so I would not be obsessing about choosing between two implants that will basically give you the same outcome.

Choose the size that your doctor recommends on the basis of his/her experience with similar patients and that makes you, personally, most comfortable.

Mario Diana, MD
Plano 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.