Is 25 cc enough to make a difference in size in a breast augmentation? How do I approach my surgeon with my concerns about size?

I had BA today(switched implants for bigger size bc they lost volume w/age)and to correct capsulure contracture and unevenness in size from 14yrs ago.I had an unkown size since I was so young when I originally got them and wanted 350cc.I'm 115 lbs.Apparently I had 275 and was only bumped up to 300cc (I was completely flat chested before), which even w/swelling has not increased my bra size.Also, the assymettry wasn't corrected.I'm depressed that I wasted this $.I wouldn't have done it for 25 cc.

Doctor Answers 7

Concerns with size?

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It is very difficult to determine the best size you will need (recommended based on your photos) or the exact size and shape implant you will require to best match your ideal breast image without an examination by a board certified plastic surgeon. Not just any board certified plastic surgeon, but one with many years of frequently performing breast augmentation surgery including different approaches, techniques and implant choices. This is because several measurements not to mention your breast characteristics are needed to determine the optimal implant size to obtain your goals. Without knowing these dimensions it would be difficult to make this determination. For example, the existing base width of your breast will determine, in many cases, the maximal volume per implant profile that you can accommodate. To illustrate; a 100 cc difference may make a significant difference with a narrow base width breast, but much less of a difference if you have a wide chest wall and wide breast “foot print”. Therefore, just because your friend may have a great result with let’s say a 300 cc implant to make her go from a “A” cup to a “C” cup size does not mean that you will have the same result with the same size implant. The same process goes for just filling in the upper part of your breast without becoming much larger. Further simply placing implants in a bra to determine the size best for you is not always accurate as the bra often distorts the size, is dependent on the pressure the bra places plus the implant is outside your breast and not under it among other variables. Computer software morphing programs that automatically determine the best implant size can be helpful in some but not all cases (e.g. doesn’t work well in my experience with existing implants, sagging or asymmetric breasts). Using “want to be” photos however are useful if simply provided to the surgeon as I will further explain in the link below including silicone vs saline implant


Is 25 CC Enough to Make a Difference in Size in a Breast Augmentation

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A small change in CC's may not be drastic enough to notice a significant size increase. Depending on the reason for the breast revision determines the sizing outcome. However, there are no guarantees with size predictions for revisions. Initially, if a woman wears a size 36 AB bra and would like to be a C cup, which is the average size that women wear and the average size bra that is sold, she needs a volume of approximately 350 to 390 cc to make that change. This becomes less if she's wearing a 34 bra, because it has a smaller strap size and the cups have a smaller diameter. A smaller diameter implant would then be a volume of approximately 300 to 350 cc. In the same way if she was more petite, maybe a double zero or size one and wore a 32 AB bra, then to become a 32C cup she would only require about 250 to 300 cc. This is a general number, and of course there are other factors that will affect this. 

Other factors which contribute to the outcome are #size, #shape, and #profile.  The #profile is determined by the amount of #projection versus roundness that the you desire, as well as the #size of the implant and size of your chest. Also, the placement or incision location will also have an effect on profile. 
Another element to a satisfying result of your #augmentation is realistic #expectations.  Your Plastic Surgeon needs to measure you and determine the best shape and size of any implants that are used.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 116 reviews

Is 25 cc enough to make a difference in size in a breast augmentation? How do I approach my surgeon with my concerns about size?

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Several general thoughts may be helpful to you. As you may know, 25 cc difference in volume of breast implant is probably not clinically noticeable. Also, given that your operation was done very recently, it is much too early to evaluate the outcome of the procedure when it comes to size/and or symmetry concerns. Best to evaluate the outcome of the procedure performed several months from now.

 At 3 to 6 months postoperatively, if you remain displeased with the outcome of the procedure, best to address your concerns with your plastic surgeon in a calm and constructive fashion. Hopefully, working together, you will be able to formulate a plan to best achieve your goals.

As you have learned, and for the sake of future patients considering breast surgery, careful  preoperative communication of goals  between patient and plastic surgeon are one of the “key to success”.

 Best wishes.

Implant size, symmetry and capsular contracture

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There are a lot of variables in determining the best size implants, especially in your case: For one, implants usually either deflate or not; they don't lose volume. It sounds also like there was some misinformation about what size you had. With capsular contracture, the scar capsule is removed which also makes a size decision tricky. And bra size is a very non-scientific and inconsistent way to measure breast volume. And finally, no one has perfect symmetry. With all of these factors, the need for some fine-tuning is not uncommon but an additional 25 cc would not likely have made a significant difference.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

25 cc change in implants

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25 cc change is not usually significant to make a difference in the appearance.  Best to talk to your surgeon.

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

Size difference

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Well your question is a bit more complicated than simply 'Is 25cc change worth it'.  The fact is that 25cc is a small amount...less than 2 tablespoons in fact.  However the implant companies use this interval between implants because, in the 200-300 range, 25cc is visible.  That said, you have some other things going on here.  If your real reason for having surgery was for an increase in size then, if the only issue was the size of the implant, then you're right...a 25cc change alone might not be worth the surgery.\

However what you're presenting is a situation where you have implants in place for 14 years and have capsule contractures and asymmetry.  The fact that your capsule was removed should actually reduce your volume slightly.  The implants shosen should have been based not just on your desires but also based on your dimensions.  It's easy for you now to focus just on the volume because your contracture issue should have been resolved.  But, if you're main conversation with your surgeon was your desire to be larger, then I would think that an implant larger than 25cc different would have been selected.  My sense is that once your surgeon observed the changes in your breast after removal of the capsule, he made the choice he felt was correct for you taking your conversations into account.

I hope this helps...Dr. Newman

Scott E. Newman, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

25cc implant volume increase unlikely to result in noticeable difference

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The question of implant size and volume is one I counsel daily with prospective patients. Assuming the implant content, model, are all the same, then the answer is no. 25cc is less than two tablespoons and really is not going to offer a visible difference.

A bit more information to guide understanding. First, silicone volume may appear smaller than saline. Assuming implants are the same size, the implant profile can also impact the perceived size/look. Additionally, manufacturer implant dimensions may also play a role.

It is still early in your recovery. I would encourage you to let the healing process continue and reengage with your surgeon. 

Peter J. Capizzi, MD
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 93 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.