Doctor says he can't go smaller than 286cc. Is this true?

My breast augmentation is coming up and after trying on sizers (286, 304) I've decided they are all too large for my frame. I am 5'4, 105lb, and skinny. I want a full B or small C at the very largest. I'm doing silicone, moderate plus, unders. My doctor says going smaller than 286cc would look awful because the implants would be too narrow, thus producing a large gap in the middle of my breasts that would not look good. I do not want large breasts as I'll look top heavy. Is what he says true?

Doctor Answers 18

Implant Size

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It is hard to say without seeing you in person and knowing your chest dimensions. That being said, there are smaller implants than 286 cc, depending on what brand your physicians office carries.

Huntsville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Doctor says he can't go smaller than 286cc. Is this true?

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Thank you for your question.  Implant selection is a difficult process because of the sheer number of options available to patients.  That said your plastic surgeon is the best person to help you select implants that will help achieve your goal appearance based on breast measurements obtained in an in-person exam.  There are smaller implant options but they may not be available based on your current breast size.  If you are having hesitation seek a second opinion.  Best wishes.

Nelson Castillo, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

Breast Implant sizes

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My recommendation is to go with a low profile implant which will have the same diameter as the 286cc but less projection thus look smaller.  

Doctor says he can't go smaller than 286cc. Is this true?

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Dear Reader,

First, the doctor that has examined you is your best resource for information and recommendations.  For discussion purposes, I generally prefer high profile, ultra high profile or SRX style implants for more petite frames.  I believe the base width fits better.  You can therefore get enough projection while using a much smaller implant.  As for spacing between the breasts, I believe pocket placement is more key in controlling this component.  Again, your surgeon is your best resource.  Good luck and be safe.

John T. Nguyen, MD, FACS, FICS
Double Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
American Board of Plastic Surgery
American Board of Surgery

John Nguyen, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 88 reviews

Doctor says he can't go smaller than 286cc. Is this true?

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Please put your front, side pictures. These pictures are easier to see if they are taking by someone else not close to the camera of the area you are interested only to give you a better answer.

High profile are taller and narrower implants when compared to moderate profile implants of the same volume.The decision is usually based on the patient breast dimensions, amount of breast that the patient can contribute to the projection and I also factor the patients desires. I try my best to also respect the skin quality and elasticity in order to prevent future drooping due to unnecessarily heavy implants.

Choose a board certified plastic surgeon who has done a ton of breast augmentation  and has privileges to do this surgery at a local university hospital. This says his credentials have been checked out by fellow Drs. All surgeries carry risk, talk to your plastic surgeon and choose one wisely.

Doctor says he can't go smaller than 286cc

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Implants which properly fit your breast width will have to become flatter in order to have less volume and still fit your breasts. Low and low plus projection implants exist but if you have very little of your own breast fullness and projection, the result could be undesirably flat looking breasts.

As well, selecting an implant which is far narrower than your own breast width could appear disproportionate. These options may be possible but less than ideal according to the Plastic Surgeon who examined and measured you. I recommend that you seek a second opinion if you feel that you want to explore other options, or ask your Plastic Surgeon to clarify further for you what the limitations could be and ensure that your expectations are realistic.

All the best

Doctor says he can't go smaller than 286cc. Is this true?

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Difficult to say for sure without a photo or in person exam.  Implants come in a variety of shapes and sizes.  The correct diameter implant is certainly available perhaps a low profile implant will have the diameter necessary to address the cleavage area and still provide the volume you are comfortable with.  Consider a second  consultation with another plastic surgeon in your area if you are not comfortable with the choices you are given.

Ralph R. Garramone, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

How small can you go?

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Generally speaking, size depends on your measurements. Based on these measurements (the most important of which is your base breast width) patients are usually given a 'range' of implant size that would "fit". Going smaller or larger (while always possible) may result in a sub-optimal outcome. Perhaps this is what your surgeon meant. I would clarify with him/her why they gave you that particular number as being the smallest. It is likely just the smallest 'suggested' size given your particular situation. 

Physical limitations of Breast Implants

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Hi lcttt

Listen to your doctor about the diameter.

Briefly, as the implant size increases, it is mainly the diameter that increases, with smaller increases in the projection.  Go to the Mentor site for example and look at the spec sheet for the implant series you are considering.  Look at the specs for the diameter and projection as the size goes up to convince yourself.

When I speak with a patient who says the implant is too big, I ask specifically, what she means by "too big".  Think of either projection or diameter.  Mostly, it is the projection that is the problem.

So I would suggest you consider a low profile implant.  While on Mentor's site, note the diameter of the implant that your doctor thinks has an appropriate diameter.  Look at a similar diameter for a low profile implant.  You will find 1) the low profile implant with similar diameter is smaller (less cc's), and of course 2) doesn't project as much.  Therefore, the implant will give you the diameter you need, fill/fullness without being too big. 

Low profile implants are excellent but are not for everyone.  They may be perfect for you however.  Check it out, and let me know how it works.


Can I get smaller implants

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Giving advice half a country away has significant limitations. However, I'd suspect there are options smaller than 286 for a 5'4, 105lb skinny gal.  Perhaps a Moderate Classic profile which has a wider base (but not that much projection) may fit your desires well. But, different implants come with different results.  As long as you and your surgeon are on the same page and you both are expecting the same outcome based on your choice, you should do well.

Eric Mariotti, MD
Walnut Creek 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.