Is the Implant Size Too Small?

I am scheduled for a breast augmentation on the 16th of this month, and I am scared that we have discussed an implant size that is too small. I am 5'5" and 112 lbs. I currently can't fill an A cup from Victoria's Secret if my life depended on it... the implant will be under the muscle and possibly 325ccs. I understand that I have a small frame, but I want to be sure that I end up with a full beautiful shape that is at least a full C cup. Any advice?

Doctor Answers 20

Implant size

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It is hard to tell whether you will be a small C or full C.  I usually tell my patients not to be preoccupied by cc; depending on bra companies, the bra size varies a lot.  For instance, one can be a full C in Victoria Secret's bra when she can wear a B bra in Soma.  You should try on silicone sizers or rice test to see whether 325cc would make you happy. 

Breast Implant Size

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You did not give your chest circumference, but with your other measurements, it should be small. Now it is impossible to predict bra cup size, as they vary from one manufacturer to another. In the past, though, in someone measuring 30 inches around under the breasts, 100 cc equaled one bra cup size. If you put the implant under the muscle, you needed to add about 10% more. Many people your size have been very pleased with an implant around 325 cc. It is best to discuss your preferences at length with your surgeon.

Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands Plastic Surgeon

Most attractive breast implant size

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Having performed  thousands of breast augmentation procedures, our patients say they have been happiest when they have chosen the implant size. In addition to cc's, a full beautiful shape requires alot of personalization which is unique to each patient. I have found that this can best be accomplished by an experienced plastic surgeon's evaluation, and judgement, with patients choosing the size that looks best on them.

Breast Implant Size

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w do I select the appropriate breast implant size?

This is a decision you and your surgeon will make together. It is important to understand that there is not a wide range of implant sizes and profiles that will look natural in each individual patient. Given your height, weight and preoperative breast profile, there really is a limited range of implants sizes and profiles that will produce a full - but natural - breast appearance. So it is important to establish from the beginning whether or not you and the surgeon that you have selected have the same aesthetic vision. One of the best ways to do this is by reviewing the surgeon's 'before and after' photos.

Implant 'profile' refers to how wide an implant is (base diameter) compared to how much forward projection it has (height). The implant manufacturers use different terms to describe these profiles, but in essence there are three types: low profile (wide base diameter / modest projection), intermediate profile (less wide, more projecting) and high profile (even narrower diameter, very projecting). If the goal is a full but natural-appearing breast enhancement, almost all patients need a low- or intermediate-profile implant. A 'deflated' appearing breast with little forward projection usually looks best with a intermediate profile implant, while a more youthful-appearing breast with some natural, inherent projection often looks best with a low profile implant - especially in a slender patient with an athletic frame. There are very few patients that need a high profile implant, at least not if the goal of surgery is a natural-appearing breast enhancement. The combination of narrow base diameter and high projection is really an implant style that is more suited to breast reconstruction than breast augmentation.

Ultimately, you will have to put your faith and trust in the surgeon you have selected. Communication is key, so be certain that you and your surgeon have the same idea of what a beautiful breast looks like. And make sure that your surgeon takes the time and effort in the operating room to use sterile breast implant 'sizers' to determine the implant size and profile that is ideal for you personally. A good breast augmentation surgeon goes into the O.R. with a good idea of what implant size and profile will work best for a patient, but makes the final decision using implant sizers. Breasts are often asymmetrical in size and shape, and the chest wall may also be asymmetrical in terms of its forward projection on each side, so in some cases a surgeon may need to use implants of different size and/or projection. The only way for a plastic surgeon to ensure that a breast augmentation result is full but natural-appearing, and as close to symmetrical as possible, is to evaluate the appearance of a variety of sizers in the operating room with the OR table raised into an upright, sitting position. Your surgeon should keep a full inventory of implant sizes and profiles in the surgery center, so that the implant choice is never limited by 'what is available'.


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

Breast Implant size for A cup to C cup

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Bra sizes are confusing. More often than not, a woman is not wearing a correctly fitted bra, doesn't know her bra size, or doesn't know how a bra is fitted.

Cup size is dependent on the "number" part of the bra size... a D cup in a 34 bra is a different size from a 42 bra.

That being said, bra manufacturers are not held to any uniform standards when it comes to cup size and shape... that is why one brand of bra might fit you very well for a given size, but not another brand. Or, you wear a 34D in a Victoria's Secret bra, and a 34C in another brand, for example.

When discussing breast size after augmentation, outward projection can be further determined by the "profile" of the implant. High school geometry: Height (projection) times Width (base width). A Higher Profile implant will give you a larger cup size for less volume than a Moderate Profile implant.

Furthermore, a saline implant looks bigger than a silicone implant of the same volume. That is because a saline implant is more oval (round on both top and base), while a silicone implant is flat on the base.

Some plastic surgery books have proposed the following parameters for breast augmentation:

32 bra: 100-200 ml per cup size
34 bra: 150-250 ml per cup size
36 bra: 200-300 ml per cup size
38 bra: 250-350 ml per cup size  

Implant size and cup size

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Implant sizing is the most commonly asked question in regards to breast augmentation on this forum. To size an implant, your plastic surgeon takes into account your breast anatomy, chest anatomy, and your desired goals. However, matching bra cup sizes exactly is due to the fact that cup sizes are not standardized. A "C" cup from one manufacturer may be a "D" cup from another. Also, 325cc is simply the volume of the implant. A high profile 325cc implant has a much different look than a moderate profile 325cc implant. If you are still unsure of the implant size, why not schedule another appointment with your plastic surgeon before surgery to review the size again? Being comfortable with your decision is very important as it will calm post-surgical anxiety and concerns. Also, it is important to remember that in the weeks following surgery, your breast size will be larger due to swelling and that it will take you some time to adjust to the new implants.

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Breast implant size.

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The volume of the implant, 325cc, is less important than the dimensions (diameter and projection) in determining whether or not the implant is the right size for you.  The right size depends on many factors, and your requested size (full C) will probably be accomplished by the selected implant, or perhaps slightly larger.  The best possible result involves not only the right size, but a shape that you like and is proportionate with your body, satisfactory implant positioning, a soft natural texture, good symmetry, imperceptible scar, preservation of nipple sensation, implant factors (wrinkling, rippling, edge visibility and palpability) minimized, lack of animation, etc.  The larger you go, the more of your final breast  will be implant, and thus, the more your breast will look, feel, and behave like an implant (and less like a natural breast).  At 5'5", 112 lbs. with little breast tissue, you want mid-range profile prostheses to get to a C cup.  Provided the 325 cc implant diameter matches your base width, your surgeon has probably made a good choice for you.

Implant Size Too Small

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It is ultimately your decision what size you would like to be.  Everyone has their own picture of perfection or of how they will look. I always have my patients do the rice test before deciding on a final size.  Try not to concentrate too much at the CC's at this point.  Do the rice test with an open mind and fill the stocking to what you feel makes you like what you see in the mirror.  This is all a matter of perspective. If you need more information on the rice test it is on this website or you can Google it. Basically, you will long grain white rice and a knee two knee high stockings. I cup of rice is equal to 250 cc's. Good Luck!

Implant size should mostly depend on what YOUR expectations are.

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The choice of implant size should mostly depend on what YOUR expectations are.

You should be evaluated by a physician in order to get their recommendations regarding what size range would be possible, but ultimately I allow my patients to choose their own size because they are the ones that have to live with it.

If you closed your eyes right now you could probably picture the result that you want to have.  As part of my consultation my patients try on implant in order to show me exactly what they expect as a result.  I only give them professional guidance regarding the range of implant sizes they can use.

Choosing the right breast implant size for you

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The size of the final breast augmentation result is usually the most important thing that most women think about when undergoing the procedure. While bra size is the common method when discussing implant size, it is a rather vague concept to some degree. What is a C cup to one woman may not be to another.  Therefore, it is important to have a visual reference. I would go in for a final sizing appointment and bring with you some photos of postoperative breast augmentation results that you like. Help your plastic surgeon have a better understanding of what you think a C cup is.

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.