Breast implant sizing question. Any suggestions?

I'm 5'10", 177 pounds with a 34 inch rib cage. I currently have A cup breast but would like to get implants to go up to D cup. I'm not sure what questions to ask at a consultation to determine of a particular size or type of implant would be appriopriate for my body type. Does anyone have any suggestions on the type of questions I should ask? Thank you

Doctor Answers 10

The right size for you

It is very difficult to determine the best lift 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 implants

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Breast implant sizing question. Any suggestions?

Cup size is difficult to predict because different manufacturers labeled the same bra different cup sizes.  That said, it takes 150-200 cc on average to increase by 1 cup size in the same style and manufacturer of bra that you currently wear.  For more information on sizing please read below:


Choosing the right implant for you requires an exam in person. Best of luck with your decision to move forward.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Implant sizing

Thank you for your question.  When you have your consultation, the questions that you ask your surgeon and the questions that he or she asks you are the basis of the consultation.  You should express what you would hope that your breasts looked like after surgery, and based upon that discussion, and evaluation of your chest width, current breast dimensions, and other characteristics of your breasts and the rest of your body, your surgeon should make their suggestion.  Sometimes photos of breasts that you find appealing, or pictures from magazines that show breasts that you would like to have can be helpful, so that the surgeon gets a visual idea, not just what you can express with words.  Don't get hung up on cup size or implant size alone as these are not necessarily the same from patient to patient.  Once the surgeon has made their recommendation, you can ask them why they have selected a particular size and style of implant and what the advantages are over some of the available alternatives.  While not every surgeon has access to three dimensional simulation, I have found it extremely helpful in my consultations so that patients can see what they might look like and describe what they like or don't like about a simulation which allows me to modify my choice of implant to best meet their expectations.  Make sure that your prospective surgeon is listening to what you are requesting, because it's only when you are both communicating effectively that expectations can be met.

Isaac Starker, MD
Morristown Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Breast Implant Sizing Questions

I would recommend meeting with a board-certified plastic surgeon. From there, discuss your ideal look as well as size. Your surgeon will likely perform an exam and take measurements. Depending upon your measurements and preferences, your plastic surgeon can make suggestions for you regarding implant size options. Other things to consider include: implant types (saline vs. silicone), implant texture, implant position (submuscular, sub glandular, etc.) and incisions. These are all things that are typically discussed during a consultation for a breast augmentation. Best of luck!

Ashley B. Robey, MD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Breast Augmentation

You should express your desires to your surgeon. For a case like yours I utilize computer imaging so the patient can see a variety of option on their own body.I think it is better to see the actual options on your body as opposed to a photo of a different individual with a different body type.

Jay M. Pensler, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Breast augmention

Thank you for your  question During your consultation I like to find out your goals (i.e. what cup size you would like to be). It is important to measure the width of your breast to determine which implant you need. There are four different profiles of round silicone implants. They are moderate, moderate classic, high and ultra high  there are also shaped implants a.k.a. gummy bear. One thing that patients find is very helpful in order to determine which size implant will make them happy is the mentor breast sizing system.  The patient put s on a bra and and  places different implant sizers over her breast then looks in the Mirror to see what size she likes the best. During surgery I like to use intraoperative breast implant sizers to confirm the size. I use the bloodless breast technique which I invented. Bleeding is minimal, typically there is no bruising after surgery, and recovery is a lot quicker versus traditionaltechnique. I hope you find this information useful. For more information please watch the enclosed video.

Joshua Halpern, MD, PA
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

Breast implant sizing question. Any suggestions?

Thank you for the question. There is no accurate/reliable/predictable correlation between size/profile breast implant utilized and cup size achieved. 

Ultimately, careful communication of your goals (in my practice I prefer the use of goal pictures, direct examination/communication in front of a full-length mirror, and computer imaging) will be critical. 

Generally speaking, the best online advice I can give to ladies who are considering  breast augmentation surgery ( regarding breast implant size/profile selection) is:

1. Concentrate on choosing your plastic surgeon carefully.  Concentrate on appropriate training, certification, and the ability of the plastic surgeon to achieve the results you are looking for. Ask to see lots of examples of his/her work.

2. Have a full discussion and communication regarding your desired goals  with your plastic surgeon. This communication will be critical in determining  breast implant size/type/profile will most likely help achieve your goals.  In my practice, the use of photographs of “goal” pictures (and breasts that are too big or too small) is very helpful. I have found that the use of words such as  “natural” or "D cup” etc means different things to different people and therefore prove unhelpful.  Also, as you know, cup size varies depending on him who makes the bra; therefore, discussing desired cup  size may also be inaccurate.  Again, the use of computer imaging has been very helpful during the communication process, in our practice.

3.  Once you feel you have communicated your goals clearly,  allow your plastic surgeon to use his/her years of experience/judgment to choose the breast implant size/profile that will best meet your goals.  Again, in my practice, this decision is usually made during surgery,  after the use of temporary intraoperative sizers. I hope this (and the attached link, dedicated to breast  augmentation surgery concerns) helps. Best wishes. 

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 reviews

Breast Implants/Breast Augmentation/Anatomic Gummy Bear Implants/ Silicone Implants/Breast Implant Revision Surgery

I appreciate your question. The size of implant best for you is dictated by your chest wall measurements.  Once we determine that we can choose the profile based on what you want or need to achieve.  If you are seeking a natural look, then the diameter of the implant should be equal to or, more ideally, smaller than the width of your breast. The breast width is a measurement of how wide your breast is at the base, which should be measured at the level of the nipple. Choosing an implant that is smaller in diameter than your breast width will avoid the "side breast" fullness that is often associated with a more artificial appearance.  Other than that, you should choose the implant based on volume, not on the dimensions of the implant. You should choose a board certified plastic surgeon that you trust to help guide you in this decision.   Silicone will give you a fullness at the top (upper pole fullness). Silicone implants come pre-filled with a silicone gel and are the softest implant available. They feel more natural, which makes them a good option for women with less natural breast tissue; but they require a larger incision. It may be more difficult to realize if this type of implant has ruptured, so it is important to monitor them with annual follow-up visits. Additionally, because this implant contains a more liquid silicone (less cross-linked), if this implant should rupture, it will leak only into the scar capsule formed around the implant but may cause some discomfort or implant distortion. Anatomic gummy bear implants might be a good choice to give you volume. These highly-sought-after, anatomic implants offer a look that more closely resembles the natural silhouette of a breast, and, therefore, are a very attractive option for individuals seeking a natural-looking, aesthetic primary breast augmentation. Additionally, these implants are an especially excellent option for patients undergoing restorative or corrective breast surgery because they provide more stability, shape, and reduced incidence of capsular contracture. Compared to other types of silicone gel implants, the silicone in the cohesive gel implant is more cross-linked; therefore, should the implant shell “rupture,” it maintains its shape and silicone does not leak. During your breast augmentation consultation, you should feel the different types of implants available, and try on various implant sizers in front of a mirror to help you to get an idea of how you will look following the surgery. You should also bring pictures of the look you would like to achieve, as well as a favorite top to wear when trying on implant sizers. The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam. Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic and restorative breast surgery. Best of luck! Dr. Schwartz Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Director-Beverly Hills Breast and Body Institute #RealSelf100Surgeon #RealSelfCORESurgeon

Jaime S. Schwartz, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

Implant size

The size implant you choose is ultimately a personal choice.  I encourage patients to choose something that looks natural and not too large for their body.  Many offices have a sizing system that allows you to try on different implants in your bra to get an idea of what you would look like.  Trying to choose a certain bra cup size is difficult, as that varies per chest circumference and by bra maker.  Your surgeon will also take measurements and can make suggestions on implant, especially width.

Tyler C. Street, MD
Napa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 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.