I am getting a breast augmentation this month, but unsure what size implant to get. I'm 5'7" -150 lbs. Bra size - 36-38b (Photo)

I want natural looking, not fake. Proportional to my body, fits my active lifestyle, and has the least complications in the long term. So far I've seen 2 PS the 1 one had the 3d visual.He had suggested 300 cc saline implants, since I told him I wanted to be a full c cup. After, looking at the visuals I felt they still look small. The 2nd ps suggested 500 cc saline implants. Wearing them scared me. Now I'm thinking maybe I should just go with 400. Would 400 give me a better look. More natural?

Doctor Answers 16

I am getting a breast augmentation this month, but unsure what size implant to get. I'm 5'7" -150 lbs. Bra size - 36-38b

It's good to see you are doing some research and have seen at least two Plastic Surgeons.
I feel that 400 cc would be a nice compromise and give you a satisfactory result.

San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Breast Implant Sizing


Your first priority is to your anatomic capacity. If your surgeon hasn't determined this, you need to keep shopping for surgeons.  Tissue based implant planning is the single most important thing to minimize complications.  This will give you an idea of how far you can go toward your aesthetic goal. 

Sizing in the mirror is the best way to determine your aesthetic goals. It shouldn't be guess work. See how 400 cc works for you, don't just assume it would be good because 500 cc was too big. 

Best of luck.

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

300, 400, 500 cc implants

Thanks for your question.  It's impossible to be precise just based on measurements and a photo however I would ESTIMATE that an implant between 320 and 425 ccs should work well for you.  I choose to select the implant based on the actual appearance of my patients' breasts with a sizer (test implant) during the procedure to best fine tune the size and contour to my patient's goals.  I agree with you that in all probabilty 300 ccs may be too small and I'd expect 500ccs to be too large.
Please watch the video above for a description of my technique for implant selection.  Enjoy your results and good luck.

Jon A Perlman MD FACS
Certified, American Board of Plastic Surgery
Extreme Makeover Surgeon ABC TV
Best of Los Angeles Award 2015, 2016
Beverly Hills, Ca

Jon A. Perlman, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Breast Implants

Hi MsRosyJ
Generally the smaller you go, in my experience, the more natural you look. You have an active lifestyle, which also pushes you smaller, in my opinion. Here are a few tips for you because this is perhaps the hardest decision for a patient to make, as well as the surgeon. Also see the video attached to my answer. We spend up to two hours for our BA consults to be sure there is careful communication. We do a full exam in front of a full-length mirror taking six exact measurements. We put your photos on a large computer screen for imaging, and go over your “ideal-size” photos. We then save this information to your password protected “web account.”
First and foremost the implant should fit the dimensions of your breast and tissue cover. Balancing the implant to your over-all body shape and tissue cover is essential.The main thing is to have the diameter of the implant fit the diameter of your breast "foot-print". Higher profile implants tend to have a smaller diameter. Higher is really a marketing term, but often translates into the same volume implant with a narrower base. Saline implants actually tend to decrease in diameter as they are inflated! The average size chosen over our last 7,000 breast implants was “350cc”. BUT, 90% of our patients tell us they wish they were bigger a year after BA. (We will see you every year for routine checks at no charge.) It’s like your mind incorporates the "new you" into your own self-image over a period of time. Cup size estimates can be misleading, but I generally advise patients that they will experience an increase of approximately one cup size per 200 cc. You can try on implants in the office by placing them into a special bra. The implant is also flattened somewhat when under the muscle, so it is a good idea to bump it up a bit. Approximately 1-ounce (25cc) is added to the final volume to account for flattening of the implant in the partial sub-muscular pocket. Once you decide on a size you like, then add on 25cc, because in real life the implant will be flattened slightly by your tissues. Multiple measurements need to be taken to fit an implant to your exact anatomy. Have your surgeon's office show you the charts of the implant dimensions for the various profiles of silicone and saline from the manufacturer. Then you and your surgeon can piece together the puzzle by matching your measurements, with your wishes, versus your tissue cover and the available implants to arrive at a surgical plan. Keep in mind larger implants tend to have more problems over the years. Since silicone implants wrinkle less than saline implants, they might be your best bet.
You can also approximate this at home by measuring out an equivalent amount of rice placed into a cutoff foot of old panty-hose, and put this in your bra. Wear this around the house for a while, and see what you think. Implant size must square with assessments of tissue cover, breast diameter, and chest wall width. Multiple measurements of your chest wall are taken (seven in total). Implant size selection has been an issue of much discussion.
Therefore, I use a wide variety of methods, but the implant size is always established preoperatively. Also, patients are advised to bring reference photos demonstrating their ideal size and shape. A photo album of patient pictures is maintained to assist them. These photos ultimately help in determining where the implants will be placed, since they can be shifted inside (to provide more cleavage), to the outside, up or superiorly, and down or inferiorly during surgery. In determining the final size selection, I always place the highest priority on the preoperative measurements and potential tissue cover. Finally, your verbal requests are factored into the analysis.
We use the quick-recovery approach, so click on the web reference link below to have this explained and you can see the list of Quick-Recovery (Flash-Recovery or Rapid-Recovery) Breast Augmentation articles from peer-reviewed surgery journals. It is a surgical procedure that uses special instruments and techniques to minimize tissue damage and avoid touching the ribs. It causes far less trauma to surrounding tissue than traditional approaches, and it dramatically reduces pain and recovery time. In published studies of BA patients, 95-percent of women interviewed after the procedure returned to normal daily activities within 24-hours. Quick-recovery BA is not a “gimmick.” These specialized techniques, which actually speed recovery and get you back to your daily routine, kids and work, are published in our plastic surgery journals. Because these PS journals are “peer-reviewed” and edited, they are the gold-standard in our field as being valid science. Therefore, these are sound techniques, not marketing hype.
Be sure to see only a board certified plastic surgeon (by ABPS - The American Board of Plastic Surgery) who is a member of ASAPS (The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery) and or a member of ASPS (The American Society of Plastic Surgeons). Also, ask if the PS has an established, high volume breast augmentation practice, performing several hundred breast augmentations each year. Be sure the PS has been in practice for a while, about 20-years might be a good gauge. Does the PS offer all three incisions? Discuss the implant type (gel or saline), shaped "gummy bear" or non-shaped, smooth or textured, implant pocket (over or under the muscle) and the "quick-recovery approach." Ask to see their before and after photos if you didn’t see any on their website. If they are experienced, they should have several 100 breast implant patients for you to view. I would also recommend that your doctor offer you the chance to talk to past patients who would be happy to discuss their experience with you. You need to feel comfortable, so make sure the environment is safe as in an accredited surgery center. Also, ask a prospective surgeon if he or she has ever published journal articles in professional peer-reviewed journals, which they can provide you.
All the best, “Dr. Joe”

I am getting a breast augmentation this month, but unsure what size implant to get. I'm 5'7" -150 lbs. Bra size - 36-38b

Thank you for your question. I'm happy to see that you have visited at least two plastic surgeons while you're exploring breast augmentation surgery. As you can see, opinions a vary between plastic surgeons.

Online recommendations will not be that helpful for you, because the surgeons cannot examine you in person. However, it sounds like you are beginning to narrow down the size that you want. If 300 is too small and 500 is too big, it sounds like 400cc may be a nice middle ground. 400cc should work nicely, assuming that it fits within the natural dimensions of your breast. Each implant has a base-diameter, which should be just smaller, or slightly larger, then your natural breast width. Also, the distance between your nipple and fold (on stretch) is an important measurement. Assuming that your natural breast can hold a 400cc implant, then my guesses is that you would be happy with your choice.

Don't ever hesitate to go back to your surgeon to try on implants again. In my office, I find that it is very important to have a back-and-forth dialogue with my patients. I want them to be able to move forward with absolute confidence in the size that they have chosen. I always welcome them to come back and try on implants again and talk more about their goals.

Congratulations on your upcoming surgery!

I am getting breast augmentation his month, I'm 5'7" - 150 lbs. Bra size - 36-38b.

Given your frame and desire for a natural look, I think the 400 cc implant will  probably be in the correct size range for you.  Trying on the implants in an unpadded bra will give you a better idea as to how the implants will look and feel than the 3D imaging alone.   Unfortunately, manufacturers' cup sizes are not standardized (a Bally B cup is not the same volume a Vitoria's Secret B cup), so no plastic surgeon can guarantee that a certain implant will result in a certain cup size.  That said, don't worry, with a little patients and sizing, I'm certain you will find the correct sized implant for your body and life style.  Best wishes, Dr. Lepore.

Vincent D. Lepore, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

There is nothing natural about implants

and my patients are all counseled to choose a size they will be happy with so at least they are happy with one aspect of the procedure.  If they get a natural result, even better, and many still do.  So my advice would be to choose the look you want (I never guarantee cup sizes and almost everyone that comes in stating a cup size invariably ends up being larger but happy with their choice).  Your height allows you to carry larger volumes. Use external sizers with unlined bras and white t-shirts and pick what you want.  I always add 10% to whatever size is chose to get as close to the desired look as possible... and everyone is happy in the end.

Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

I am getting a breast augmentation this month, but unsure what size implant to get. I'm 5'7" -150 lbs. Bra size - 36-38b

Choosing the correct implant size is a difficult decision for a number of women. Based on your height, weight and chest size and your desire for a natural appearance, I think you are somewhere in the middle of 300 and 500cc's. I would suggest returning to the surgeon you liked the most, and looking in the range of 360cc's to 425cc's. To get a natural look, the implants should fit your breast dimensions and not be too wide for you. I would also avoid high profile implants to achieve a more natural appearance. Good luck!

Delay your breast augmentation until you are sure.

Delay your augmentation until you are certain of what size you want. Patients will often evolve their decision into what size breast implant they want AFTER they get accustomed to the breast augmentation. For this reason, I will often recommend patients to pick the largest acceptable implant to meet their needs. Again this decision is only made during a thorough consultation with your board-certified plastic surgeon. It's not uncommon that I encourage patients to bring a friend, family member or spouse to help them with this decision. 

Ricardo A. Meade, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

Breast implant size

Based on your height and weight, you would have a nice result with an implant between 350-450cc.  This is why it is important to size with several different sized implants in the office, while wearing a bra and a t-shirt.  After experimenting with different sizes, you should be able to make the size decision yourself.

Dennis Dass, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 129 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.