Saline Breast Implant Size for a Full D Cup?

My base breast diameter is 16 cm and I presently wear a 38C or D depending on the bra. I wish to be a full D after surgery. What diameter size and volume of saline breast implants that would work best, considering this?

Doctor Answers 10

D Cup Implant Size

Implants to Reach a D Cup
It is very difficult to determine the exact size and shape of implant that would get you to a full D cup without an examination by a board certified plastic surgeon. This is because several measurements not to mention your breast characteristics are needed to determine the optimal implant size to obtain your goals, not just your breast width. Without knowing these dimensions it would be tough to answer your question.  Additional critical decisions will also be made by your plastic surgeon such as: whether your implants will be above or below your pectoralis muscle. These choices are recommended to you based on the look you desire, the amount of sagging you may have, and other deciding factors. I always find it helpful for patients to bring in photos from my or other plastic surgeons’ websites to illustrate what they would like to look like. I bring these photos to the operating room for reference during surgery so that I have the advantage of “seeing through my patient’s eyes” to achieve their wishes.
I personally order more than one set of implant sizes and use sterile sizers placed in the pocket during surgery to know in advance exactly which implant would work best for you. Software morphing programs 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).
My advice is to accept advice from your board certified plastic surgeon after a formal consultation and examination with measurements.. If still confused don't hesitate to get a second opinion.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 157 reviews


There is no way to guarantee a particular bra size. Bra sizing varies greatly between bra manufacturers and a C in one bra will be a D in another. What matters more than the assigned bra size is the way the implant looks on you. The best option for your body and aesthetic goals can be determined in a thorough implant sizing session.

Implant sizing depends on several factors. One of the most important factors is your breast width. Generally, your surgeon will measure your breast width, and then provide you with a range of implant sizes appropriate for your native breast size. There are more nuances to it than just what I've described, but this approach works for most women.

I usually have my patients bring in a large bra and a tight t-shirt to do sizing. I'll then choose 3-4 implants that I feel are appropriate, and have my patients place them in the bra under the tight t-shirt. My patients can then look in the mirror and get a good sense of what they will look like with the provided implant sizes. My patients like this approach and get a great idea of how they will look.

By using this technique, your surgeon can outline a range of appropriate implant sizes that will be aesthetically pleasing, and you make the final decision.

I hope this helps. Good luck!

Asif Pirani, MD, FRCS(C)
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

No One Knows What a "D" Is !

Patients make the mistake of focusing on a specific cup size. Unfortunately there is no industry standard for cup size. Every bra manufacturer is different and cup size changes from style to style with the same manufacturer. A 36 D is larger than the same bra in a 32 D.

You should have an idea of the look that you are trying to achieve. An experienced cosmetic plastic surgeon with a good reputation for breast enlargement will have different methods to read your mind and determine implant size. Traditional sizing techniques include before and after pictures with the patient's height, weight, and implant size. Trying on various size implants within various sized bras is a common tool.

The new high tech way to visualize the results of different size breast implants is 3D imaging. The special camera creates a three dimensional image of the patients chest. The computer software allows the surgeon to "place' any of the manufacturers' implants into the imaged breast and demonstrate the result. The patient can compare the image of different size implants. To see this tool, look for a surgeon with the Axis Three Portrait 3D.

Breast implant size result is determined by breast base width, amount of breast tissue, and laxity of the skin.

Good luck in finding a surgeon who can help you visualize the result that you want.

Richard L. Dolsky, MD (retired)
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Breast implants and cup sizes.


Since you have wide breasts, almost any diameter implant will fit. So that's not a limiting factor for you. I would just urge you, not to go too big, because very large implants age badly.

As a guess, I would say 300 cc moderate plus profile implants will give you the look you want. There should be a range of sizes and diameters available for your operation.

Then your surgeon should make the final decision during surgery, by placing disposable implant SIZERS inside your breasts. Then he can see for sure which implant gives you the look you want, before the permanent implants are opened. This way there is no guess work.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Breast implants to get to a d cup

It is difficult to give you an answer without examining you first. I have to say that the majority of women do not have a base diameter of 16 cms. In fact, you can look at implant diameters and few if any will have that measurement. Volumes of implants do not always correspond to sizes. A simple method for you to try at home is to perform a "baggy test." Fill a bag with a measured amount of water or rice, and then place it into a loose fitting bra. Place a blouse on and see how you like the look. Add or take away volume to give you a rough idea of the implant volume you want. Patients are usually on the money after the consultation when I give them a recommended range and they try this technique at home.

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

You can't translate implant volumes into cup sizes

A "properly fitting" implant for you would have a base diameter close to 16 cm and this would be a large implant.  If you are already a C or D cup, this implant will make you larger than a D.  Just go for the "look" you want and don't fixate on the cup size. 

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

You will need consultation with a plastic surgeon

 The size and shape of the implant depends on the base of the breast, chest width, amount of the breast tissue, skin tone, shape of the breast and also patient's desire.  Personal consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon will help you .

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 124 reviews

This is not answerable without seeing the patient

These questions regarding what size implants, style and type are as easy to answer as asking what size, and type of skirt a woman should wear to get a certain look. You should see a plastic surgeon who will spend the time needed to try out sizes and styles of implants. The final answer considers multiple factors and some copmpromises.

John P. Stratis, MD
Harrisburg Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Breast Implants at 64 years old

You do not discuss your age, pregnancies, or if there is any drooping ("ptosis") of the breasts. If you are already a D cup and your breasts are drooping and you want them to look fuller, then perhaps a lift might accomplish this. Many of the women I see with D cup breasts have some degree of ptosis and can benefit from a lift. Whether you want o be bigger would then be up to you. Discuss your goals with your physician

Theodore Katz, MD, FACS
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

No formula for predicting cup size following implant augmentation mammaplasty

There is no clear cut formula to determine absolute cup size following breast augmentation. Suffice it to say you will want an implant that will roughly approximate the size (diameter of the breast. Given that the thickness of the breast tissue varies from 1-2 cm in thickness, you will want to select an implants with a base diameter of approximately 14. To go from a large C to a full D, you will likely require no more than 300cc.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 82 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.