Born with Smaller Breasts - Will Aiming for a Size Common in my Family Look Okay on Me?

All of the women in my family are very curvacious. We are all within an inch of 38-28-41 in terms of measurements. We are all 5'5" and are between 145-150 lbs. The biggest difference between us is I am a small C up and they are DD-E cups. Is there a very large difference in the way a DD+ implant appears compared to a natural DD+? I am considering teardrop submuscular - is that too much of a jump in size to look natural?

Doctor Answers 8

Implant size selection to achieve your goals

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It is very difficult to predict what cup size you will be after your procedure.  Cup sizes are not standardized.  So a D cup in one designer could be a C cup or B cup in another designer.   This is the approach I use to help guide my patients with their implant size selection:

I consider two factors when selecting implants for my patients:

1.Dimensional planning
2.Gel Implant Sizing system

Dimensional planning – The measurements of your chest wall are taken. Also, the breast dimensions including the height, width, and current dimensions of each breast form the basis of dimensional planning. Based on these measurements, the implant size is recommended. This will give you a unique breast implant that is suited for your body frame. However, there are some limitations of what size we can recommend. For instance, some implants may just be too big for a narrow chest wall. Your surgeon can review this with you during the consultation.

Gel Implant Sizing system – During the preliminary breast implant consultation, you will be provided with an option to “try on” a variety of implant shapes and sizes. You can also visualize the possible outcomes of your surgery which helps you to get that perfect size to give you the shape that you longed for. This way your preferences are known and you can then pick a range of implants that will “fit” just right to give a soft natural fuller look.  If you have decided on saline implants, then based on the gel sizer you select, we can guide you to the saline implant that achieves a similar look.
Hope this helps.
Dr. Basu
Houston, TX

Breast implants to match the rest of the family's women?

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First of all, quit comparing yourself to the other women in your family.  You should do what is best for you and take into account your life style, your self image, your build, and what will look best for you.  And that may mean no implants at all!

If you really do want to be larger, make sure you get a chance to try on implants at your consultation with a surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.  Take a look at yourself in a full length mirror to get an idea of how the implants will enhance the rest of your figure.

As far as size goes, both the implants and bra, forget about numbers.  Your surgeon will show you a range of sizes that will "fit" your chest.  The numbers don't matter.  What matters is that you have a result that looks and feels right for you.

Matching breast sizes to others

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Implants do not come in cup sizes. In general, a round, subpectoral  implant that is matched to the base width of your breast, upright, with arms down, will fit and look natural (assuming there is not too much droop) and the size increase for the highest profile implant in the subpectoral position is about two cup sizes unless your breast is unusually wide or narrow. There is no exact way to measure breast size and shape, and characteristics are a major factor. Thus, the best way to think at it is your breast with its characteristics looking about 1-2 cup sizes larger depending on your choice of forward volume (profile). Teardrop shapes have not been found to be helpful in subpectoral positioning and I would agree with Dr. DeMars response. Wanting to look like someone else's breast can be unrealistic but if the difference is purely volume, then and implant can achieve the goal although the exact size is hard to measure. 

Scott L. Replogle, MD
Boulder Plastic Surgeon

Implants and breast size

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Hi muastephenie, You are correct to wonder in your question about how implants affect breast shape and fullness. A "D" cup with an implant fills out the breast more than the natural breast in a bra, so consequently there is a need for a larger bra in order to handle more breast volume and projection from the implant. But as far as what looks natural and proportionate, the implant size in relationship to the breast footprint or the size of the base of the breast is the more important consideration. There is also the visual "weight" of the breast in proportion to the hips and lower body. So cup size is not that important but rather the anatomy and visual proportions and the visual weight of the breast with the body. I agree with your thoughts about emphasizing the natural curviness of your body as an aesthetic goal. One device that has been an outstanding communication tool in our office is the the latest technology, the Vectra 3D imaging system. It allows our patients to look at themselves following virtual breast enhancement. . It is an amazing way to discuss the aesthetic goals and expectations. As far as the choice of implants, this should be discussed at your consultation as there are trade offs between implants types, styles and benefits.    

Wanting a Natural Looking Increase in Breast Size

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Thank you for your question, Stephanie.  Your request sounds very reasonable, but it would be important to have an in person consultation to review your choices.  You can try on some sizers and see if they provide the changes in measurement you are hoping for.  It is impossible to make a choice that is best for yourself by reading or comparing yourself to others.  Implant choices need to be individualized to get the best outcome.

Born with Smaller Breasts - Will Aiming for a Size Common in my Family Look Okay on Me?

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Dear stephanie,

thank you for your question.  Photos help quite a bit in discussion.  In general, as long as you have perky small breasts, an augmentation can look natural on you with the right surgeon.  Look at surgeon's photos to see if you like their work before choosing a surgeon.

Best Wishes, 

Pablo Prichard, MD

Born with Smaller Breasts

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Without photos or an exam it is not possible to comment on your individual circumstances. However a patient starting with a C cup and no droop can have a great look with implants. I personally would favor a round smooth submuscular implant.

Breast implant size

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A natural DD+ and one created with augmentation will look different. Implants can only try and mimic a natural breast, they don't replace one.

Having said that, depending on the shape and form of your breasts currently you may look much better than your more curvacious natural family members.

If you are already a C cup, then jumping up 3-4 cup sizes (ie around 300cc), especially with anatomical will give you a reasonably natural result. I say reasonably, because at the end of the day you are having breast augmentation it will always look different than natural breasts. (but as I mentioned before, it will probably look better)

If you really want to visualise what you will look like after augmentation, seek a plastic surgeon that uses 3D Vectra technology.

I hope this helps and good luck.

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.