What Size Implants Do I Need to Go From an A/B to a D Cup? (photo)

I am 34b some bras that are an A fit. i am 122 pounds 5'8'' i am getting a lift too. the doc thinks i should not go higher then 325 ccs and says ill be a C but i want to be a D i think. What sizes CCS should i get? he wants to go over the muscle

Doctor Answers 12

Breast Implant Sizing?

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Thank you for the question and pictures.

I think you should do very well with breast augmentation/lifting surgery.

Unfortunately, there is no direct correlation between  the size of breast implants  and the resulting cup size.

In planning your breast augmentation procedure it will be very important to communicate your size goals with your surgeon.  in my practice I find the use of goal pictures to be 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 who makes the bra; therefore, discussing desired cup  size may also be inaccurate. Placing breast implants on top of the skin ( pre-operative “sizing”) is not necessarily accurate either.

I use  intraoperative sizers and place the patient in the upright position to evaluate breast size. Use of these sizers also allow me to select the breast implant profile (low, moderate, moderate plus, high-profile) that would most likely achieve the patient's goals. The patient's goal pictures are hanging on the wall, and allow for direct comparison.
I have found that this system is very helpful in improving the chances of achieving the patient's goals as consistently as possible. 

Although I hesitate to “second-guess” your plastic surgeon's recommendations,  I urge you to read about the pros and cons of sub muscular versus sub glandular breast implants (especially on petite framed patients like yourself) before making this important decision.

I hope this helps.

Implant Size to move from B to D cup

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The surgeon's recommendation is reasonable as your frame may not properly support larger breast implants.

The size of the implants are based on a combination of a patient's goals and objectives and her anatomy. In order to provide a natural looking augmentation, the surgeon needs to evaluate many factors including soft tissue coverage, skin laxity, chest wall width, breast imprint width, the shape of the breasts and relative level of constriction to ensure that the breast implants are appropriate for your body.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 56 reviews


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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

Implant Selection Process

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I would suggest that you will need to try on implants larger than 325 cc.  In order to make an accurate size recommendation, I would need to assess your chest wall and breast mound measurements and characteristics.  Unfortunately, there is not a general rule of thumb or objective criteria to implant selection.

Your plastic surgeon will perform several measurements of your chest wall and breast anatomy and determine a range of implants that both fit your chest wall and reach your desired goals.
The next step is to try on this range of implants in the office with your doctor.   The key to this success is showing your surgeon the body proportion you desire with a bra sizer and allowing your surgeon to guide you to the right implant.   It will be much easier to communicate in implant cc's than cup size when determining the appropriate implant for you.
I wish you a safe recovery and fantastic result.
Dr. Gill

Paul S. Gill, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Implant and cup size.

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As you mention in your question, in some bras you are a B cup and in other bras an A cup. This is due to a lack of standardization of cup sizes. With 325cc implants, you will probably be a C cup in most bras and perhaps a D in others. Determining what implants your breasts can appropriately hold can only be done with an examination. If you are unsure of the plan for surgery and whether the implants are right for you, schedule a second consultation to discuss your concerns and see if your plastic surgeon has a sizing bra. As for going over the muscle, you have very little breast tissue and I would be concerned about implant visibility and rippling over time.

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

Breast lift with implants

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Thank you for your question and the photos.  Since your are tall, it will likely be that you need a slightly larger implant to make you a D cup if that is what you want. The missing piece of information to help make that determination is your breast base width diameter.  Without that, it is going to be tough to say.  If you have lingering uncertainty, return to your plastic surgeon's office to get resized and to specifically communicate your reasonable expectations.  If you don't feel like you are going to get what you want, you can seek opinions from other board-certified plastic surgeons. Best of Luck!

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 221 reviews

Questions about implant size for a breast lift and enlargement

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Recommending via the internet what size implant would provide you with a "D" cup is pure speculation. A meticulous examination would be far more accurate and helpful.

You will be undergoing a breast lift as well as an augmentation. Is there a particular reason that a submammary pocket was chosen. That along with a larger sized implant is fraught with long term problems including stretching and thinning of your breast skin with descending of your breast and implant down your chest and then abdomen. If you are going to have the implants placed in this pocket, stay smaller.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Augmentation/mastopexy and cup size

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Unfortunately I have to say that you are setting yourself up for disappointment and potential problems. A properly fitted implant that matches the width of your breast and is the highest forward profile will only increase your cup size by about 2 cup sizes to a full C at most and this is with an augmentation alone. A lift (mastopexy) that is a true lift will make your breast look larger but it's very difficult to judge the resulting size with an implant in addition to the lift. The tuck effect of the lift makes it even more important to not use an implant that is too wide or has too much forward projection, and a sub-glandular (rather then sub-pectoral) implant increases this problem and is at higher risk for blood supply problems and tension on the closure of the incisions. I would recommend the implant be sub-pectoral and no wider than the width of your breast minus a cm to account for the skin/fat layer. 

It is not possible to be sure from the pictures but you may be able to augment the breast without the lift if the nipple is not more than 2 cm below the inframammary crease level when upright with arms down. When the lower pole is filled out this gives a lift effect to the breast even though the implant doesn't actually lift the breast but fills it out like a pillow. With a breast this low (ptotic), I would not recommend a high profile implant though. Consult a plastic surgeon who understands how to determine the dimensions of an implant that will fit properly and doesn't rely on external sizers or the patient's goal to be larger than an implant can achieve without undo risk. Also, doing the augmentation alone or the combination lift and augmentation requires a fair amount of experience and judgment. 

Scott L. Replogle, MD
Boulder Plastic Surgeon

Maximizing your Augmentation Outcome

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Hi there-

I agree with Dr. Johnson... The fact is that you have an image in your mind of what you want your appearance to be, right? 

I hope we can also agree that if your surgeon achieves this appearance for you, you won't care too much what letter is on your bra or what number is on your implant....

So helping your surgeon understand how you want to LOOK is more important than telling him what letter you want on your bra.


Wanting a D-cup after breast implants

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With your plan of a subglandular  implant and mastopexy a D-cup should be within reach. The mastopexy pattern might have to be vertical (lollipop) to help prevent areolar spread, and the implant fuller, perhaps 400cc. The number is hard to guess and the best result is with a good picture of the 'look' and a sizer in the OR as a guide. Show your surgeon what you want and go with your instincts.

Best of luck, peterejohnsonmd.com

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 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.