How Do I Choose Which Implant Size is Right for Me?

Hello, I'm 5'2 and weigh 118 pounds. I just had my consultation and my surgery is scheduled in two months. I'm currently a small B/A and would like to be C. My doctor recommended 350cc for a medium C. I don't know whether i should go medium C or full C. I want to look natural yet full without being too over the top. Should i go medium C or full C?

Doctor Answers 16

Choosing the right size in breast augmentation

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UNfortunately, a 'C-cup' is a rather meaningless statement as it just refers to the difference in chest wall circumference below the breast and on top of the breast.  Most women wear a cup size too big and a number measurement too small so this adds even more to the confusion.  The right size breast size for each patient has a lot more to do with their chest wall dimensions and the width of the goal breasts.  you should select one wide enough to fill out your breasts.  I usually sugest a size and allow my patients to request a little bigger or a little smaller after trying on the specific implants inside a sports bra.  You might want to try this.  I hope this helps!


All the best,


Rian A. Maercks M.D.

Choosing breast implant size

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I never use bra "cup size" as a way of estimating breast size. Bra manufacturers are all different and one company's "C cup" is different from another.  When I see patients in consultation I always do a seried of measurments in order to correlate the patient's chest wall anatomy with the size of the implant.  In addition, we allow patients to "try on" implants at their consultation in a special bra to get a sense of what they like. In addition, at the time of surgery, I often use a breast implant "sizer" (similar to a test implant) to confirm the preoperative planning and sizing and to ensure the best overall result.  I try to get my patients to never get "married to" a number as far as the implant number.  Without examining you and knowing the details I think that a 350 cc implant is still within a conservative range, but a 350 cc saline implant is very different from a 350cc silicone gel implant.  One other thing that may helps is that a cup size is "roughly" a 350cc implant will increase you about 1 1/2 cup sizes (in general).  I hope this helps!


James F. Boynton, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Size is often a hard decision

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I often see ladies in consultation who do not know what size they want to be.  They know they want implants but are not sure what size they want to be.  Trying on sizers, wearing rice sizers, and looking at photographs are all useful.  I would highly suggest looking at photos of breasts on ladies similar in size to you so that you can decide what you like.  You then need to communicate with your surgeon your goals.  Often showing him/her photos of your desired outcome is helpful.  Communication is key but you need to know what you want yourself first.   Good luck!

Evan Sorokin, MD
Cherry Hill Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

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How to choose breast implant size

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My preferred method of selecting implant size has to do with first taking careful patient measurements then using 3D imaging software which simulates what a patient may look before surgery. This technology is very accurate and takes a lot of the guesswork out of which implant to choose. 

You can also try some breast implants on in a bra in your plastic surgeon's office to help decide.

Best wishes,


William Bruno, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 412 reviews

Choosing your implant size

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Thank you for your question.

The more breast surgery I do, the more I realize that clear communication with your plastic surgeon is important in achieving the desired goals of the patient.  I like to communicate with patients with “goal” pictures.  During surgery, I use temporary sizers to determine the size/profile that will give the patient the look she is looking for. Trying to predict the size of the implant preoperatively is not ideal.  I think it is too much responsibility for the patient to choose the size of the implant.  Ideally, the surgeon would make that determination once he/she is in the operating room with sizers in and examining the patient in the upright and supine position.  There are many variables that come into play when choosing the correct implant size (how much breast tissue the patient currently has, the shape of the chest wall (concave vs. convex), etc…It is difficult to determine exact cup size pre-operatively. Every manufacturer produces a variety of bra styles, which may differ in size and shape.

I hope this helps.

How To Choose The Best Breast Implant Size.

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Dear Beyondhelen91:

( A link and a video are available by clicking "more" below. ) Choosing the best implant size will depend on your breast size before augmentation and your desired size afterwards. Doing your homework and knowing what size you want to be is the first step. Once you know, you need to communicate this to your surgeon. Bring pictures of the size you desire. Buy a bra your desired size and stuff it to your ideal volume - zip-lock bags filled with rice can help. Show your plastic surgeon what you are trying to achieve. If you are still not sure, look through before and after pictures with your plastic surgeon. These can all help your plastic surgeon narrow down the best range of implants for you, and get you the result you want.

I've included a link with more tips for selecting the best breast implant options here:

Joseph Mele, MD
Walnut Creek Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Medium or full "C"

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It is so hard to size patients up for a specific bra cup size because the volume of implants do not correspond exaclty to the cup. In fact, bra companies do not have the same standards for designing the cup.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Best Breast Implant Size Depends on You

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It is important that when choosing a breast implant size you as the patient take an active role in the decision.  The best size for each patient is different depending on your body size, shape, measurements and how much larger you desire to be.

Step 1 Consultation with the Plastic Surgeon

  • Be as clear as possible about how large you would like to be.  Many women ask for a medium or full C-cup.  If you are not sure the plastic surgeon will help you decide
  • Decide Saline or Silicone.  Saline implants are more palpable (you can feel them more on the sides) but less to worry about.  Silicone implants feel more like a real breast but involve more follow-up with the doctor and may need to be changed more frequently
  • Make sure you go over any history of breast related problems such as biopsies, or any family history of breast cancer

Step 2  Examination By the Plastic Surgeon

  • A complete breast exam is important to look for lumps in the breasts or axillary region (under arms)
  • The surgeon should measure you to determine which implants will fit well.  The base width is very important because it gives the surgeon a range of sizes to work from
  • Your height, shoulder width, chest shape and size and breast size before implants are also important.

Step 3  Try on Implants for Size

  • Using a surgical bra I have patients try on several sets of implants based on the measurements and then have them put on a T-shirt to determine how they would look in clothing.  While it's not perfect it gives you a good idea of how big you will be
  • Make sure to try on moderate and high profile implants

Step 4  Decide the Following 

  • The final size choice for the implant.  Also decide whether you want to give your plastic surgeon some choice to go up or down slightly if he thinks you would get a better result.
  • Decide Silicone or Saline Implants.  Remember both work well so the right answer is different for each patient
  • Decide on you incision location.  Infra mammary and Periareolar are the most common.  Axillary and Trans umbilical are less common choices

Finally, make sure you are having your breast augmentation by a board certified plastic surgeon who trained in plastic surgery and certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.  Because of declining insurance reimbursements many non-plastic surgeons including Oral surgeons, ENT surgeons, and General Surgeons are calling themselves cosmetic surgeons and performing breast augmentation.  Protect yourself and do your homework.  Google the American Board Of Medical Specialties web site and obtain any doctors true board certification.

The final choice of size such as medium C-cup or full  C-cup should be yours and yours alone.  Keep in mind that women often wish they had gone slightly larger once they completely heal.  If it comes down to two sizes and you can't decide, it's probably a good idea to choose the slightly larger implant size.




Breast implant sizing issues

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This is indeed one of the most common questions and most common problems in cosmetic breast augmentation. The reason is that there is no objective or defined way to measure breast volume before or after surgery, 3D software notwithstanding. There is also a difference in the question of how to increase by a certain amount and what endpoint or goal size is best for the patient. The patient has to decide the latter for herself but the fitting and size increase is best done by thinking in terms of fitting clothes or fitting a foot in a shoe. The only simple measurement for the breast is the width (upright, with arms down). This determines the proper width (diameter) of the implant and also the height if it's round. This means the implant will fit and look natural if it's positioned properly and healed there. The size increase is approximate and can be off if the patient has a breast width that is unusually wide or narrow for her chest circumference. (She would tend to know this from fitting standard store-bought bras). If the forward volume (profile) of the fitted round implant is the lowest profile then the apparent cup size increase will be about one cup size. The medium or middle implant profile for the same width will increase the apparent cup size by 1 1/2 cups and the highest profile round implant of the same width will make the breast look about 2 cups sizes larger. The surgeon and patient have to agree on what cup size they're starting from and then the patient decides from 1 - 2 cup sizes increase for the goal. If you are an A/B size then a middle profile implant of the correct width should get you looking like a mid C cup. The cc's of volume are determined by the diameter of the implant and the chosen profile for that width. External sizing and looking at sizes in other women are not helpful. I use properly scaled and standard pictures of previous patients (with their permission) to show what a cup, cup 1/2, 2 cup size increases look like. 

Scott L. Replogle, MD
Boulder Plastic Surgeon

Sizing breast implants.

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Choosing the implant that its your body and meets your goals requires an examination and thorough discussion. There is never a guarantee of "cup" size when it comes to implants. This is mainly due to the fact that there is no standard between manufacturers of bras. A 'C' cup for one company may be a 'D' for another. There are several ways to "try out" implants in the office in order to get a clearer idea of what you can expect following surgery. You did indicate that you want a more "natural" look. This usually means larger breasts without the appearance of an implant in the upper portion of the breast (an obvious sign of an augmentation). The conversation with your plastic surgeon and looking at other breast augmentation results can give you and your surgeon a better idea of what your goals are. During surgery, it is common for plastic surgeons to place "sizers" within the breast to achieve the look you are going for. This allows the surgeon to match the implant size/shape to better fit your goals. Remember, after surgery, you will be larger due to swelling and it may take several months before you see your final results. Best of luck!

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