What Size Saline Implants Should I Get?

I just turned 18 and I am finally old enough to get saline implants. I am 5'2 and weigh 115 lbs. I am a 32A but want to be a full C or maybe even a D. Can this be achieved with saline implants without causing too much noticeable rippling?

Answers (10)

Ideal Saline Implant Considerations

Choosing the Best Saline Breast Implants involves some considerations. The amount of rippling to a degree depends on whether it is placed beneath the muscle (recommended) and how much soft tissue (breast tissue and fat) you have to cover it. If you can wait, in the near future a new implant will probably be available, called the Ideal Implant (see below link) is made of saline but meant to feel like silicone - softer and less rippling. 

It is very difficult to determine the exact size and shape of implant that will get you to a C or 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. Without knowing these dimensions it would be tough to answer your question. For example your native base width of your breast will determine in many cases the maximal volume per implant profile that you can accommodate. To illustrate a 100 cc difference may make a significant difference with a narrow base width, but much less of a difference if you have a wide chest wall and wide breast “foot print”. 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.
Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
183 reviews

Implant Selection Process

I would recommend overfilling the implants slightly to minimize rippling effect.  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

Picking the best size for you...

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.  Lastly, please make sure your surgeon is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.  The proper credentials and certification matters.
Hope this helps. Dr. Basu
Houston, TX

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A to full C or small D, What Implant Size?

   To increase a cup size most women need 200 to 250 cc.  Therefore to go up two cup sizes, you may need 400 cc or more.  An exam will include measuring your chest wall width and determining the implant that is right for you.  Kenneth Hughes, MD HughesPlasticSurgery Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
552 reviews

Best Breast Implant Size/Profile for Me?

 As you can imagine, despite your good description of body type and goals, it is not possible to give you precise  advice online.
 The best online advice I can give to ladies ( in regards to best breast implant size/profile) who are considering revisionary breast augmentation surgery is:

1. Concentrate on choosing your plastic surgeon carefully.  Concentrate on appropriate training, certification, and the ability of the plastic surgeon to achieve the results you're looking for. Ask to see lots of examples of his/her work.

2. Have a full discussion and communication regarding your desired goals  with your plastic surgeon. This communication will be critical in determining  breast implant size/type/profile will most likely help achieve your goals. 
In my practice, the use of photographs of “goal” pictures (and breasts that are too big or too small) is very helpful. I have found that the use of words such as “ natural”  or “C or D cup” etc means different things to different people and therefore prove unhelpful.
 Also, as you know, cup size varies depending on him who makes the bra; therefore, discussing desired cup  size may also be inaccurate.

3.  Once you feel you have communicated your goals clearly,  allow your plastic surgeon to use his/her years of experience/judgment to choose the breast implant size/profile that will best meet your goals.  Again, in my practice, this decision is usually made during surgery.

I hope this (and the attached link) help.

Which size.

Thanks for your question. I would say that both sizes mentioned are within the ballpark to achieve a solid augmentation. The bigger you go, then the less likely it will look natural, specially with your smaller anatomy. The final cup is better determined after  examination and seeing your natural shape and current breast volume. Perhaps using a volume sizing system (VSS) will help you feel more comfortable deciding from your choices. Discuss this with your PS.  Best wishes, Dr. Aldo.

Breast Augmentation Bra Size/Rippling


Two great questions:

  1. Cup Size: Since bra sizes vary from brand to brand, you can't accurately relate final cup size to implant size. You're petite so a D cup goal may not be realistic. The base width and height of each breast will help determine the best implant size and profile type for you.
  2. Rippling: There are factors which increase the chance of noticeable rippling even with smaller implants.  These include the thickness of the skin/fat layer of your breast and chest area, implant placement (under or over muscle), and the fill volume of the implant.

Discuss this with your PS consultations and Good Luck!


Stephen M. Lazarus, MD
Knoxville Plastic Surgeon

Avoiding rippling with saline implants

can be a challenge in someone of your stature.  If you are as thin as you sound, you can almost anticipate palpable rippling and hopefully will avoid visible rippling regardless of what size you use.  There is a new double lumen saline implant that is being evaluated (Ideal?) that may diminish your risks.  But if rippling will be devastating to you. consider waiting until you're 22 to have gel implants used then, but I know that it will be hard to wait.

Curtis Wong, MD
Curtis Wong, MD
Redding Plastic Surgeon
35 reviews


the correct sizing depends on your height, weight, chest anatomy and width and breast width. Proper sizing is important for a great result

Norman Bakshandeh, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon

What Size Saline Implants Should I Get?

Without a photo and some measurements you will not likely get usable answers here. The real answer can only come at the time of an in person consultation and exam. There are no fixed cup size definitions. Your idea of a D cup is not likely the same as that of Victoria's Secret or of mine. A D cup on a 32 inch band is smaller than a D cup on a 34 or 36 band, and so forth. 

A general guideline is to expect a cup size of increase with every 200-250 cc of implant,

To get from a A to a D may require an implant that is wider than your own breast tissue, and that is a recipe for a bizarre appearance. A saline implant of the size needed to go so large from an A cup will almost certainly have ripples. 

A consultation with a plastic surgeon can help you sort through the decisions to get a nice result. When you ready for an in person consultation, RealSelf has listings of surgeons in your area. You should consider cross referencing the listings from the The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (plasticsurgery dot org). A listing in the ASPS website assures you that your surgeon is not only board certified,  but also is a member in good standing of the major plastic surgery organization in the U. S.

Thank you for your question, best wishes.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

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.

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