What's the Best Way to Decide How Big to Go?

I can't decide how big to go! I'm a 32A/B. My PS had me wear a stretchy bra and we inserted several implants. I narrowed it down to 305cc/full C and 330cc/small D. Going into it I was sure I just wanted a C, but after trying the implants on I'm loving the 330. But I'm worried I might regret going that big. PS says once the implants are in and settled they'll look slightly smaller and to choose the 330. Is this true? What else can I do to help me decide what I'm comfortable with?

Doctor Answers 17

Implant Selection Process

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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

Houston Plastic Surgeon

Breast implant size selection

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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. Even your fitness levels and other relevant criteria are taken into consideration. It is you who will decide what you are comfortable with.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.
Hope this helps.

How big to go?

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I would agree with your surgeons recommendation of implants at 330ccs. I hope your comfort level increases with this opnion.

Breast sizes

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When it comes to choosing bra sizes, clothing manufacturers vary tremendously on what constitutes a certain bra size.  I prefer to choose  an implant that compliments your breast width and, very importantly, choose the volume that achieves the upper breast fullness that you desire.  The upper pole fullness can be achieved quite successfully using certain measurements.

Breast augmentation and sizing

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There is not a specific way to predict sizing. In my experience goal pictures with similar patients as well as trying on implants with or without 3D imaging is best to communicate with your surgeon. Most important thing is meeting with your surgeon as many times as needed before surgery to accomplish this goal. I require at least two visits before surgery. Having said all that you should go with the 330cc as the difference is minimal between the two. 

How to choose breast implant volume

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Different doctors have different ways for deciding what volume to use.  There is no standard formula that we all use.  Also, it is difficult to tell you exactly what cup size you might wind up with because bra manufacturers don't even have standard cup sizes.  In my practice, I hold up different sized implants to get an idea of what they might look like.  This is a crude way to do it but there is no perfect technique.  Then, when I get into surgery, I use an inexpensive, disposable implant "sizer" to help me make my pocket and also to check out what that specific volume will look like once it is in place.  I do this before I open an expensive implant.  If I need to adjust the volume up or down a bit, this is the time to fine tune it. 


I tend to advise my patients that, if they are going to err, to do so on the larger side.  Hopefully, when we first unwrap them, they will think they are too big.  It is a sudden change to their body image, there is some swelling present, and the implant may sit a little high the first day.  After a couple of months, things settle a bit and the patients are happy with their results.  Six months later, I get a lot of patients who come back wishing they had gone bigger. 

How big to go

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25 cc is less than an ounce. It is not an appreciable difference and in my opinion not worth worrying about and probably does not change your cup from one to another


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Without an exam it’s hard to be more exact, but in our practice we tell our patients that 225 cc equal about one cup size. So if you’re an A cup and want to go to a full C cup you should look in the range of 350-400cc. If you’re debating between 300 and 330 cc you should go with the bigger size. After it’s all said and done most patients regret not going big enough. Wearing the implants and putting on your normal tops can give you more of a reality of what you would look like. Good luck.


Stuart B. Kincaid, MD, FACS (in memoriam)
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Getting sized for breast implants can be a very involved process.

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Thank you for your question and the photos.

Getting sized for breast implants is much more involved than it seems at first thought. It requires a full consultation with detailed questions to see exactly what your goals are, short and long term. It also requires precise measurements of your current breast dimensions, the dimensions of your chest wall, as well as preoperative photography, standard or 3D imaging.

To see what the best options are for you, see two or more board-certified plastic surgeons in your area for a full and complete evaluation to make sure you are a good candidate and that it is safe for you to have surgery.  I hope this helps.

What size should I go?

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Unfortunately, putting an implant in a bra, on top of a breast does not give an accurate comparison to the actual post operative outcome. Many  augmentation  patients vacillate about size with the worry they will "go too big".  After the initial post operative swelling goes down, a majority of those patients say "I wish I would have gone a little bit bigger". Of course without an examination, I couldn't advise either way, but I have found that most women error on the side of "bigger". 

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.