How can I choose the right implant size? I'm going submuscular with the Ideal implant (Photo)

34B w/one slightly smaller breast (looks much smaller in this photo). Had 2 consults on sizing, and still not sure. My surgeon recommended 350 on right, 375 on left. Nervous that this may be too big for me. Don't want to go past a full C once they settle. Petite and want this to be a natural enhancement, vs a big noticeable change. This person looks like me, and got the same size. Looks like it resulted in at least a D. Advice on choosing the right fit?

Doctor Answers 7

Sizing Breast Implants Should be Very Straight Forward

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Dr. John Tebbetts recommended measuring the diameter of the breast and matching the individual patient's breast size to the width of the implant.  Ingenious!  It works well, but I also have my patients show me the breast to body proportions that they desire by having them pick photos that they like out of my slide show, and with this information (in addition to their height), I am able to accurately predict the correct size and projection of the implant that works for them.  Cup sizes are whatever the particular bra manufacturer wants them to be, in other words, there are no standardized cup sizes to compare; thus using "cup sizing" can be a very inaccurate method of determining the proper sized implant for any particular patient.  

The right size IDEAL implant

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There are a number of factors that go into picking the right size implant.  I think it is important to respect the measurements of your chest that your plastic surgeon will take.  Don't get so stuck on the number of cc's or the projection of the implant.  You need to find the implant that will fit properly in your breast and give you long lasting results that you can feel good about.  Pictures can be helpful, but what looks good on someone else's body might not work well for you.  In my office I use 3D simulation software to help patients get an idea of how they will look with different size implants.  I find this to be very helpful.  Best of luck!   

The right size for you

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It is very difficult to determine the exact size and shape implant you will require to best match your ideal breast image without an examination by a board certified plastic surgeon. Not just any board certified plastic surgeon, but one with many years of frequently performing breast augmentation surgery including different approaches, techniques and implant choices. 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 difficult to make this determination. For example, the existing 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 breast, but much less of a difference if you have a wide chest wall and wide breast “foot print”. Therefore, just because your friend may have a great result with let’s say a 350 cc implant to make her go from a “A” cup to a “C” cup size does not mean that you will have the same result with the same size implant. . Further simply placing implants in a bra to determine the size best for you is not always accurate as the bra often distorts the size, is dependent on the pressure the bra places plus the implant is outside your breast and not under it among other variables. Computer software morphing programs that automatically determine the best implant size 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). Using “want to be” photos however are useful if simply provided to the surgeon as I will further explain in the below link.


How can I choose the right implant size? I'm going submuscular with the Ideal implant

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Thank you for your question and the photo.  Many women have concerns about selecting the best size of implant.  Communication with your plastic surgeon about your desire for a natural result is key.  Judging from your photo, I would anticipate that your implant size would result in a full C cup.  As I'm sure you realize, cup size varies significantly between bra manufacturers in the same way that clothing or shoe size varies.  I would encourage you to see a plastic surgeon who uses sizers and 3D imaging to give you confidence in your implant selection size.  Best of luck.

Steven L. Ringler, MD, FACS
Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 72 reviews


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Please find a surgeon with more experience who will spend the time to talk to you about size.  I really feel that the hardest part of this procedure is not the operation itself, but managing the patients size expectations.  As a woman I can tell you that asking for a full C is very unrealistic.  All bras do not fit the same.  A full C, may be a D in some bras.  Just like shoes, pants etc. bra sizes depend on the brand.  I personally spend a lot of time looking at photos with my patients and then can get a better idea of the result that patient wants and then try to achieve that result.  Best of luck. Jane

Proper Breast Implant Size Selection

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Thanks for your inquiry and the photograph.  From the picture you do appear to be moderately asymmetric but fortunately have very nice shaping on both sides.
Without knowing your size (height and weight) it's difficult to give a precise estimate but from your photos I would estimate that I'd be using implants in a range of from 325-360 ccs to hope to achieve an upper to a full C cup size.  I choose to review my patient's goals carefully and then make the final implant size decision only once the patient is asleep and has been sat nearly upright to visualize the effect of different volumes from test implants or sizers.  And of course remember that a cup size is only a relative estimate of size and various highly between different bra manufacturers and different "numbers" (ie 32,34,36). 
I'd suggest that you have another meeting with your plastic surgeon to be sure that you are confident that you're each 'on the same page' before proceeding.  Good luck and enjoy your results.  Jon A Perlman MD FACS

Jon A. Perlman, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Breast sizing

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This is a very important decision you are making on changing your body.  It should not be taken lightly.  It seems you are not sure of your surgeons recommendations.  I think it would be best if you see another board certified plastic surgeon for a second opinion and further review your desires and expectations.  Good Luck.

Steven Svehlak, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 32 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.