I am 5'6" 170 with a 38D cup size. I want a breast lift with DD/ DDDs. What amount of cc's do I need in saline implants?

Doctor Answers 12

Breast Lift and Augmentation Implant Size

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Unfortunately, the definition of a DD cup varies from patient to patient and for this reason, cup size represents a tremendous source of confusion amongst cosmetic breast surgery patients. Furthermore, CC's aren't easily translated into cup size and this also creates confusion.

For this reason, it's virtually impossible to answer this question without a consultation and a physical examination. When choosing breast implants for breast augmentation, we aren't interested in implant size, but instead we're interested in implant fit. We want to achieve harmony, balance, and proportion with the surrounding anatomic structures.

The best approach to resolve this issue is consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon. In an effort to minimize confusion, we utilize external implant sizers. This system helps the surgeon understand the patient's aesthetic goals. They also significantly alleviate the anxiety that many patients experience regarding breast implant size.

Implant Size

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In terms of picking the right implants to achieve your goals, generally speaking, 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. Hope this helps.

Houston, TX

Choosing Implant Size for Augmentation Mastopexy

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There is no precise formula for choosing implant size and geometry, as a lot has to do with the existing breast volume, breast base dimensions, and location of your breasts on the chest wall, and then your personal desires. This includes how natural versus how obviously augmented you wish to appear. You will find that there is a range of effective volumes for each patient, below which the breast will not be adequately filled and will not reach its best shape potential (least effective volume), and beyond which (maximum effective volume) the breasts will give up natural shape for the sake of additional outcome volume.Additional volume can be added beyond the maximal effective volume, but will transform the shape to a less natural-appearing roundness and then on to a completely fake-looking shape, eventually reaching a point where the addition of further volume requires destruction of internal muscle and fibrous support structures, and breach of breast landmarks (mainly the folds), which in some patients will lead to double fold contour deformity, bottoming-out, symmastia etc. Implants that are too large in the presence of mastopexy can also lead to scar spread or would healing issues due to excessive stress on the healing wounds.  Implant Sizing schemes with, external implants in a bra, may be of some help, but can be misleading if an implant volume and width is desired that is beyond the capacity of the breast fold geometry, particularly if there is mild skin overhang over the lower pole fold (dedicated fold geometry), or in your case, the need for a mastopexy. I find that bringing photos of similar shaped women's results can help in the discussion, but realize that photos can only be used as a theme for what you are looking for, and not like a catalog from which exact sizes and geometries can be ordered. I hope that this helps a little, as this is a complex issue. Study this well and ask informed questions as it will help in the process.

Thomas M. DeWire Sr., MD (retired)
Richmond Plastic Surgeon

How Many CC's Do I need for a Breast Augmentation

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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 many cc's in breast implants to achieve a desired look?

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Many plastic surgeon's offices use a 3D imaging device, so that ladies can see what it may look like for breast augmentation prior to surgery.  It is no guarantee of result, but it sure if fun to "try" on different sizes.  We use Crisalix in our office to help our patients with these choices.

I am 5'6" 170 with a 38D cup size. I want a breast lift with DD/ DDDs. What amount of cc's do I need in saline implants?

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Thank you for the question. Generally speaking, the best online advice I can give to ladies who are considering  breast augmentation/lifting surgery ( regarding breast implant size/profile selection) 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 are looking for. Ask to see lots of examples of his/her work.  2.  Again, have a full discussion and communication regarding your desired goals with your plastic surgeon. This communication will be critical in determining which operation and/or 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 "DD or DDD 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.   Therefore, I ask that my patients not base their communication preoperatively OR  their satisfaction with the outcome of surgery postoperatively, on achieving a specific cup size. The use of computer imaging may be very helpful during this communication phase.

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.  The use of temporary intraoperative sizers, viewing the patient's breasts in the upright and supine position, are very helpful during the breast implant selection process.

I hope this, and the attached link (dedicated to breast augmentation/lifting surgery concerns), helps.  Best wishes. 

I am 5'6" 170 with a 38D cup size. I want a breast lift with DD/ DDDs. What amount of cc's do I need in saline implants?

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I would try on sizers in the office to help get an appreciation of the volume you want.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA

Choosing implant size for saline implants, especially with a lift involved takes a lot of judgment

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The first comment I have is that I agree 100% with Dr. Corbin's recommendation:  forget the cup size as an absolute measure, and put sizers in your bra until you find the volume of breasts that you like.  I can't tell you how many ladies I have in my practice that first think they want to be the proverbial  "C" cup, only to pick a size of implant that puts them in a D or DD postop . . . and yet they are thrilled!  Thus, preop "guesstimates" of cup size are very inaccurate, and using visual clues like sizing or pictures for proportion/shape, projection (front and side of breast/chest), and and other specific goals related to breast volume or shape is much more reliable.  The other point to make is that breast lift procedures allow for adjustment of actual breast tissue volume, just like a breast reduction, and sometimes a surgeon will take off some of the lax natural breast tissue which has lost its volume and tone and replace that with the volume of an implant, which will retain its volume, shape, and tone longer.  Thus, the final size of implant may change even at the time of surgery.  For this reason I go into operations like this armed with as much information about the specific goals and "visions" that my patients have for themselves, which we can most effectively gather from pictures and detailed discussions, and then have a range of implant volumes available to me, so that during surgery we can make the necessary adjustments and arrive at our final goal accurately.  Make sure you have a good discussion with your surgeon about your goals from the standpoint of appearance as opposed to numbers, and that you are confident that he or she understands what you desire and can deliver that.  Good luck.

Joseph L. Grzeskiewicz, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Breast lift and implants

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It is impossible to know what you would benefit from without photos.  You may or may not need implants depending on how much breast tissue you currently have and what size you ultimately want to be.  Often, in a case like yours, I will perform the lift first and then decide after healing what size implants to use.  It's also safer to yes the two stage approach.

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Sizing of breast implants

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Thank you for your question.
sizing is only one important aspect of picking the correct implant:
1) size in cc's (1 oz is approx. 30 cc)
2) filler material (silicone gel vs normal saline)
3) shaped vs round implants
4) smooth or textureed

I suggest you  make a appointment with a Bd. Cert. Plastic Surgeon and bring photos of what you desire. Most surgeons will let you try on various implant sizes ("test drive").

my best wishes,

Robert A. Hardesty, MD, FACS
Riverside 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.