Dr. Brooke Seckel discusses how to chose the best breast implant size to achieve a natural breast augmentation result
Although most plastic surgeons measure breast implant size in cc or cubic centimeters of liquid volume, most patients seeking breast augmentation in Boston want to know how to achieve a specific bra cup size after breast augmentation. Patients ask “how many cc of breast implant do I need to achieve a B cup, C cup or D cup?”
Since bra manufacturers and retailers can label the same bra a different cup size it is important to estimate breast implant cup size in cc by using the brand and size of non-padded bra that you want to wear after breast augmentation.
The following methods can be used to estimate breast implant size in cc needed to increase your cup size.
150-200 cc of breast implant size equals a cup size in the same bra
This figure is not an exact figure determined by scientific research but rather an estimate based on anecdotal experience. To increase from an A cup to a B cup will take 200cc of breast implant but a full B cup may take 250cc. If you are a full B cup and want to enlarge your breast two cup sizes to a D cup then you will need at least 350cc-450cc of breast implant size to achieve that enlargement with a natural breast shape. If you want to be unnaturally big breasted then even larger implants will be required.
The Rice Test to determine breast implant size in cc
The Rice test is a convenient method for determining breast implant size in cc in the privacy of your own home. To do the test you will fill twist tie sandwich bags with rice and insert them into your desired bra size. Once you have enough rice in the bag to give you the cup size that you want, empty the rice into a measuring cup and record the volume of rice in cups. Then convert the cups of rice to ccs to get an estimate of the cc of breast implant that you will need according to the chart below:
- 1 cup = 236cc
- 1/2 cup = 118cc
- 3/4 cup = 177cc
- 2/3 cup = 156cc
- 1/3 cup = 78cc
- 1/4 cup = 59cc
- 1/8 cup = 30cc
Breast Implant Sizers
We now have specially shaped trial breast implant sizers in the office that may be placed over your breast inside a non-padded bra so you can see how various sized implants look on you. These sizers are calibrated in cc. You can try different sizes until you achieve the look that you desire and then record the cc volume of the implant size you have chosen. This is similar in concept to the Rice test but the specially shaped breast implant sizers can create a more realistic look.
Before and after photographs of patients with different cup sizes
Viewing before and after photographs of patients who have had breast augmentation can be very helpful in deciding the breast implant size in cc that you want. Mentor, a breast implant manufacturer has an online system which allows you to choose your starting cup size and desired cup size and will give you a series of before and after photos of patients who have chosen the same increase in cup size with the cc volume of breast implant used.
Breast Implant Size Visualizer
Mentor also has a computerized imaging system which allows you to download your breast photos and enlarge them with the computer to see how they will look after enlargement with an implant.
Your breast and chest measurements
During your consultation for breast augmentation several measurements will be taken of your breasts. One important measurement for deciding on breast implant size is called the base width of your breast. A measurement of the distance from the edge of the breast next to the breast bone out to the side of your breast breast near your arm is called the breast base width.
Once the breast base width is measured, that width is compared to a chart of the diameter(nominal fill diameter) of various sizes(volume) of breast implants. (See Chart Below). A breast implant that has the same or less diameter as the base width of the breast will fit your breast properly.
Doing your homework on your own is very important before choosing to have breast augmentation. However, nothing is as important as choosing the right plastic surgeon. Your surgeon’s experience and knowledge will help you decide the breast implant size in cc and shape that will be best for you. Several recommendations that may help you are:
- Choose a plastic surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
- Choose a plastic surgeon who is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). ASPS members must be board certified and adhere to strict ethical codes.
- Choose a plastic surgeon who is a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). Members of the ASAPS have to have five years of experience after board certification in plastic surgery and have demonstrated experience and skill in aesthetic or cosmetic surgery.
- Choose an experienced plastic surgeon who has an excellent reputation in your community.
For more information on breast implants and how to choose the right one for you contact us or call us at (617)455-2859.
Brooke R. Seckel, M.D., FACS