How to Choose a Breast Implant Size for Your Breast Augmentation Mammoplasty

How to Choose a Breast Implant Size for Your Breast Augmentation Mammoplasty

This article aims to help you determine the most suitable implant size for your breasts. The final decision can only be made after a consultation with a specialist plastic surgeon like Sydney Plastic Surgeon Dr Jeremy Hunt.

Five Key Factors to Consider When Choosing a Breast Implant Size

Your personal preference and aesthetic goals are not the only things that come into play while choosing the implant size. Following factors should be considered when choosing the implant size for surgery:

1. Your Anatomy

First and foremost, your body & chest anatomy will play a huge role in selecting the right-sized implants. Dr Hunt might recommend a high projection implant if you are short and petite. If you are tall and wide, he may recommend wider implants. The size will be determined based on the rest of your body proportions like your torso to hip ratio – long or short waisted. Large implants will look very different on someone who is tall with broad shoulders compared to someone who is short, slim and petite.

2. Your Age

Believe it or not, your age plays a role in determining the type of implants. When you are young, your skin is more elastic and adjust quickly to the new breast profile. It prevents problems like the tightness of the chest and other complications. Generally, women who get implants later in life might require additional procedures such as a breast lift mastopexy to achieve desired results.

3. Occupation and Lifestyle

Are you athletic and like to run ? Are you an office worker who spends most of their time sitting on a computer desk? If your lifestyle demands you to be physically active, you should really think about whether you want to get bigger implants. Running with large breasts is not so much fun. It will be less of a problem for someone who doesn’t have to do a lot of physical activity.

4. Your Health

Your overall health also plays an important role in the choice of implant and whether you can undergo surgery in the first place. Suppose you deal with breast infections, silicone sensitivity, any autoimmune disease, psychological instability, or any other medical condition that can negatively impact the surgery. Hence, it is crucial to book a consultation with Dr Hunt to discuss all the aspects of the surgery.

5. Aesthetic Goals

Last but not least, your aesthetic goals and vision matter. Some individuals seek breast implants to achieve a proportionate body, some want an over-the-top perky & enhanced look while others want an hourglass shape. Based on your desired aesthetics, you can choose the look for yourself. Discuss your ideal look with Dr Hunt, and he will tell you what can be realistically achieved with the surgery.

The outcomes shown are only relevant for this patient and do not necessarily reflect the results other patients may experience, as results may vary due to many factors including the individual’s genetics, diet and exercise.

The Problem with a Specific Bra Cup Size

When you first think about getting a breast augmentation mammoplasty, the first thing that comes to mind is a particular cup size. However, it is not the right way to determine your implant size. Here is how:

  • Bra sizes are inconsistent with each brand
  • Using a cup size to measure your implant size is not reliable
  • Bra cup sizes vary significantly from brand to brand. A C-cup in one brand would be a B or D in another brand
  • Moreover, a D cup would look very different on someone who is short compared to someone who is tall

Breast Implants Are NOT Measured by Cup Size

Surprise! Surprise! Breast implants are not measured by cup size.

Rather they are measured in cubic centimetres referred to as ccs. “But isn’t using cup size as a measure simpler?” you might ask. First of all, there is no standard bra size measurement followed by all the manufacturers. Different bra brands have different sizes. A D-cup in one size will be a C-cup in another and wise versa. Hence, by using a standard system, all of us have a clear standard that is used worldwide.

There are many implant sizes available in different profiles and projections from a range of implant manufacturers. You can go as small as 100 ccs or as large as 800 ccs.

Dr Hunt will recommend you an implant size based on the points mentioned in this article.

Most Common Breast Implant Sizes

Silicone implants are available in sizes 100ml to 800ml. Saline implants can be overfilled up to about 1000ml but are rarely used in Australia. It is important to choose an implant with a base width diameter that isn’t wider than your breasts. The most commonly used implant size range is between 300 to 400ml.

With that being said, 80% of the implant patients say that they wish they had gone slightly bigger about a year after surgery. A recent patient survey suggests that while replacing implants, most patients should go larger by 30-50ml.

If you are considering implants above 450ml, caution is needed. Bigger implants can generally mean bigger problems.

Problems with choosing an Overly Large Implant Size

Some individuals are insistent on getting a larger implant size despite their surgeon advising otherwise. Some of the complications of large implants can include:

  • Your implants will look unnatural and disproportionate as compared to the rest of your body
  • Your lifestyle might be impacted negatively; walking, gym activities, stretching can become very less comfortable
  • You will require very specific bras to support your new boobs. Moreover, you might not find clothes that fit you. You might find a top that will fit on your boobs but will be loose elsewhere
  • You may look heavier and bigger than you are. The numbers on the scale will also increase
  • Heavy prosthetics can damage your breast tissue over time. You might need an implant replacement earlier
  • Your breasts will be more prone to sagging and drooping. Most patients who get overly large implants may need a breast lift mastopexy in time to keep their boobs perky
  • Larger size implants can sometimes stretch your skin beyond measure, which can lead to wrinkling and sagging

Choosing the Right Breast Implant Size for You

Every individual has different problems, body anatomy, and aesthetic goals. There is the no-one-size-fits-all approach. The following strategies will help you select the right size:

1. Try on Different Breast Implant Sizers

Your surgeon might ask you to wear one or two breast sizes for multiple days in a row. It will also allow you to see your new breasts with different outfits and engage in different daily activities. This is a practical approach to seeing how your new breasts fit your lifestyle. You don’t have to do it for months. Doing it for a week would be enough.

2. 3D Imaging Technology can Help

You will get a glimpse of future potential results with 3D imaging techniques. These virtual imaging technologies like crisolix or vectra can allow you to see how your breasts will look on your own body.

Other Factors that Influence Breast Implant Surgery Results

The size of the implant is not the only thing you need to consider when it comes to how the results will look like. There are plenty of other factors such as shape, texture, incisions, and placement that will determine the outcome.

1. The Shape of the Implant

Women’s breasts come in all shapes and sizes. It makes sense to have implants of various shapes as well. During the consultation, the surgeon will show you different shapes. The most commonly used shapes are round and teardrop implants. The shape will impact a different look.

Round Breast Implants

Round implants are the most widely used implants worldwide. A common misconception is that round implants lead to an unnatural and fake look. When placed correctly, the results are fairly natural-looking. Some of the reasons that patients choose round implants include fuller cleavage, natural breast shape, avoidance of high textured surfaces, and lower revision rate.

Anatomical Breast Implants

Anatomical, aka teardrop breast implants, are a good idea for those who wish to achieve a natural-looking teardrop shape. They can address a minor breast ptosis, tuberous breast lower pole deficiency and give you the most natural-looking results along with a subtle cleavage.

2. Implant Surface Texture

Breast implants are mainly divided into two types; silicone and saline implants. The outer shell of both these implants is made of silicone. Generally, the implants can be classified into three types based on the texture: smooth implants, textured implants, and polyurethane breast implants. Usually, nano-textured and micro-textured implants that have a low surface roughness are known as the safest implants.

3. Incision

The incision will impact the overall results of the surgery. There are three main types of incisions: inframammary fold, periareolar, and transaxillary.

  • Inframammary Fold (IMF) – The incision is generally well-hidden in the fold under the breasts;
  • Periareolar – The incision will be made around the areola and is typically concealed by the shape/colour of the areola;
  • Transaxillary – The incision will be created in the armpit, and you won’t experience any visible scarring on the breast area.

4. Placement

The breast implant can be placed in different positions: subglandular, submuscular and the Dual Plane.

  • Subglandular Placement – It is also known as over the muscle implant placement. It is generally recommended for those who have enough tissue on the breasts;
  • Submuscular Placement – As the name suggests, the breasts implants are inserted in a pocket created under the chest muscles. This is a good option when if the patient lacks breast tissue;
  • Dual Plane Placement – This is an in-between placement of the implant – the upper part of the implant is placed under the pectoralis muscles while the lower part is under the mammary gland tissue. The dual plane placement is popular nowadays as it delivers natural results.

FAQs about Breast Implant Size

Here is a list of frequently asked questions about breast implant sizes:

How do I know what breast implant size is right for me?

  • The right way to determine the right breast implant size for you is to book a consultation with a plastic surgeon. The surgeon will take into account your lifestyle, anatomy, and aesthetic goals to determine the right size for you. Surgeons typically use 3D imaging to help you understand how you will look post-surgery.

What is the most common breast implant size?

  • The most popular implant size in Australia is in the range 300 to 400 ccs. On most patients, it will look like a small to large C-cup. It doesn’t mean that you have to get this size. Implant size is a very personal choice.

How do I choose the right breast implant size?

  • You will have to book a consultation with a surgeon. The surgeon will take into account your lifestyle, anatomy, and aesthetic goals to determine the right size for you. Moreover, surgeons use 3D imaging and breast implant sizers to determine the look and ensure it works with your lifestyle.

How many ccs is a breast cup size?

  • Generally speaking, one breast cup size is about 175cc, but the results can vary based on the type of implant, texture, placement, and body anatomy.

What is cup size C?

  • Generally, 350 to 400 cc make a C cup size. This is just a general idea. The sizes can vary based on the type of implant, body anatomy, incisions, and texture.

What size is a B cup?

  • Generally, 250 to 350 cc make a B cup size. This is just a general idea. The sizes can vary based on the type of implant, body anatomy, incisions, and texture.

Can I go larger after the first breast implant surgery?

  • Yes, you may go larger once your implants settle in and you are fully healed from the first surgery. You will need to be assessed for your suitability to undergo a second surgery by your surgeon beforehand.

When do I need to replace my implants?

  • Breast implants are not for life. Ideally, you should get them replaced every ten to fifteen years.

Medical References about the Breast Implant Size

Suggested Further Reading

Further reading about Breast Implant Surgery

About Dr Jeremy Hunt – Specialist Plastic Surgeon

dr jeremy hunt

Dr Jeremy Hunt is a specialist plastic surgeon performing breast, body, face and nose surgery in Australia. He is a member of FRACS & ASPS and has over 20 years of experience providing plastic surgery in Sydney.

Dr Hunt’s personal, one-on-one service and attention to detail has ensured that thousands of women and men from the Sydney & Wollongong NSW area and across Australia have received high quality surgical care.

Dr Hunt’s qualifications and education

Dr Jeremy A Hunt MBBS FRACS graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine degree from Sydney University in 1990 and is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and member of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgery. He completed a Fellowship at the prestigious University of Texas in the United States, where he learnt from some of the world’s very best plastic surgeons.

Next Step – Make an Enquiry or Request a consultation with Dr Hunt

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Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health professional.