One of the toughest decisions with regard to breast implants is determining which size is best. Most patients ask board-certified NYC plastic surgeon Dr. Thomas W. Loeb, “What size implants will I need to fill a D cup?” or “Can you give me just enough to fill a C cup with a little extra fullness?”
Before getting hung up on cc’s, keep in mind that the difference between a 300 cc and 360 cc implant is really only two ounces. Breast implants are measured in cubic centimeters (cc’s) that run the gamut from 120 to 850 cc’s, but determining the proper size is not as easy as a bra size / cc conversion chart.
The best plastic surgeons consider individuals variables, such as the amount of existing tissue, height, weight, rib cage width, elasticity of breast tissue, and body type. Not all bra sizes are the same between manufacturers; sometimes volume loss requires more cc’s in one breast than the other, and the sizing must also be proportionate to the person for a comfortable feel.
The American Society of Cosmetic Breast Surgery recommends filling a sandwich baggy with water and placing it in your bra until you achieve the desirable appearance. A cubic centimeter is the same amount as a milliliter. There is almost no detectable difference in 10%, so the plastic surgeon may add or subtract a slight amount to your suggestion. More often than not, patients underestimate the volume needed.
Other helpful approaches include the following:
1. Possible complications
Many women desire large, voluptuous breasts to fill out their clothes better, make their waists and hips look smaller, and provide them with greater self-confidence associated with a certain look. However, surgeons may recommend that you go a little smaller when they feel implants that are too large may:
2. Satisfaction with results
Surgeons may recommend that you go a little bigger when they feel implants that are too small may:
3. The ease or difficulty of making adjustments later
Keep in mind that it’s much easier to go bigger without producing visible scars. Also, the side effects of going “too small” are much less damaging than the skin stretching, sagging associated with the pull of gravity, and the neck or back discomfort of going “too large.”
4. Height and weight
As Dr. David B. Reath, a plastic surgeon from Knoxville TN, notes, “It is rare to need implants larger than 450 to 500 cc in most women.” However, 500 cc may appear modest in women who are over 6 feet tall.
5. Lifestyle (such as activities and profession)
It is also important to consider lifestyle. “While there are some great sports bras that can help, it is very hard to find marathoners who wear a double D bra,” Dr. Reath explains. You may also opt to go bigger or smaller based on where you work.
Another important consideration is what cc’s can or can’t do for you. Implants control the size and volume of the breasts, but not the shape, degree of sagging, or size and shape of the nipples. Asymmetry can often be corrected by using different cc’s in each breast. However, other surgical techniques and additional procedures (like breast lift) may be necessary to correct structural anomalies and provide the look you desire.
Dr. Thomas W. Loeb is a highly experienced plastic surgeon specializing in breast surgery. With over 30 years of successful results, he understands the artistry involved in breast enhancement. Dr. Loeb is happy to work with you during a one-on-one consultation to decide which size and procedures are best for your individual anatomy. To learn more about breast implants in NYC, please call 212.327.3700.