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Breast Implant Sizes: How to Choose the Right Implant


    If you’re considering getting breast implants, the question of ‘size’ is likely to be top of mind. The size of your implants will have a big impact on the final result of your breast augmentation procedure, so it’s important to know how to select the right implants that you’ll be happy with for many years to come.

    It’s hard to know which size implant will be right for you and most women will change their mind several times before settling on a desired size, but to make that process a little easier, this guide gives you all the information you need to find the best fit for you.

    What Breast Implant Sizes Can You Choose From?

    When choosing breast implants, it’s only natural to assume you can request your ideal cup size and there will be an implant to suit, however, it isn’t that straight forward.

    As cup size measurements are non-standardized, they can be inconsistent between brands, so what might be a B-cup in one brand, could be a C-cup in another. For this reason, breast implants are measured in cubic centiliters (cc’s) rather than cup sizes.

    While breast implant sizes and types will vary according to the brand of implant, sizes generally range from as little as 80cc, right up to 1200cc. To give you an idea of how cc’s roughly translate into cup sizes, to go up one full cup size, you would usually need an implant size around 250cc.

    In addition to the cc volume of the implant, the size of your breast implants will also be affected by the diameter of the implant, which can range from around 7.5cm, up to 17cm.

    What is the Most Popular Breast Enlargement Size?

    Even though breast implants can range in size from 80cc up to 1200cc, in reality, very few patients request these sizes. 80cc implants are generally too small to make a noticeable difference to bust size, while 1200cc implants are usually far too big for most women and would carry a high risk of complications.

    At Burbank Plastic Surgery, we understand that each patient has different expectations about their preferred breast size. While some patients want to create a dramatically larger, perkier bust, others want to create a more modest, natural-looking bust.

    In our experience, most women tend to request breast implant sizes between 200cc and 500cc, with 400cc breast implants possibly the most popular.

    As a general rule, the larger the implant, the greater the risk of complications such as rippling, sagging, implant displacement and other conditions which could require corrective surgery. While we always recommend the most suitable implants based on the individual patient's condition and expectations, we generally don’t recommend a patient go much higher than 550cc.

    It’s About More Than Just the Breast Implant Size

    It’s a common misconception that size alone is the most important consideration when choosing breast implants. However, while size does matter, there are several other factors that will also influence how your breast implants will look.

    When selecting breast implants, you also need to consider the implant diameter and profile.

    Implant Diameter

    This is the width of the implant. Ideally, the diameter of the implant should match the width of the natural breast, or be slightly smaller/narrower.

    If the diameter of the implant is wider than the breast itself, the implant outline may be visible. Over time, an implant which is too wide could also cause the breast tissue to stretch and thin, leading to rippling.

    Implant Profile

    This is how much the implant projects out from the chest. Low-profile implants have the smallest/flattest projection, while high- or full-profile implants offer the largest projection.

    High profile implants can be a good option for women with narrow breasts as they can add volume to the central and lower areas of the breast, creating a rounder, fuller shape. In contrast, low profile implants will add volume evenly to the entire breast, making them a good option for women with wide breasts that want to enhance their cleavage.

    How implant diameter and profile affect the size

    While size (volume) is a great way to compare different implants, it’s important not to focus on size alone, as the implant diameter and profile will significantly affect the shape and appearance of your bust.

    For example, a 200cc breast implant with a 10.5cm diameter will produce a very different result to a 200cc breast implant with a 14cm diameter. Similarly, the profile (or projection) of the implant may be more important to producing the desired effect than the volume of the implant itself.

    When you meet with your doctor, rather than trying to explain what you want in terms of implant size, it can be beneficial to bring along some picture examples of your ideal bust, which your doctor can use to recommend the most suitable implant that will help you achieve your goals.

    How Does the Implant Shape Make a Difference?

    When choosing breast implants, you’ll also have the option between two implant shapes—round and teardrop.

    Round implants are a good choice if you want to add volume evenly to the whole breast to create more dramatic cleavage. Teardrop implants on the other hand, provide a more natural slope to the breast while adding extra volume to the lower half of the breast.

    Both types of implants can achieve excellent, natural-looking results depending on the size and profile of the implant and implant placement (either in front or behind the pectoral muscle).

    While everyone’s preferences are different, round implants tend to be the most popular, largely because they’ve been available for longer than teardrop implants, but they also carry a lower risk of shifting in the breast pocket and distorting the shape of the breast.

    Choosing the Best Breast Implant Size for Your Body

    Every patient we see has very different expectations about what they want to achieve from breast augmentation, and there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to choosing breast implants.

    To help you decide which breast implant size will be best for you, it can help to consider factors such as:

    ●     Your frame and physique - It’s important to maintain good proportion and balance with the rest of your body. If you are tall with a wide chest circumference, it’s likely that you’ll need to opt for a larger implant with a higher profile to achieve a noticeable size increase. If you have a smaller frame, smaller implants with a low or moderate profile may be more suitable.

    ●     Your exercise preferences - Large implants may be uncomfortable or unsuitable if you exercise regularly or at high intensity, and could potentially cause back and shoulder pain.

    ●     Your desired size and shape - Whether you want a larger, perkier bust, or you simply want to restore lost volume after breastfeeding or weight loss, different implant types will achieve different outcomes. In some cases, the implant shape and profile may be more important than volume.

    ●     The size and shape of your current breasts - Making too dramatic a change to the size or shape of your breasts could lead to implant regret.

    ●     How much breast tissue you have - Women with a very small natural bust may lack the necessary breast tissue to support large implants. If an implant is too large for the amount of breast tissue, over time, the thin breast tissue can stretch, making the implant visible and creating breast ripples.

    While it can be difficult to visualize what the final result will be with a particular size implant, you can generally get a good idea of the likely size, shape and projection by trying a few different implant options inside your bra during your consultation with your doctor.

    At Burbank Plastic Surgery, we adopt a personal approach to plastic surgery and breast augmentation.

    We take the time to find out what you want to achieve from breast augmentation, before conducting a personalized assessment to recommend the most suitable breast implant option to produce the result you want.

    A fully accredited surgical and aesthetics facility located in the heart of Los Angeles, our board-certified surgeon Dr. George Orloff has performed thousands of breast augmentation and other cosmetic procedures in his more than 26 years’ experience, and is always happy to discuss the full range of breast implant options available to you.

    Find out more about breast augmentation at Burbank Plastic Surgery, or contact us to arrange a personal breast augmentation consultation.