Determining Breast Size / Breast Implant Size

Your plastic surgeon may let you try on implants during your consult. The breast implants are usually tried on underneath a sports bra, or in a regular-type bra. If your surgeon does not do this (and not all surgeons do), you can try on different "sizes" at home using a the "rice test". If you don't want to use rice, you can use oatmeal, potato flakes, grits, etc.

How to Perform the Rice Test

Use knee-high hose (or cut-off pantyhose), and, using rice, fill them with the desired amount of cc's. Ziplock baggies are not recommended, due to the "pointed" corners of the bag. Once you have them filled, try them on under a sports bra.

The conversions below, which are approximate, will help you when doing the "rice test".

  • 1 cup = 236cc
  • 1/2 cup = 118cc
  • 3/4 cup = 177cc
  • 1/4 cup = 59cc
  • 1/3 cup = 78cc
  • 2/3 cup = 156cc
  • 1/8 cup = 30cc
The amounts above can be used in different combinations to achieve the cc amount you desire.

It's important to remember that you should not solely rely on cc amounts. For instance, if you like the way 400cc looks on one person, that does not mean that 400cc will give you the same look. This is due to several things, including, but not limited to: amount of breast tissue, shape of the chest wall, deformities of the chest wall (such as pectus excavatum and pectus carinatum), and weight, to name a few. Basically, your existing breast tissue, and anatomy, dictate how many cc's you will need. Therefore, you should do the rice test to give you an idea of how many cc's you may need to get the size you want. Again, this is just a rough estimate, as the "rice test" is not an exact science.

Another important thing to remember is that many surgeons do not talk in "cup" sizes. For that reason, it is recommended that you carry photographs to your consult. Carry photos of what you consider too small, too large, and "just right". This helps the surgeon immensely by taking away a lot of the guesswork regarding size. It's much easier for the surgeon to look at a photo and get an idea of what you want, versus trying to visualize what you are talking about. Photographs leave less room for error regarding size. Keep in mind that you will NOT look like the photos you bring into your consult, no matter how much you may resemble the subjects in the "before" photos.

In addition to the rice test, you can talk to a doctor in your area and see if they offer 3-D breast augmentation imaging models. This will give you an idea of what you will look like with different cc amounts. Keep in mind that your anatomy plays a role as to how the actual breast implants will look.

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