What Is a CC and What Do the Increment Increases Actually Look Like?

A cc, or cubic centimeter, is unit of volume equal to one thousandth of a liter or one milliliter. But what does this mean to you? More specifically, how will this translate into your final breast augmentation result, and what do the increment increases actually look like?

Breast Implants: A Look at the CC

Breast implants on the market today use a universal system of volume measurement: the cc or cubic centimeter. The cc is a definite, unchanging measurement. Unlike other measurements used to describe an implant, the volume measurement is constant. A 350cc implant will always be 350cc's, regardless of profile or shape of implant. The other measurements used to describe size dimensions of the implant are in centimeters.

How Do CC's Translate to Bra Size?

Breast implants come in a large range of volume sizes, and each has its own specific measurements. Often, the patient will be focused on a set bra size over a volume of implant. Bra sizing does not have an industry standard—a 34C in one brand does not always hold the same amount of breast as a 34C in another brand. Bras also come in many different shapes to accommodate the variety of shapes a woman’s breasts comes in.

Telling your surgeon that you’d like a C cup can be a source of miscommunication because a C cup is not a standardized measure—take this question we received, for example. Imaging software like Axis 3D or Vectra 3D, as well as photos of ideal breasts, help bridge this communication gap between patient and surgeon.

What to Do When You Are Faced with a Small CC Difference

The range of breast implant sizes available often result in stress for each woman. After the consultation process with a board-certified surgeon, you may walk away with a size range to choose from that will help you achieve your desired result. Depending on the size range you are considering, your implant choices may come in sizes that are very close together. This can be as small a difference as 15-25cc, depending on the brand!

A visual representation may help you decide between implant choices. Take a trip to your kitchen and find your teaspoon measuring spoon. Measure out 5 teaspoons of water and put it in a small glass. That 5 teaspoons is just a tiny bit under 25cc's. Better yet, think of your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. It has you place dough on a cookie sheet in the amount of one heaping tablespoon. That is approximately 25cc's. That small amount of volume is what is causing so many women so much stress! It's hard to believe, but true.

CC's and Breast Implant Size

Here are some other visual representations you may see in your daily life—and here's how they translate to breast implant size:

An 8-ounce drink is approximately the same volume as a 235cc implant.

A 12-ounce tall coffee from Starbucks is approximately the same volume as a 350cc implant.

A 16-ounce can of energy drink is approximately the same volume as a 475cc implant.

A 20-ounce bottle of soda is approximately the same volume as a 600cc implant.

A 25-ounce bottle of wine (standard size) is approximately the same volume as a 750cc implant.

Deciding Which CC Amount to Go With

How do you decide when there are so many choices? This is when proportion is important. 25-50cc's is not proportionally large on a 475cc implant, but it is on a 235cc implant. Profile may also be important in your choice. Using water and simple containers, you can create your own visual representation for each of these to help you understand how your implant choice may be affected. Let's look at proportion and profile.


First take two containers of the same size. Measure out 8 ounces of water in one (about the size of a 235cc implant) and 16 ounces of water in the other (about the size of a 475cc implant). Add 10 teaspoons (50cc) to both containers. The container holding the 235cc will have a much larger visual increase than the 475cc container. Proportionally, the 235cc was increased by 21 percent and the 475cc was increased by 10.5 percent. This visual shows you how a small cc size difference may be more significant depending on your implant size range.


Take two glasses, one tall and thin to represent a high profile implant, and one shorter and wider to represent a moderate implant. Measure out 8 ounces of water in each. Next, add your 5 teaspoons (25cc) of water to each cup. Visually, the tall, thin “HP” glass looks like it has had more change than the shorter, wider “moderate” glass. This visual helps you see how your implant profile choice may make your cc size options more significant.

Created September 2016

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