Breast Implant Size: Your Complete Guide

Size. This is why the vast majority of us have breast augmentation, because we want to increase our size and/or have our breasts more proportionate to the rest of our bodies. This can be very distressing, because we tend to obsess over getting the perfect size, which is completely understandable.

Some women worry about going too big, while others worry about not going big enough. Having realistic expectations regarding size is a must. You would not want to attempt to go too large, because doing so could lead to serious complications, which will result in more surgery, more recovery time, and last, but certainly not least, more money.

A good doctor will not push the limits of your body by trying to force a (too large) breast implant into your body.

How to Choose the Right Breast Implant Size

When consulting with a plastic surgeon, it is wise to take photos into the consult. The photos should depict how you want to look after surgery. Keep in mind that everyone's anatomy is different, so you will not look exactly like the photos you show your surgeon.

However, these photos will give the surgeon a very good idea of the size you want to be. You may be thinking that all you need to do is tell your surgeon what cup size you want to be. The thing you have to keep in mind is that your idea of a particular cup size and your surgeon's idea of a particular cup size may vary. Additionally, going into a consult and saying you want "x" amount of cc's is also not wise. If the surgeon agrees to give you the amount you request, you may wind up larger or smaller than you had intended.

There are other things to consider when trying to decide upon what size you want to be after surgery, some of which are listed below.

  • Natural or Fake. "Natural" means having a natural look after surgery. "Natural" means that the breast has a natural slope. It can also mean that the size you are after surgery is a size that you would look natural on your body. "Fake" refers to a breast size that would never pass for anything "natural", and/or "round" shaped breasts. Some women like a look that's sort of in between the natural and fake looks. There's nothing wrong with having a look that's natural, fake, or somewhere in between. Each woman is different.
  • Your lifestyle. If you are very active, involved in sports, yoga, etc., you may want to consider this when choosing a size, as larger implants may "get in the way". This is not a problem for everyone, but it should definitely be taken into consideration when deciding on a size.
  • Risks. The larger the implant, the bigger the risk of complications, such as bottoming out. You can learn more about risks here.

Typically, implants do not appear as large as natural breasts. For instance, if, after your breast augmentation, you wear a D cup bra, you will most likely appear more like a C cup in clothes.

Implants can be easily camouflaged or accentuated by the clothing you wear. Loose-fitting shirts and tops tend to hide larger breast sizes. Basically, anything that isn't form-fitting can disguise your actual size. Knit tops, or anything" stretchy", will accentuate your breasts. The same is true for heavy knits, v-neck tops, and some button-up shirts.

"Trying on size" prior to your consultation with your plastic surgeon is a very good idea. If you're very flat-chested, anything seems big, but you will be amazed at how quickly you adjust to the new, larger size. It also gives you an idea of what you'd like to look like, as well as a rough idea of how many cc's it may take get that result.

You can try the Rice Test, which is a "do it yourself" sizing method. It's not 100% accurate, but it's pretty close.

Determining Bra Size & Cup Size

This is yet another difficulty that we run into after the surgery. Studies show that the vast majority of women wear the wrong bra size. You may think that bra shopping will be easier after breast augmentation, but this is not always the case. Bra sizes run differently according to style and manufacturer. For example, if you buy a 34D bra from Victoria's Secret, this does not mean that you will always wear a 34D in all of their bras. Ditto for other manufacturers.

Implants tend to be wider than a "natural" breast, therefore, many of us will need to wear a D cup, simply because the width of a C cup bra isn't enough.

Measuring Your Breasts

We have our own chart here at JustBreastImplants, which works for most, but not all, people. If it does not work for you, you may want to go to and be measured by a professional, though this does not always work either.

To use the chart below, you will:

  • measure each breast using a soft tape measure
  • start where the breast starts at (near the side/armpit)
  • measure all the way across the fullest part of the breast (the fullest part of the breast is usually the nipple, but not always)

You will also want to measure the circumference of your ribcage. Do this by measuring just below the breast, in the area of the crease. Measure all the way around. This is your ribcage measurement.

  • If your ribcage measurement is an odd #, add 5" to get your band width. Example: 29" ribcage + 5" = 34" band.
  • If your ribcage measurement is an even #, add 4" to get your band width. Example: 28" ribcage + 4" = 32" band.

Bra Size Chart

Updated September 2016

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