Finding the Perfect Fit with Breast Implant Sizes

Breast implant sizes are based on body build and cubic centimeters

Women commonly refer to the size of their breasts in terms of bra and cup sizes. Anyone who has purchased a bra knows that it takes many trials to find a good fit. Like most women’s apparel, clothing is larger or smaller depending on the brand and style. For breast augmentations, cosmetic surgeons refer to breast implant sizes in terms of cubic centimeters (cc) rather than bra cup sizes. This approach allows for minute variations, so they can create the best breast for various physiques.

Alan Greenberg MD, a board certified obgyn who is also board certified in cosmetic surgery of the body, breasts and extremities, has examined women’s bodies throughout his medical career. As a Frisco cosmetic surgeon, he consults with potential patients and considers the following when recommending breast implant sizes.

  • Stature – Any physical changes have a greater visual impact on women who are short and petite, so a little goes a long way.
  • Frame – An athletic build with broad shoulders and a strong back can support the weight of larger implants. Someone who is the same height, but very thin may experience back pain or overstretched skin with the same size.
  • Physical activity – Runners and other athletes should ensure that breast implants are not so large that they impede regular activities or that breast tissue is strained by repetitive motion.
  • Age – Natural breast tissue expands and contracts with pregnancy, and it declines as women get older.

Exploring options for breast implant sizes

Clients often bring sample photos of the type of breasts they want. During the consultation, our Frisco cosmetic surgeon has sample sizers for clients to try on to determine the breast implant sizes and styles that look the best.

Many first-time patients will underestimate the volume they want and opt for a smaller size. Once the implants are inside the body and compressed by muscle and skin, women often wish they had increased their breast implant size slightly. In fact, one of the biggest reasons for breast reconstruction surgery is to increase volume.

Take the rice test to choose breast implant sizes

There is an informal way to determine the implant size that works best on women’s bodies. Popularly known as the rice test, this simple assessment can be performed at home. The exercise is helpful because rice conforms to the contours of existing breast tissue and creates a more natural appearance. Gather the following:

  • An unpadded sports bra with individual cups (not a tube style)
  • Uncooked rice
  • A measuring cup
  • Pantyhose or knee-highs. A zippered plastic bag will suffice, but it isn’t as flexible.
  • A camera tripod ‒ or ask a friend to take pictures

Cut a 12-inch length of hose and knot one end. Fill the stocking with premeasured rice. The most popular breast implant sizes are 300 to 400 cc. Tie off the end and insert the pouch between the bra and the breast. Put on a snug-fitting shirt, a swimsuit and work apparel for comparison. Note the cc equivalents in each picture. Perform routine activities for a day or two to see if the additional volume and weight feel comfortable. Try several sizes.

Rice Volume
1/8 cup 30 cc
1/4 cup 59 cc
1/3 cup 78 cc
1/2 cup 118 cc
2/3 cup 156 cc
3/4 cup 177 cc
1 cup 236 cc

Breast size matters

Gauging the best breast implant sizes takes a little time and a lot of experience. Contact our Frisco cosmetic surgeon at North Texas Cosmetic Surgery to discover what more volume can do for your appearance.



3 Common Questions Before Breast Augmentation

bikiniBreast augmentation is the most popular cosmetic procedure in the United States. Even though many of us have family and friends who have chosen to have breast implants, it’s still common to have questions about breast augmentation.

Read More>>