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How to Determine the Right Breast Implant Size for Your Figure

Changing any aspect of your appearance through plastic surgery is a big decision, and it’s one that requires careful consideration on your part. Breast augmentation, in particular, is a procedure with many different variables and choices that can all impact your overall satisfaction with your results. This is why we create customized surgical plans and walk you through each of the important decisions associated with your procedure.

Decisions, Decisions

In addition to choosing the position, shape, and material of your breast implants, you will need to select the size. Doing so can be a bit tricky because you’re probably used to thinking about your breasts in terms of cup size. However, cosmetic surgeons talk about breast implant volume in cubic centimeters or ccs.

The conversation can quickly get confusing if your doctor uses a number like “300 ccs” and you have no way to picture what that looks like. Even seeing different sizes of implants in person is often not enough to help you decide, because it can be hard to visualize the impact they will have when they are inside your body. What’s a woman to do?

Fortunately, there’s a simple test you can perform in the comfort of your home, using a staple you probably already have in your pantry: uncooked rice. The benefit of the rice test is that it can help you play around with different sizes of “implants” and see how they look on your body type before you commit to a permanent decision.

How to Do the Rice Test

Many women like to prepare for their breast enhancement consultation by coming in with a few ideas already in mind as a starting point. If this sounds like your modus operandi, our “recipe” below for DIY implant sizers can be an inexpensive way to start the implant size decision-making process, get excited about what’s possible, and prepare for your actual sizing session with your cosmetic surgeon.

You will need:

  • Uncooked rice
  • Two plastic sandwich bags or an old pair of nylon knee-highs
  • A measuring cup or digital food scale
  • A sports bra or traditional bra in your target size
  1. Make the “shell.” Nylon knee-highs feel more comfortable, but if you don’t have any, plastic baggies will do. 
  2. Measure or weigh the rice. A digital scale will provide you with the most accurate measurement, although you can use a measuring cup instead. Use the following guidelines:

1/8 cup rice = 30 cc

1/4 cup rice = 60 cc

1/3 cup rice = 78 cc

1/2 cup rice = 120 cc

1 cup rice = 240 cc

1¼ cup rice = 360 cc

  1. Fill the implants. Fill the plastic bag or knee-high with the amount of rice you will be trying. Seal the bag or knot the open end of the stocking.
  2. Wear them for a few hours. Put your DIY implants into a bra and wear them as you do regular daily activities. Note how they move and feel.
  3. Experiment with different sizes. Try a few different implant sizes and see which one looks most natural to you. If you try one and don’t like it, no harm is done; pour out the rice and start over.

How Many CCs Are in a Cup Size?

As a general rule, we don’t recommend getting too hung up on cup size in this process. First, you should keep in mind that bra cup sizing varies widely between bra style and manufacturer. You may find a C cup fits you best in one brand of bra, while a D cup is better in another. Also, the number of ccs it will take to increase by one cup size differs among women, depending on the natural breast shapes and sizes.

Speak to a Surgeon About Sizing

As you’re doing the rice test, please note that the purpose of this test is to give you an approximate baseline for what to expect and a general idea of how a certain size breast will look on your natural body architecture. It is not a medically- or scientifically-accurate test, and you will still need to work hand-in-hand with an experienced surgeon to decide what breast implant size will look most natural on your frame. Consulting with a cosmetic surgeon who is well-versed in the array of FDA-approved breast implants is your best bet. They can listen to your goals and help you narrow down your choices based on your anatomy and preferences.

To schedule your in-person consultation to discuss breast augmentation surgery, contact us today at Art Plastic Surgery. Our three board-certified surgeons have decades of experience in helping women get breast implant results they can be proud of for many years to come.