Breast implant sizes are the subject of a lot of confusion for cosmetic surgery patients. That’s partly because we are all so used to thinking of breasts in cup sizes. However, the actual volume of natural breast tissue that “looks like” a certain cup size on one person may be significantly more or less than on another person. A lot of this depends on your build. A broad chest will tend to make breasts look smaller while a very slight build can make them look bigger. If you have a pear shaped body, your breasts might seem small in comparison to your hips. The amount of drooping also has a significant impact on how flat your chest looks. This means you need to talk with your surgeon about a lot more than just cup size for your results to meet your expectations. This is easier if you know what you’re talking about!

Learn Your CCs

Breast implant volumes are measured in cubic centimeters (ccs) rather than cup sizes. You don’t have to become an expert in breast augmentation terminology to figure out how breast implant sizes work. But you should be familiar with what’s considered the average range of sizes. This will give you a better sense of whether you are on the same page with your surgeon.

For example, if your surgeon says she usually sees patients who want a 450cc implant, you’ll know that this is at larger end of the normal scale. If you want very large breasts, a surgeon with a lot of experience with bigger implants might be perfect for you. If you want a more moderate enhancement you would be better off finding someone who usually deals with implants in the 250 to 300cc range.

What about weight? A 250cc implant weighs about half a pound while a 500cc implant weighs twice as much. This can make a significant difference in how well your body’s muscle, skin and connective tissue can support the implant. Your surgeon will advise you on the best placement for the size of implant you choose to help ensure that it stays in place instead of “bottoming out.”

Width, Height, Diameter, Profile, Projection…

These are some of the terms that are used in discussing shape that affect apparent breast implant size. The actual dimensions of your implant can have an even greater impact on its appearance than the volume in ccs. This is very important to understand when thinking about how big your implants will look.

Profile and Projection: These terms are often used interchangeably. They both refer to how far the implants “stick out” from the chest. In other words, how conical the implants appear when viewed from the side. An implant with too much projection may have a “torpedo” look while one that is too flat might not provide enough boost to round out the breast.

Height: This term refers to how “tall” the implant is when you look at it straight on. In other words, whether it looks like an elongated oval or more like a circle. A teardrop shaped saline implant may have a low height or full height. This term is also used in discussing the new generation of “gummy bear” implants that are form-stable cohesive silicone gel since these are anatomically shaped.

Width/Diameter: Round implants are, of course, round. So, their width measurement is simply called the diameter in most cases. Teardrop implants are not round, so you would need to know the width of the implant at its widest point when measured across along with the height measurement.

Be Prepared to Learn More

Hopefully, you’ve learned something about breast implant sizes that you didn’t know before. Just don’t get caught up in memorizing the measurements of the various implant models on the market prior to having an in-person consultation. Your plastic surgeon will help pick out just the right size based on the final look you say you want to achieve. There are a lot of factors that can make a particular model of implant look great on someone else’s body type but not so good on yours. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about how each characteristic of a recommended implant is designed to provide your ideal look.