Lost in Translation: 4 Reasons to Stop Planning for Specific Cup Sizes after Breast Augmentation

Since women associate their breast size with their bra size, it’s only natural to think of a particular cup size as an end goal when talking about breast implants. However, the idea that you can choose your implants based on your bra size remains one of the biggest myths about breast augmentation. Here are four reasons why a specific cup size shouldn’t be your ultimate goal.

1. Lack of Standardization

Bra shopping is often an exercise in frustration for women, and for one very good reason: there’s a total lack of standardization among manufacturers. What this means is that a 34B in one brand might fit about the same as a 36A in another or a 32C in a third. The cut and style of a bra can impact the fit and measurement as well.

Women typically have a clear picture in mind when they say they want to be a 36D after surgery. However, with so much variance among different bras, that description is too subjective to be accurate. Your surgeon’s idea of 36D could be quite different from yours, leading to miscommunication that could leave you disappointed.

2. Bra Size Measures More than Volume

There are two components to a bra size: band measurement and cup size.

  • The band measurement is found by measuring the circumference of your ribcage and then adding two inches. So, a woman who measures 34 inches around her ribs should wear a 36 band.
  • The cup size is designated by a letter, and is determined by the measurement across the fullest part of your breasts. Each cup size adds about one inch to this number, so women who wear a 36B bra would measure 38 inches around the mid-breast.

Implants aren’t compared against ribcage diameter, and cubic centimeters (the standard of measure for implants) are a measure of volume, not length. Even a plastic surgeon specializing in breast augmentation can’t say definitively that a 350 cc implant will give you exactly enough inches to put you at a specific cup size.

3. Sizes Look Different on Different Women

A D cup on a petite woman will look very different from a D cup on a more athletic woman or a woman of average height with a broader chest. We typically judge breast size as relative to the body, which is why a smaller woman may be perfectly happy with her B cups while a taller woman may feel flat-chested with the same amount of breast tissue.

Working with tools like 3D imaging to choose breast implants can give a much more accurate representation than bra size ever could of how implants of different volumes will look on your uniquely proportioned body. The goal should never be to look like someone else, but rather to find the look that works best for you.

4. Breast Implants Require More Precision

Finally, volume (that is, the size of your implants) is only one measurement that needs to be taken into account during breast augmentation. Your surgeon also needs to measure breast base diameter, determine which projection will work best for you, and assess a number of other very precise factors that bra size really can’t help with.

With the help of photos and 3D imaging, your surgeon can more accurately assess the right volume, shape and size of the breast implant that will give you the most beautiful results.

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