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Choose the Right Size Breast Implants With the Rice Test

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Updated April 09, 2014

If you are considering breast augmentation, choosing the right size for your implants is an important decision, especially considering that more than half of all breast revision surgeries are performed just to change the implant size.

Breast implant volume is measured in "ccs" (cubic centimeters), and a given implant size may end up being a "C" cup on one woman's frame and a "B" cup on someone else. Frankly, the whole thing can be a bit confusing. So how do you figure out what size is most comfortable for you? Try some new breasts on for size with the rice test.

Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: 15 minutes to make the "implants", plus 2-3 days (or longer) for wearing them in your bra

Here's How:

  1. Make the "shell." You may use zip-style locking plastic bags for a quick and easy solution if you like. However, a more natural and comfortable feel can be achieved by cutting a 12-inch length of nylon stockings.(use the foot portion, or use the leg portion and tie it off at one end.

  2. Measure or weigh the rice. There are several versions of the test that use different measurement, but because of the ways implants are sized, it can be difficult to get an accurate measurement.

    Using a small food scale, all you need to know is that 1 ounce of rice is equivalent to 30cc. So, for example, 5 ounces of rice would be roughly the same size and weight as a 150cc implant (and so on).

    Using a measuring cup, use the following as a guideline:

    1/8 cup rice = 30cc
    1/4 cup rice = 59cc
    1/3 cup rice = 78cc
    1/2 cup rice = 118cc
    2/3 cup rice = 156cc
    3/4 cup rice = 177cc
    1 cup rice = 236cc

  3. Fill your new "implant." Fill the bag or stocking with the amount of rice you have chosen. Close the bag or tie off the other end of the stocking.

  4. Try them out. Place the sealed bags full of rice into a well-fitting sports bra and wear them while you engage in all your usual daily activities. Pay attention to both how they look and how they feel.

  5. Change it up. If you don't like the first size you try, dump out the rice, re-measure, and add the new amount. Repeat step 3.

    Source:

    Interview with Adam Tattelbaum, MD; Rockville, MD; conducted on 12-21-03

Tips:

  1. This is an entirely unscientific test which will provide only a rough guideline, and is not endorsed officially by any medical group. However, it has helped many women with their decisions about breast implant size, and can help you adjust to the look and feel of having larger breasts before making a permanent decision. Ask your doctor if he recommends this or other methods to help with your decision.

  2. If your implants will be placed under the muscle, you may need to adjust the size of your implant upward by about 15% from the amount you liked during your rice test in order to account for the compression of the pectoral muscle on your implants. However, the use of a sports bra during your test may help to simulate this compression effect, thereby giving you a more accurate result.

  3. Alternatives to the rice test include using water as a filler (not as popular because of the potential of leaks and messes) or using pre-made "sizers" which are sold commercially for this purpose.

What You Need

  • uncooked rice, instant mashed potato flakes, or oatmeal
  • a food scale or measuring cup
  • an old pair of nylon stockings or ziploc bags
  • a well-fitting sports bra (or a regular bra in your "goal size")

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