Find the Right Breast Implant Size for You With the Rice Test

Choose the right size the first time

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Deciding to undergo a breast augmentation is a big decision that requires you to make a lot of choices. One of those choices - finding the best implant size for your body - is particularly important. Especially when you consider that more than half of all breast revision surgeries are performed just to change the implant size.

Additional painful, invasive surgeries can be completely avoided simply by choosing the most properly-fitting implant size for your body frame the first time around.

Breast implant volume is measured is "ccs," short for "cubic centimeters." The same implant size may end up as a C cup on one woman's frame and a B cup on someone else's. Frankly, the whole thing is a bit confusing, but the rice test can help you figure out which size is the best fit for you.

The rice test is often very helpful to women when choosing breast implant size. It can help you adjust to the look and feel of having larger breasts before you make a permanent decision.

What You'll Need

  • uncooked rice, instant mashed potato flakes or oatmeal
  • a food scale or measuring cup
  • an old pair of nylon stockings or plastic baggies
  • a fitted sports bra (or a traditional bra in your "goal size")

How to Do the Rice Test

  1. Make the "shell." Plastic baggies make for a quick and easy solution, but nylon stockings have a more natural, comfortable feel. Just cut a 12-inch length of nylons. Use the foot portion or a piece of the leg portion tied off on end.

  1. Measure or weigh the rice. There are several versions of the rice test that use different measurements, and achieving an accurate measurement is challenging because of the way implants are sized.

    If you're using a food scale, all you need to know is that 1 ounce of rice is equivalent to 30cc. For example, 5 ounces of rice is roughly the same size and weight as a 150cc implant.

    If you're 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

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

  2. Try them out. Place the sealed bags full of rice into a nicely fitting sports bra and wear them as you go about your typical daily routine. Pay close attention to how they look and feel.

  3. Change it up. The great thing about the rice test is that it lets you try everything out before making a final decision. If you don't like the first size you try, just dump out the rice and remeasure.

Sizing Tips & Tricks

The rice test is an entirely unscientific test. It only provides a rough guideline, and it is not endorsed by any medical group. Still, it's known to help women make the right decision for them. Ask your doctor if he or she recommends the rice test or other methods that can help with your decision. There are also breast implant sizers sold specifically for this purpose.

If your implants will be placed underneath the muscle, you may need to adjust the size of your implants upward by about 15 percent from the amount you liked while doing the rice test in order to account for the compression of the pectoral muscle on the implants.

However, the wearing a sports bra for the duration of the rice test may actually help stimulate this compression effect, thereby giving you more accurate results.


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

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