When talking to patients considering breast surgery, I always ask what bra cup size they would like to achieve “ some patients have a very clear view ‘I’d like to be a DD and nothing else will do!’, while others are not so specific ‘I’d like to look natural, be comfortable and in keeping with my frame’.
I always ask the question because cup size is the way that we talk about breast size but I then always say that I cannot guarantee the final cup size.
The bra size is made up of two measurements, there is the chest size, 32, 34, etc., and the cup size, A, B, C, etc. The chest size should not change following breast surgery (there may be a temporary increase due to swelling) and it is the cup size that is likely to be affected. However, the precise change in the cup size is difficult to predict for several reasons:
- bra size is relative. The bra size is measured by measuring the circumference of your chest (this is the chest size), then the circumference around your bust. The difference between the chest circumference and the circumference around your bust gives the cup size. 1 inch difference is an A cup, 2 inches is a B cup, 3 inches a C cup and so on. Because the cup size is the difference between your chest and your bust circumference, it is not an absolute measurement, an A cup will be different for a person with a wide chest compared to someone with a narrow chest. Therefore, I cannot show you a photograph of a pair of breasts and tell you the cup size, because the same sized breasts on you may be a different cup size if your chest circumference is different to the person in the photograph.
- bra size varies between manufacturers. I often have patients tell me that they wear a C cup in one make of bra or a D cup in another make
- people often wear the wrong bra. Most people could probably fit in to one cup size bigger or one cup size smaller than they normally wear if they were to adjust the strap size. It may well be that someone who is a 34D could wear a 36C or a 32DD.
Having said all that, bra size is all we have got to go on, so I always ask what cup size you would like to be. Just don’t be surprised when I say that I can’t guarantee that I will achieve it!