Find the Right Breast Implant Size With the Rice Test

Use the rice in your home to choose the right size

Deciding to undergo a breast augmentation is a big decision that requires you to make a lot of choices. Choosing the best implant size for your body is particularly important, especially because a large percentage of all breast revision surgeries are performed just to change the implant size.

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In a study published in 2019, researchers found that:

  • 41% of revision surgeries were performed on women who regretted their chosen implant size
  • 38% wanted bigger implants
  • Just 3% wanted smaller implants
  • In 26% of revisions, the primary reason was complications but the women also opted for bigger implants

Additional painful and invasive surgeries can be avoided simply by choosing the best-fitting implant size for your body frame the first time around. The same implant size may end up as a C cup on one woman's frame and a B cup on someone else's.

The Rice Test

A simple experiment called the rice test can help you figure out which size breast implant, by cubic centimeters (cc), is the best fit for you. The goal is to help you adjust to the look and feel of larger breasts before you make a permanent decision.

You'll need:

  • Uncooked rice
  • 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")

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 nylon. Use the foot portion or a piece of the leg portion tied off on one end.

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 30 cc. For example, 5 ounces of rice is roughly the same size and weight as a 150 cc implant.

If you're using a measuring cup, use the following as a guideline:

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

Fill the shell: 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.

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

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 and Tricks

The rice test is entirely unscientific. It only provides a rough guideline, and it is not endorsed by any medical group. Still, it's helped some women make the right decision for them.

Ask your plastic surgeon if they recommend the rice test or other methods that can help with your decision. Breast implant sizers are also sold specifically for this purpose.

If your implants will be placed underneath the muscle, you may need to increase the size of your implants by about 15% over what you like in the rice test to account for the pectoral muscle's compression of the implants.

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

1 Source
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  1. Montemurro P, Fischer S, Hager S, Hedén P. Secondary breast augmentation: Is there a trend for bigger implants? Aesthetic Plast Surg. 2019;43(1):59–69. doi:10.1007/s00266-018-1244-5

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