Implant selection can often seem daunting to the patient who is about to undergo breast augmentation. Not only do patients find it difficult to discern among different implant profiles, but also implant volumes.
Breast implant volume is described in cubic centimeters or cc’s. A cubic centimeter corresponds to the volume of a cube measuring 1 cm × 1 cm × 1 cm. One cubic centimeter corresponds to a volume of 1⁄1000 of a liter, or one milliliter. Therefore, 1 cm3 ≡ 1 mL. Often patients find this nomenclature to be confusing. It is easier to relate to this volume with a frame of reference.
A standard can of soda in the United States, Diet Coke, for example is 12 fluid oz. or 355 ml. A common breast implant volume is also on is order of magnitude. Often patients have difficulty decided between two implant sizes that differ by 25 cc. I tell the patients that a standard beverage “shotglass” is 30 cc. Once patients understand the relatively small difference in volume the decisions become much easier.
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