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"Brassiere Cup Size Agreement between Patients and Plastic Surgeons: Do Surgeons and Patients Speak the Same Size Language?" Featured in Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery-Global Open



Patients undergoing plastic surgery of the breasts often communicate their size expectations as a brassiere cup size. However, multiple factors may cause a miscommunication between the surgeon and patient when brassiere cup size is used as a measure of results. The aim of this study was to determine the degree of agreement between disclosed and estimated brassiere cup size and also interrater agreement.


Three-dimensional (3D) scans of 32 subjects were evaluated by 10 plastic surgeons estimating cup size using the American brassiere system. The surgeons were blinded to all parameters, including the 3D surface software-derived volume measures of the Vectra scan. The 3D scans of the anterior torsos were viewed. The plastic surgeons’ estimations were compared with the cup sizes stated by the subjects (disclosed cup size), using simple and weighted Kappa statistics.


Agreement between the estimated and disclosed brassiere sizes was only slight (0.1479 ± 0.0605) using a simple Kappa analysis. Even when a Fleiss-Cohen–weighted comparison was used, only moderate agreement (0.6231 ± 0.0589) was found. The interrater agreement intraclass correlation coefficient was 0.705. Rater accuracy varied. The percentage of time spent in cosmetic practice and gender were not significantly correlated with accuracy.


Agreement between cup size disclosed by subjects and estimates by plastic surgeons was low. A miscommunication between the surgeon and patient may occur when using brassiere sizes to communicate wishes and estimates in procedures that involve changes in breast volume.

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