We all know there is a lot you can do with hair and makeup. But, did you ever consider that there is a lot you can do with your breasts? If you interview a group of plastic surgeons about breasts, you will be confounded by the number of ways to improve their appearance. Breasts can be augmented, reduced, lifted, made symmetrical, injected, separated, moisturized, pushed together…and that’s just for starters.
If you think your breasts are too small, you’re not alone. In 2012, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), Americans spent more than $1 billion on breast augmentation surgeries. If you’re considering implants, here are pearls of wisdom from board-certified plastic surgeons that have performed multiple implant surgeries:
- Do not ask for overly-large breast implants – especially if they’re high profile (full and round). If your implants are too big for you and overly high profile, you can permanently damage your breast tissue and affect your ribs.
- Do not expect your augmented breasts to look like the breasts of your favorite actress; leave the pictures at home when you have your plastic surgery consultation. Your ideal breast size will be determined by your personal measurements, including rib cage size, breast width and a dozen other factors your plastic surgeon will discuss with you.
- There are many different ways to augment the breast and some come with higher risks than others. Breast implants with nipple entry have a slightly higher risk of infection. For most women, the best incision with the lowest complication rates is in the fold under the breast. However, every woman is different and every plastic surgeon has their own best practices – find out what will best work for you!
- It is important to understand that your implants will not lift your breasts. Only a breast lift will lift your breasts.
If you have decided on breast implants and you want a want a natural-looking appearance, you will most likely avoid over-sized high profile implants (which are mainly used in breast reconstruction). Overly large, high profile implants may have the following tell-tale signs:
- Breasts that have a sharply defined 360 degree border (like a bell)
- Oversized implants that create a wide, bony gap between your breasts
- Implants so large, they will not fall to the side when you lay on your back
- Breasts that appear (in profile) as full on top as on the bottom
- Implants that are placed so high that your nipples point downward
You can see more before and after photos in our gallery here.
There are things everyone can do to maintain breast beauty:
- Keep your breasts out of the sun. Sun exposure causes breasts to droop by breaking down collagen and elastin fibers in the skin.
- If you have or want breast implants, you can do chest presses against the wall or with body weight (push-ups), but not with weights. Large pectoral muscles can ruin your cleavage and decrease the size of the pocket where your implant sits.
- If sun exposure and gravity have created lines and spots between your breasts, nonsurgical treatments like chemical peels, laser skin resurfacing and tightening can help.
- According to a 2012 study, breastfeeding prevents breast aging.
Even though the size and shape of the areola may suffer, skin quality is better in women who breast fed. Although pregnancy has a generally negative effect on breast appearance, breast feeding creates a special hormonal environment, which is similar to internal hormone replacement.
- Moisturize your breasts daily to slow down the aging process.
- Do not forget to perform a monthly breast exam to make sure your breasts are healthy.
There have been some changes in breast development that scientists ponder. For example, compared with the previous generation, twice as many girls are developing breasts as early as age seven. Further, today’s average bra size is 36DD – that is up two full cup sizes from 2002. Remember though, not every bra is treated the same. Like clothing, bras of the same size vary from brand to brand. Be sure to get measured and get the right bra for your body type. That will help you look your best and have optimal support.
If you are considering surgical breast improvements, your board-certified plastic surgeon can assess what will work best for you. No matter your breast size, keep your cleavage out of the sun and moisturize!