BY MIMI GREENWOOD KNIGHT
If you’re like most women, when you stand before the mirror, there are things you’d like to change. If it’s your breasts that have you less than satisfied with your shape, you’re not alone. A recent study reported in The Journal of Body Image found that of 18,541 women surveyed in 40 countries, nearly half said they wanted larger breasts, more than 20% said they wanted smaller breasts, many wished to change the shape of their breasts, and most reported that dissatisfaction with their breasts affects their self-esteem.
Happily, we live in a time when a skilled plastic surgeon can change the shape and size of what nature gave us and offer us the larger, smaller, shapelier, or less droopy breasts we want. But how do you decide which procedure is right for you? Let’s look at the options.
Also known as breast implant surgery, breast augmentation involves placing silicone or saline implants into the breast to enhance its size, shape, and volume. A less common type of breast augmentation is fat transfer. Breast augmentation offers a perkier, fuller, more symmetrical, and appealing breast. Patients report better fitting-bras and clothes and a boost in self-confidence that lasts for years.
This procedure doesn’t involve implants but manipulates your existing breast tissue to lift and tighten your breasts, reduce sagging or drooping, and improve symmetry. If you were relatively pleased with your breasts before childbirth, weight loss, or aging, a breast lift could restore your natural, youthful, perky breasts. However, it doesn’t enhance the fullness of the top of your breasts or increase your cup size. You need implants for that. It’s common to combine the two procedures to add fullness with implants and reduce sagging with a breast lift.
Breasts that are too large can lead to any number of health issues such as neck, back, shoulder problems, migraines, and tingling in the arms. Large breasts also make it difficult to enjoy fun fashions since you’re often limited to what you can fit into. And forget about finding a comfortable or adequate sports bra.
Breast reduction surgery may be the answer. This procedure removes excess fat, tissue, and skin from your breasts, giving you the pert, shapely breasts you’ve always wanted. A successful reduction can eliminate chronic back, neck, and shoulder pain, improve your self-esteem, make sleeping more comfortable, allow for a more active lifestyle, improve your posture and breathing, and make it possible to enjoy a greater assortment of fashions again.
Of course, deciding to alter your breasts is a personal decision, and no surgery should be entered into lightly. Research the procedure you’re considering. Spend time consulting with a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in breast surgery. Talk to them about your reasons for considering surgery and the goals you hope to achieve. Breast surgery isn’t the end-all-be-all to happiness. But if having the breast shape and size you want helps you love your body more, it can certainly improve your life.