Size isn’t everything

Breast augmentation techniques can provide a look to suit just about any individual. Sydney cosmetic plastic surgeon Dr Darryl Hodgkinson explains why some women are more suited to smaller breast augmentations. Louise Conville reports.

Breast Augmentation

Cosmetic surgery is generally now accepted as a part of everyday Western life. The number of reality shows based on improving appearances is evidence that people are more attracted to enhancing their natural looks, often purely for aesthetic purposes. The good news is cosmetic surgery techniques are constantly improving and a patient’s options are broader now than ever before.

Modern breast augmentation techniques can generally provide a look to suit any individual. What’s more, it is possible to achieve natural-looking breasts with very little evidence of having had surgery.

Sydney cosmetic plastic surgeon Dr Darryl Hodgkinson says a surgeon needs to consider the body shape and size of each patient when advising her at the consultation stage. ‘Bigger may not always be better and not everyone who presents to the surgery wants an obvious result,’ he says. ‘Women with thin figures, in particular, tend to look for a smaller enhancement because they don’t want to look obviously larger to friends, family and colleagues.’

‘When women get past the age of 18 or 19 they realise nature hasn’t been as generous as they would have liked…’

Dr Hodgkinson says about 50 percent of the patients at his practice are relatively thin. For many of them, their breasts are naturally underdeveloped. Young women sometimes feel self-conscious about their underdeveloped breast size. ‘When women get past the age of 18 or 19 they realise nature hasn’t been as generous as they would have liked,’ he explains. ‘They find no amount of hours at the gym will fix this. They want to feel confident wearing a swimsuit in summer and not feel awkward at the lingerie counter, so they opt for breast augmentation surgery to look better and regain their self-esteem.

‘However, patients who are particularly thin and do not have much natural breast tissue should not have a large implant placed under the skin because it would be possible to see the margins of the implant. An implant that is too large may give an obvious, perky appearance of a “boob job”. It is important to choose the correct size, shape and position to create a natural slope of the chest wall and a look that is in balance with the body.’

The trend in Hollywood for what makes women attractive seems to be changing again over the past decade. While in the early nineties Pamela and Yasmin dominated TV screens, posters and advertisements, today the likes of the Desperate Housewives stars, Teri, Eva, Marcia and Felicity, are the sex symbols of the day. All four women are comparatively small-busted yet men and women are tuned to their screens whenever the quartet appears. A breast enhancement does not have to be more than a subtle size increase in order to boost volume considerably, even for women who have breastfed.

To achieve a natural result, the implants utilised need to be proportionately small.

To achieve a natural result, the implants utilised need to be proportionately small. Dr Hodgkinson says in order to succeed in providing a natural look for his patients he ensures the medial cleavage is not too full. For smallframed women, he chooses a smooth silicone gel implant of the new cohesive gel type and places it partly under the muscle to reduce the chance of the implant looking obvious.

‘If too large an implant is chosen, it may displace downwards,’ he explains. ‘However, the nipples stay put while this is happening. They appear to rise on the breast and, as the implants descend, the nipples point upwards rather than outwards and look unnaturally high.’

For this reason, Dr Hodgkinson believes a B- or C-cup is preferable. The implants are usually in the 200-250cc range. They cannot be placed through the bellybutton and most women opt for a small incision under the breast or under the armpit.

‘These women just want to feel more sexy and womanly,’

‘These women just want to feel more sexy and womanly,’ he says. ‘They want a flattering female figure but don’t want the result to be too large. I think smaller breast augmentation is a good choice for them because in this way it is possible to achieve the natural look they are hoping for.’acsm