More Than Just Size

When the subject of breast implants or breast enlargement surgery comes up, many people immediately think about size. Large breasts that create eye-catching cleavage are what comes to many minds, a concept that has not been helped over the past two decades from celebrities ranging from Pamela Anderson to Heidi Montag of more recent note.

The reality of breast implant surgery, however, is far from this image. There are certainly a minority of women who do want this look. But the  vast majority of women who choose to have breast implants are much more interested in finding the right size for their body and not to have overpowering breasts that become the focal point of their appearance.

Most breast augmentation patients are average women who simply want to look good in clothes and sport attire. I have seen many women who have told me that they are embarrassed to wear a bathing and won’t go to the pool or beach with their family. While breast underdevelopment is the most common motivation for getting implants, there are numerous other reasons. These include such breast conditions as postpregnancy sagging, asymmetrical breasts, body proportioning, breast asymmetry and reconstruction after mastectomies.

Pregnancy and nursing can have an adverse effect on a woman’s breast shape and size causing sagging and, almost always, a change in the amount of breast tissue. Many women are unaware that it is completely normal to lose breast tissue after pregnancy, a phenomenon known as involution. For some women who have had multiple pregnancies, they lose all of the breast tissue they originally had. When combined with stretched out skin, the change in a woman’s breasts can be deflating for their self-image as well. These are women who simply want to return to their pre-baby size and shape.

There are many women who have breast asymmetry where one breast is larger or different in shape than the other. In some cases the breast size difference can be as much as a cup size, sometimes even more. For women so afflicted, finding a bra to fit comfortably and properly is not as easy as going to Victoria Secret’s and pulling a good fit off the rack. Often they are forced to add padding to create a more even look in their clothing.

One of the most recognized and easily understandable reasons for implants is in breast reconstruction. The physical and emotional devastation of going through any form of a lumpectomy or mastectomy procedure can be softened knowing that an immediate or even a delayed reconstruction can be done. While numerous forms of breast reconstruction exist, including flaps that form the breast mound out of your tissues, implants remain the backbone of how most breasts are recreated.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana