Increasingly, super short crop tops and red carpet dresses with revealing cutouts are highlighting parts of a woman’s breasts that traditional bras kept under wraps: the underboob. Fashion trendsetters such as Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Karlie Kloss and Gigi Hadid have all jumped on board the trend in recent years. As celebrities are ditching traditional cleavage in favor of it’s racier other-half, plastic surgeons are seeing a shift in the look women desire when they seek breast enhancement.
“Big breasts were in in the 80’s, 90’s, and 2000’s, but now it’s smaller breasts that we find in our practice,” describes New York City-based board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Stafford R. Broumand. “What’s fashionable is making sure that the midriff, the midsection and the underboob look good.”
Even if you have no intentions of wearing extreme crop tops or racy cut out clothing, you still want to feel sexy and confident outside of a bra. Heavy, oversized implants require lots of support. As traditional bras and bikinis are going out of style, so are bigger breasts. Instead, women want smaller breasts that stand up on their own. They want breasts that allow them the freedom to ditch the bra and celebrate a youthful underboob.
What is the Underboob?
According to Dr. Broumand, the underboob is the part of the breast that sits beneath the nipple and areola. Because the underboob is where the weight of the entire breast rests on the chest, it is also where drooping of the breast is most noticeable.
“If you don’t have sagging, you have what we call, ‘a good underboob’,” shares Dr. Broumand. “If you do have sagging, you can’t show that lower part of your breast, whether it’s in a bathing suit, or clothing that exposes the midsection of the abdomen and lower chest.”
When Your Underboob Could Use a Boost
Many women notice their breasts lose volume as they age, oftentimes the result of weight fluctuations or breastfeeding. The good news is that a beautiful, natural, youthful shape can be restored with the help of a board certified plastic surgeon.
Not everyone who wants to rejuvenate their breasts needs a surgical breast lift. Sometimes adding a small implant is the best surgical option to improve breast shape. Whether you need a lift or an implant will be determined during your consultation.
Which Surgery is Right for You?
“We measure the amount of sagging, we call it breast ptosis, as mild, moderate or severe, depending on how many centimeters below the inframammary crease the breast sags,” explains Broumand. “With that information we can gauge the best treatment plans.”
Most Common Levels of Breast Ptosis (Sagging)
For the right candidate, replacing the lost volume with an implant is enough to return their breasts to a more youthful shape. For others, the drooping is so severe that the only way to improve the shape is to remove excess skin. Women whose breasts sag only mildly are often great candidates for a traditional breast augmentation. Replacing the small amount of volume that was lost with an implant may solve the deflation problem without the need for a surgical breast lift.
“If there’s minimal sagging, a breast implant tends to give the appearance of a breast lift,” says Broumand. “It fills out that skin envelope.
When the extent of sagging is not mild but instead falls into the moderate or severe category, an implant is no longer the best option. In fact, adding an implant to these breasts may actually make matters worse. This is because the larger sized implants required to fill out the greater degree of excess skin will weigh down the already sagging breast, causing it to continue to stretch and droop.
A surgical breast lift, on the other hand, enables plastic surgeons like Broumand to remove excess skin and elevate the sagging breast. He reshapes the remaining breast into a smaller, perkier breast. During breast lift surgery, Broumand also returns the nipple and areola to a more desirable position, rejuvenating the entire breast.
For either procedure, patients can count on about one week of downtime before returning to regular, non-strenuous activity. Soreness and swelling can be expected, but diminish with time. While the body is still healing Dr. Broumand requires his patients to continue wearing a supportive bra. Once the body has healed, patients can enjoy the freedom of showing as much, or as little, of their new-and-improved underboob as they like.