Many women considering breast augmentation have a similar goal: results that look completely natural. They want to enhance the look of their breasts, but they don’t want anyone to know they underwent surgery to achieve it. Natural-looking is becoming the in aesthetic, but how is it accomplished?
“Patients come into the office quite a bit in my practice and ask for a natural result when they are asking about breast augmentation,” shares board certified New York City plastic surgeon Dr. Tracy M. Pfeifer. “They want to look natural, and I’m all for it. The question becomes, ‘What is natural?’ It may vary from person to person.”
Define Your Natural
Board certified plastic surgeons have a multitude of implant options and surgical techniques available to help you achieve the natural looking breasts you desire. The first step toward achieving a natural result is defining what a natural, beautiful result is in your eyes.
Do you prefer fullness up top? Is it cleavage you are after, or do you just want to fill out your clothes a little better?
Everyone has seen it before: augmented breasts that are way too big for a woman’s body. In fact, this is often the first thing that comes to mind when people think of an unnatural result. As a result, women are typically most concerned with the size or volume of the implants they select. There are, nonetheless, a lot of other elements, besides volume, that contribute to the overall natural look of an augmentation.
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
Most women don’t immediately begin describing their goals for breast augmentation using clinical terms like projection, slope, or body proportions. They do, however, know what they like or dislike when they see it in a picture.
If you’re not sure what makes some breasts appear more natural to you than others, a Google search for “Top Ten Natural Looking Breasts,” or “Naked Celebrity Breasts,” may be a good place to begin.
“What I like to do is have the patient do a little research before she comes in for the appointment,” says Pfeifer. “When she first calls the office one of my assistants will ask the patient to go on the internet and looks for pictures of breasts that she loves, breasts she likes, but not quite as much and breasts she dislikes.”
While an online search for naked breasts may lead you toward some questionable websites that you are not completely comfortable with, it is important to keep your research narrowed in on breasts that are in the nude.
“You really want to look at the breast without any clothes on, so you can see all the different relationships in anatomy and proportions, volume, all of that,” adds Pfeifer. “Clothing and bathing suit tops can really camouflage a lot.”
Communicating Goals to Achieve the Best Results
When a patient arrives for a breast augmentation consultation with Dr. Pfeifer, part of the appointment time is dedicated to reviewing the pictures – both the likes and the dislikes – that the patient has brought with them. This process helps Pfeifer come to a deeper understanding of what the patient views as a pretty breast and a natural result.
“It’s important for the patient when she comes in, not to just talk about volume,” emphasizes Pfeifer. “We’re talking about proportion. There’s something that looks natural within the breast, in terms of proportion within the breast itself. Then the proportion of the breast within relation to the upper half of the body, balancing the shoulders and the waist. Also, the proportion of the breast in relation to the whole body, the height of the body, and the width of the hips.”
A Natural Looking Breast is Influenced by:
- Volume and shape of the breast
- Projection of the breast
- Breast-to-body proportions: shoulders, hip, waist, height
Trying Implants on For Size
Dr. Pfeifer has implants available in her office, referred to as sizers, for patients to look at and feel during their consultation. It should come as no surprise to anyone that stuffing these sizers into a bra will not give the patient a very good idea of how their breasts will look after surgery. It does, however, help patients visualize how the size they are considering will complement the rest of their figure.
“You want to put the implants in a bra and stand in front of a full length mirror, so you can see the whole look,” points out Pfeifer. “Put some of your own clothes on and see how you feel with that size implant. It won’t give you the shape, but it will give you the volume proportions.”
3D imaging is another helpful tool for patients who want to visualize their results. Many of these 3D imaging systems only allow patients to view simulated results from the shoulders down to the belly button. If that is the case, Pfeifer recommends patients use sizers in addition to 3D imaging, in order to also visualize the bigger picture.