Breasts, much like art and beauty, are in the “eye of the beholder,” which means the notion of the perfect breast will vary from person to person… or does it? An article in the September issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery addresses the question, “What are perfect breasts?”
Although the article is not all that scientific, it does give some interesting results. 1315 people were shown photos of different patients, all of whom had undergone breast augmentation. Photoshop was used to alter the images so they could evaluate certain key parameters. The images showed breasts of different proportions based on the ratio of the upper pole to lower pole as follows: 35:65, 45:55, 50:50, 55:45. The nipple position was used to divide the breast into upper and lower poles. Responses compared men vs. women, different age groups, different racial/ethnic groups, and included 53 plastic surgeons.
The results were fairly unanimous, with the vast majority preferring breasts with a 45:55 ratio of upper to lower pole, meaning a little more tissue below the nipple than above. Most felt the nipple position was extremely important, that is, pointing straight out, not up or down. Most preferred a more natural, gentle slope to the upper pole as opposed to the tight round, “fake look.” The preference for 45:55 was the same regardless of age, sex or ethnic background. The 50:50 ratio was a distant 2nd place. One of the most interesting findings was that 90% of men preferred the more natural 45:55 ratio as opposed to the more over-filled, oversized appearance.
For years, plastic surgeons have just assumed that men prefer the over-filled look, “the bigger, the better.” This study suggests that when given the choice, the majority of men prefer a “natural” look to a “fake” look. That is not saying that men don’t like the look of breasts that have been augmented. On the contrary, I have found that most men are very satisfied with the appearance of their partners’ breasts after augmentation.
I learned long ago not to tell patients what size they should be. I do try to guide them if they show me pictures that are too big or too small for their bodies. We always discuss size and shape and I try to give them a realistic view of how their breasts should look after surgery. I have always tried to achieve a more natural look for my patients, but there are still patients who want the more over-filled, “fake” look. In those patients, we can often use a larger implant with a different profile to help achieve their goals.
I still believe that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” There is no cookie-cutter recipe for the perfect breast. Many surgeons use extensive measurements for base dimension, chest width and height, nipple to crease distance, etc., to determine the perfect implant. I think of plastic surgery as an art form, where no two human canvasses are alike, so no formula can create the perfect breast. I have been perfecting the art of breast surgery for a number of years. Feel free to contact us for a consultation.
All the best,
Dr. David Bauer & Dr. Zachary Young