Are you unhappy with the appearance of your breasts but unsure what surgery you require? Ocean Clinic’s Dr. Michel Saiveau has developed a do-it-yourself test to help you identify where the problem lies.
‘Breast beauty analysis’ involves the assessment of three key elements: volume, position and shape. It’s vital to consider all three before optimal treatment can be identified.
The analysis starts with the ‘bikini test,’ which is easy to do at home and simply requires the patient to stand in front of the mirror wearing a bikini top. Here’s how it works:
· If you are unhappy with the appearance of your breasts in a bikini then you lack volume and require a breast enlargement
· If you are happy with the way your breasts look in a bikini but unhappy with their appearance when you’re topless then the shape and/or position of your breasts is the problem
To assess the position of the breasts on your chest, take a tape measure and measure from your collarbone down to the nipple areola complex (NAC). If the NAC is below a distance of 18 to 22 centimetres you have ptotic breasts, which have begun to droop and sag and repositioning is required.
If the NAC does not fall below the mid third of the arm you have a breast in a good position and do not require repositioning.
To analyse the shape of your breasts look at the projection from the side and the upper and lower pole fullness (i.e. the volume of breast above and below the nipple). Are you lacking volume in the upper pole? Are your beasts asymmetrical?
According to Dr. Saiveau, it’s easy to mistake sagging breasts as small breasts in need of enlargement, when actually an uplift is required.
He says: “We have to analyse the volume of the breasts in comparison with the body frame, and in interference with the shape of the breasts. This is a tricky problem. It can lead to unjust feelings of smallness and desire for a breast enlargement, but the bikini test can help patients to see the real problem.”
He adds that understanding exactly what you dislike about the appearance of your breasts is vital if you’re to achieve satisfaction through surgery.
“Patients have difficulty analysing their breasts and they therefore make mistakes in terms of surgical decisions. Their inability to express what they want can lead to unrealistic expectations and consequently they are not satisfied with their surgical results.”
Once you have carried out the ‘breast beauty analysing’ techniques you should have a better understanding of the surgery you require.
Unhappy in a bikini
If you are unhappy in a bikini and decide you require more volume there are three surgical solutions that exist:
· Implants - where big volume is demanded breasts can be enlarged with implants
· Fat transfer - for a small volume augmentation or to enhance upper pole fullness
· Composite augmentation - using both implants and fat transfer in case of thin skin, where the implant might be otherwise visible
Happy in a bikini
If you are happy with a bikini but unhappy without then you most likely have a good volume but there is a problem with the position of the breasts on the chest or a lack of symmetry. This can be treated as follows:
· Mastoplexy – breast uplift can be used for treatment of ptotic (sagging) breasts or to help bring better symmetry where one breast is too large
· Fat grafting - for asymmetry issues where one breast is too small, fat grafting can be used to even up the breasts
It’s important to note that implants should NOT be used to treat sagging breasts.
Says Dr. Saiveau: “If you use implants in this situation you simply transform a normal size ptotic breast into a big ptotic breast - it’s the worst! “
If you require extra volume in addition to uplifting, a mastoplexy can be combined with an enlargement.
Talking to your surgeon
Your surgeon won’t expect you to have in-depth surgical understanding and will be more than happy to guide your decision, but the aim of this process is to equip you with the knowledge to discuss your treatment pathway.
As Dr. Saiveau concludes: “You will be able to express yourself to your surgeon as an aware and educated patient. You will be able to explain what you want and the surgeon will respect your own interest and your own expectations.”