STATE OF THE ART COSMETIC SURGERY AND ARTISTRY

THE NEW YORK CITY PLASTIC SURGEON, PC

The Ballerina Breast

Breasts come in all shapes and sizes, and few elements define the female form as they do. They attract, they feed, and they change. In the years that I have been focusing on cosmetic breast surgery, I have come to reinforce my long-held belief that shape is a lot more important than size when it comes to the bosom.

When breast implants were first used, the idea was to fill a small pocket with a large implant, and to have it be noticed. Augmentations were obvious, and at times a status symbol. They looked fake, but that was the point. And for the patients who had been struggling with padded bras and bikini breakdowns, this was a welcome alternative.

Over the years since their first use, implants have endured a rocky road. There have been recalls and revisions, saline and silicone, textured and smooth, and huge variations is size and projection. There have also been sweeping changes in cultural preference and social standards of beauty. As we entered the 2000s, the move to natural and holistic had its own influence on beauty goals; and I think it is finally catching up to me.

I have always considered small breasts to be beautiful. Full breasts are shapely, attractive, and very female. But there is something uniquely elegant, classy, and refined about a nicely shaped small bosom. One is not better than the other; they are just very different and equally enjoyable things.

The concept of the Ballerina Breast emerges in the wake of a return to natural, and in my opinion is a welcome breath of fresh air. The petite or slim figure is uniquely suited to a perky and petite upper body, and in some cases this is the most aesthetic possible outcome. Smaller implants also weigh less and cause far fewer complications, making maintenance much easier in the long run. And, as can be expected, they tend to look very natural and fly under the radar in most circumstances.

Why Don’t More Surgeons Use Small Implants?

As with most things in life, I find myself in the minority, on my own path with my own principles. I have been using small implants for most of my career, and have never considered them inferior. This is unique to me, as far as I can tell, much as I tend to place the implants above the muscle rather than under; but it is the product of a combination of true attention to aesthetics rather than pure force of habit. I, too, when I was trained, was told that one of the worst things that could happen after performing a breast augmentation was that the patient would say that she wished she had gone bigger. I prefer not to treat a fear. Furthermore, some patients want to stay on the small side, either because of functionality issues or professional limitations, as a matter of discretion, or simply because they like the way that looks and feels. The more I listen with attention, and the more I visualize with perspective, the more I believe that a lot of implants that I have seen are just not optimized to what they could be.

What Are The Features Of A Ballerina Breast?

The Ballerina Breast is a small teardrop shape, with a gentle slope on the upper pole and a round and subtle lower limit. It holds an unpadded bikini top in place, and can be pushed up to some degree, but it’s true quality is how it shapes the body with no extra support in place.

The line of a ballerina breast has only moderate cleavage. It works best with a deep V neck or fitted clothing. It is elegant and slim-lined, and appears effortless. An added benefit is that this silhouette conveys youth and femininity in its own dimension, and often defies the gravity that pulls large breasts down and makes them sag. In short, the ballerina breast looks like it belongs on a ballerina.

Are Smaller Implants Safer?

The larger the implant, the more it will impact the tissues, and the less possibility there is for a full return to baseline if ever desired. Large implants stretch the skin, but they also compress the breast tissue, and this can lead to permanent thinning of the breast. What does that lead to? The possibility that if the implants were ever removed, there would be less breast there than there was before the augmentation.

Very large implants can even flatten the chest wall, as they press on the ribs. Ribs are cartilage, which is harder than breast but softer than bone, and its shape can be changed. When I remove implants that are larger than 400cc, it is not uncommon for me to find a flattened or even scooped in chest wall under the breast, leaving a crevice where the implant was. This will not reshape itself over time, and often means that the patient will always need some sort of implant just to maintain normalcy in the shape of her torso.

In some cases where the trunk cannot support the weight of a huge implant, the augmentation itself can lead to issues commonly seen in patients who need a breast reduction: back or neck strain, chronic pain, need for very orthopedic bras, and long term difficulties with physical activity. This is not the case for everyone, and there are plenty of women with large implants who love them and live them to the fullest. But a small implant will usually have a lower risk of causing any of these issues, and it will also remain less detectable, if that is one of your goals.

Am I A Candidate For A Ballerina Breast Augmentation?

If you look at the vast majority of breast augmentation pictures out there, it is easy to start to believe that there is no such thing as a small breast augmentation. This is simply not true. While it is critical to size the implant width to the breast width, today’s implants offer so many choices and options in terms of projection in particular, that there should be little limitation as to whom could be offered this look.

It has happened to me many times that a patient comes to my office explaining that she has had four prior surgeries with three prior surgeons and she cannot understand why she just can’t get a smaller implant. Well, chances are that she probably can. And maybe that’s exactly what she needs.

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