Too big too young...The new worrying plastic surgery trend
18th February, 2014
Over the past 3 years, the number of young women who come to see me requesting downsizing in their breast implants has risen dramatically. Fashion should not inform decisions over cosmetic surgery, though we know that sadly it does. More troubling still are the young women who have been encouraged to surgically upsize by the man in their life at the time.
Large implants were all the rage a decade ago, with the likes of Jordan and Victoria Beckham flaunting their enhanced assets. Maintaining natural proportions has always been at the heart of my practice and ethos, so I seldom agree to insert implants of excessive size, instead I enhance the body shape rather than take it to the extreme.
My advice to young women considering primary breast enlargement surgery is to think very carefully beforehand: this should be your decision and yours alone – don‘t let others influence you. Besides requiring more anaesthetic, remedial surgery is not without its complications: if the skin has been stretched, breast uplift might also be needed.
Here are some questions to consider prior to implant replacement:
Were the initial implants placed over or under the chest muscle?
In the second operation, the surgeon may have to place the implants under the muscle. For this a pocket needs to be formed, leading to a longer, often more uncomfortable recovery.
Is the surrounding skin elastic enough to contract over the smaller implants?
If yes, then a more straightforward implant exchange can be performed, if no then you ought to consider a breast uplift for the best result (scarring can be an issue here - I do try to keep the scar to a minimum by using a 'lollipop' rather than the bigger 'anchor' incision).
The best way to avoid revision surgery is to be more discerning at the time of your initial procedure. There are several things I suggest to patients prior to choosing their implants:
- Take someone whose opinion you trust to your consultations - make sure they give their view and ask questions you may be too shy to ask.
- Take a tight t-shirt with you, as most good surgeons will have a selection of implant “sizers” in their consulting room for you to try out.
- Ask to see before and after photos of the surgeon‘s work.
- Ask to speak to another patient who has had breast surgery.
- Ultimately, do you trust your surgeon? If so, then allow them some input; they deal with body proportion daily and have a good idea of what size suits which body frame.
- The rice test. Spend some time in your local department store with some rice placed into the foot of a stocking - try on some bras and a t-shirt using the rice to fill out the cup, and see which size you like.
Ultimately, if you are not happy with your enhanced body shape then do seek help and advice from a surgeon you trust. But girls, please take more time to consider implant sizes BEFORE planning breast enlargement surgery, to avoid unnecessary revision procedures.