Now trending: Small is the new big
- Posted on: May 8 2018
When it comes to breast size, the philosophy of ‘the bigger the better’ has lost its bounce. According to data from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), there were more than 38,000 breast implant removals performed in 2015, and 28,000 were performed in 2016. Called “explant” surgeries, the growing trend of women opting for breast implant removal are a result of varying motivations that get right to the size of the matter.
“It was about five years ago that I noticed the shift,” explains board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Orna Fisher. “People were pursuing more athletic endeavors and their breasts were getting in the way. During the ‘80s and ‘90s everyone wanted to be bigger. Now with such an exercise conscious society it’s just become too cumbersome. Patients don’t like having side boob or for side boob to touch their arm and doing yoga or Pilates with bigger implants is uncomfortable.”
Exercise isn’t the only thing dictating the trend, it’s also fashionable to look like you have been sweating it out at exercise class. “Fashion trends are driving cosmetic trends. Athleisure has been and is a huge fashion trend and dressing in athletic wear when you aren’t exercising is dictating that people want their leisure wear to fit right, which means proportional breast size,” says Dr. Fisher.
In addition to the ways and wiles of fashion, there’s also the matter of simple wear and tear. The longer a woman has implants, the higher the likelihood she will need to have them removed or replaced. Manufacturers of both silicone and saline implants recommend replacing them every ten years. In fact, as many as 20 percent of women who receive breast implants have them removed within eight to ten years, according to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, with a majority of women requesting their implants be replaced with smaller ones.
With so many women opting to swap larger implants for smaller, Dr. Fisher has developed an expertise in breast revision surgeries. She specializes in performing breast explants that are followed up with smaller implants and/or lifts. “These types of cases have definitely become my specialty over the last few years,” she explains of becoming the go-to for complex cosmetic breast re-dos.
An option for women who wish to have their implants removed while preserving the volume is to have a new smaller implant placed, often in combination with a breast lift. Because explant surgeries are highest in the 35-50 age group, lifts tend to be popular to combat sagging. “If your breasts are deflated or sagging, a breast lift alone will not improve firmness and volume. A breast lift will change the shape of your breasts to improve their appearance making them sit higher on the chest and placing the areola in a better position on the breast,” explains Dr. Fisher. “When the breasts begin to droop, the nipple and areolae tend to sag below the level of the breast crease and the nipples may point downward as well. This can be corrected by relocating the areolae and nipples higher on the breasts.”
What a breast lift won’t do is change the size of your breasts significantly or give fullness at the top. The actual volume of your breasts usually becomes a little smaller just from reducing loose skin. “If you aren’t pleased with the overall size and volume of your breasts, breast augmentation might be the right procedure for you,” says Dr. Fisher. “If you already have larger implants, we can only downsize so much with a smaller implant without obvious loosening of the breasts. They just won’t feel or look firm or tight enough. If a significant downsizing is desired, a breast lift is always done at the same time to ensure a more athletic and youthful look.”