What is the ideal or perfect breast shape? Interestingly there is very little real science answering this question. Beauty is very subjective and varies from person to person and culture to culture. Over time our conception of perfect breasts shape has changed as well, as larger, rounder breasts have been pushed on us through push-up bras, magazines and media.
Defining the ideal breast shape
It is important that plastic surgeons and their breast augmentation patients have an understanding of what the other would consider the ideal or perfect breast shape if that goal is ever achievable. However, studies looking at what plastic surgeons and their patients would consider perfect breast shapes suggest that they are often disparate. In a 2003 study (Hsia and Thompson, PRS 2003) breast shape was classified based on upper breast fullness. Surgeons and their patients rated each of these shapes from 1 – 5 and the ratings were found to be drastically different between the two groups. The “zero” shaped breast with basically a straight line in the upper pole had the highest ratings among plastic surgeons and lay people while the rounded “+6” shape was the most common ideal of the patient (breast augmentation) group.
What is the ideal shape of natural breasts?
In a recent European study, Dr Mallucci studied “Sun magazine” photos of topless non-augmented models to determine what society considers beautiful. He postulates that these women were chosen for the magazine based on having aesthetically desirable breasts. He concluded the ideal breast has a nipple that tips slightly upward with approximately 45% of the breast volume above the nipple and 55% below. The upper pole should have a straight line or slightly concave with the lower pole a tight convex curve. This is most similar to a breast shape type “-1” or “0” previously.
In my opinion, the ideal shape of augmented breasts should be the same as the ideal shape of natural breasts. However, my experience and the 2003 study I referenced would indicate that breast augmentation patients consider the ideal augmented breast shape something different. I have illustrated an example of what many patients consider an “ideal” breast augmentation shape. I have not changed the lower breast or nipple position. The only variable that has been altered is the upper pole is fuller and a little round. The proportion of breast tissue above the nipple is higher than 45%.
Communicate with your plastic surgeon
What do you consider the best breast shape?
- Patient starts with more breast tissue
- Use of smaller breast implants
- Silicone breast implants
- Submuscular implants
- Teardrop shaped implants (controversial)
- Lower profile implants
- Patient starts with less breast tissue
- Use of larger implants
- Saline implants
- Subglandular implants
- Round implants
- High profile implants