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Natural Breasts Versus Implants
Plastic Surgery

Natural Breasts Versus Implants

Written by
Juli Albright
Juli is our patient advocate and community connection. She balances work, life and family with grace.
Juli is our patient advocate and community connection. She balances work, life and family with grace.

Natural Breasts versus Implants

In the American society where we are inundated with social media posts, advertisements, and movies, many woman find it difficult to even recognize a natural breast. As it becomes more and more common for women to have breast implants, many women unconsciously or consciously find the an aesthetically pleasing natural breast shape to actually be one with implants. At Alamo Plastic Surgery it is very important to Dr. Albright to ensure a customized look is curated for each patient based on their current anatomy and goals. At a minimum, Dr. Albright discusses size, shape, placement and projection at least three times with each patient to ensure they the ideal size is chosen. The four shapes below are ones commonly discussed when women during their consultation:

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To look at this chart, plastic surgeons divide the breast primarily into lower pole and upper pole breast fullness. Starting on the left side shows a breast with minimal upper pole fullness. As you move to the right, the upper pole fulness increases. Upper pole projection (how far outward is the breast) usually seen from the side profile or oblique view.  This is how much tissue looks to be defying gravity and filling up the upper pole.  Usually after children, patients will complain about "lack of fullness" or having a "gap" at the top of their bra.  In general as we age, we can expect less upper pole projection as the breast succumbs to gravity and undergoes natural transition from glandular to a more fat dominant breast.

Different Types of Upper Pole Projection

Minimal Fullness

This is typically the shape most natural breasts are from puberty or quickly approach as women age or breast feed. Most women start to notice this when there are gaps between their breast and bra cups which even push up bras may not fix.  At Alamo Plastic Surgery in San Antonio, TX, most patients list they want a natural result. When shown this diagram it is almost always between option 1 (moderate fullness) to 3 (maximum fullness). Long term these options 1-3 are only achievable through breast implants.

1. Moderate Fullness / Mid - Shape

For most women, they want their breasts lifted, natural, and with upper pole fullness. For most of our patients, they are not looking for the maximum fullness of #3 look but usually in between 1 and 2 or 2 and 3. Although this may seem like a small detail, we find most patients immediately know which look is right for them. In general enhanced fullness / mid - shape has a very smooth transition, no clear step off.  Overall Impression: "Not sure she has implants"

2. Enhanced Fullness / Mid - Augmented Shape

This is the most common look our patients desire. It still has a natural appearance but gives women the upper pole volume and fullness they crave. Overall there is more volume shifted to the top, but it's still bottom dominant.  Think 40% volume in upper pole and 60% in lower pole volume. Overall Impression: "I think she has implants".

3. Maximum Fullness / Augmented Shape

This is typically only desired by women who want people to know they have implants. If you have a Mom similar to mine, she might remark it looks like two balls on your chest. For cleavage shots and bathing suits though it will look amazing. This has the maximum achievable upper pole volume, usually trying to achieve a 50:50 upper to lower pole volume. Overall Impression: "Everyone knows she has implants"

The Fine Print:  There are many variables that go into how we, as individuals, see and compare breast shapes.  We must acknowledge that this topic is highly subjective and can be controversial.  Breasts develop in all sorts of sizes/shapes and agreeing to a 'normative' breast may not be possible.  However, most people have an idea of what they would consider an aesthetically appealing normative breast.  This may NOT be based in reality!  But we do it anyway.  We mentally compare breasts to what we think we would expect to see relative to one's peers.  Therefore, these will likely change with age and in different communities.  


Stay tuned for more helpful information.  If you like what you saw, please share with a friend or give us some feedback.

Written by
Juli Albright

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