“The relentless pursuit of perfection”. Although this phrase is taken from a luxury car commercial, it also describes the goals of cosmetic breast surgery. So what is the perfect breast shape? As the old saying goes, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”.
Research on the Ideal Breast Shape
In 2012, two British doctors, Mallucci and Branford, set out to answer the question of the ideal breast shape. They studied photos of 100 topless models with un-operated breasts (Oh! the sacrifices in
the name of science). They published their preference for breasts with slightly more volume in the lower pole than the upper – specifically 55% of breast tissue located below the nipple.
In a follow-up study published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in September 2014, the doctors sought to validate their findings by having a large number of people view Photoshopped pictures of a woman’s breast to see if the preference for the 45:55 ratio was widespread. The observers were 660 women and 655 men divided across different age groups and different ethic and national backgrounds.
Once again the 45:55 ratio was chosen as the perfect breast shape, with the 50:50 breast coming in second. Only among women older than 40 was the fuller upper pole look popular. The doctors were surprised that among men, the preference for the more natural, unaugmented-look, was even higher than among women.
A conclusion of their findings was that plastic surgeons use shaped breast implants that are supposed to offer less upper pole fullness. The findings of the study, however, do not correlate with the desires of many of our patients seeking their own ideal breast shape.
The Perfect Breast Shape is up to You
Very commonly our patients are desire the return of upper pole fullness that disappeared after
pregnancy. They are usually happier with round breast implants that add more volume to the upper part of the breast than the shaped implants.
The real take home message is – there is no such thing as the perfect breast shape. Women should discuss their goals with their plastic surgeons so that surgery can produce whatever their own ideal breast shape might be.