Surgeons are physicians specializing in evaluation and management of problems treated and/or cured by surgery. Cognitive (thinking) and technical (operating) skills are required. To become a surgeon, I graduated at the top of my four year college class, near the top of my four year medical school class, then apprenticed as a surgical resident days, nights, weekends, and holidays in hospitals around the United States for ten years after medical school. Many subjects are mastered, including a foundation of basic sciences such as anatomy (gross and microscopic), biochemistry, physiology (healthy function of the body), pathology (diseases), microbiology (bacteria, fungi, and viruses), pharmacology (drugs), genetics, neurosciences, psychiatry, etc. During my decade of residency, benchmarks were achieved each year to advance to subsequent higher levels of responsibility and independence. We learned about the surgical specialties, saw thousands of patients, and worked with doctors in every area of medicine. Oral and written examinations administered by the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Plastic Surgery were passed. Training and exams were rigorous and uncompromising, designed to assess cognition (knowledge, reasoning, and judgment), technical skills, and professional ethics. All are critically important for surgery. In practice for over twenty years, I still qualify annually by reporting continuing medical education and occasionally taking maintenance of certification examinations.
Why does this matter? Because quality outcomes can only be delivered in the context of high ethical, scientific, and technical standards. Treatments we recommend should have the highest possible benefit to risk relationship: The most upside and the least downside. Because everyone is different and unique, a treatment that is beneficial for one person may be a disaster for another. To differentiate among patients what is best for one individual, we surgeons must ask questions, i.e. learn about each patient in consultation. We must examine our patients physically to know their anatomy, to understand which treatments may work best and which may not be indicated. Sometimes, we must check additional blood tests, X-rays, or other studies for more information. All that data is analyzed, options for treatment are considered, discussed with patients, and a mutually agreeable treatment plan developed. Every patient should be approached with this stepwise sequence of gathering and verifying information, analyzing the information, prioritizing possible solutions based on the presentation, finalizing a plan, and only then, implementing treatment.
As an aesthetic plastic surgeon, our office fields constant calls for this peel or that product, the latest lunchtime lift, mini-tuck, or new device, diet, or implant. Usually, callers read about it in a magazine, saw a TV show (“The Doctors”), or saw advertising. Media is a business, and media exposure is bought by business. The end game of business is sales. Sales are not necessarily about what’s best for YOU. Sales are about revenue for the manufacturer, producer, and/or marketer of techniques, devices, products, and services. We implement new information and technology in our treatments, but only as appropriate in the upside to downside calculation for each patient.
Nobody comes to us for surgery, people come for results. We specialize in results, not in procedures. Procedures are only means to an end. Often, there are several possible operations that will achieve slightly different results. Results are the solution to a problem. The problem must be properly analyzed first, and treatment solutions follow. Inquiring about solutions, whether a new product or a new procedure, before understanding and analyzing the problem is backwards.
By all means, ask about new treatments and technologies, we’ll answer your questions. As a layperson, you’re not expected to know science, biotechnology, and the human body. But you DO know, more than anyone else can ever know, what bothers you when you look in the mirror or at a photograph of yourself. You know your problem, and in our office, that’s all you need to know. We’ll discuss the rest, and decide with you which solution is the best.
I am a thirty-eight year old, married, mother of two. I’m five foot three inches tall with size 32A breasts.
While a 32A is technically not completely flat, my breasts are small enough that I’ve never felt like a real woman before. I’ve always felt like a little girl, prepubescent. Society tells us that women have breasts. Am I not a woman then if I don’t have any?
I will say though, that I have a very healthy self-esteem. I’m not perfect, but I’m very happy with my appearance. I’m not tall, but I am very slender. I’ve got small, size six feet that always fit the cute (and usually discounted) display shoes at the department stores. I have a long neck with defined shoulders and upper back which I love
highlighting by wearing my hair in a French twist. And I have a great ass. But my breasts…
All my life people have been commenting on my small, childlike breasts. Why is it a faux-pas to talk about how large a person is, but nothing is off-limits when having public conversations about the smallness of one’s size?
Over the years I’ve had many embarrassing memories about my small breasts.
I remember being high school age when the topic turned to breasts. An acquaintance (and I use that term loosely) felt compelled to announce to the whole group that my boyfriend’s breasts were bigger than mine and of course the group erupted in thunderous laughter. This conversation happened over 20 years ago and to this day my heart still sinks when I think about it. After all, your man is not supposed to have bigger breasts than you. Not wanting to experience that feeling again, I started my search for padded bras.
A few years later came one of my favorite inventions…the Frederick’s of Hollywood, infamous Water Bra. Padded bras never worked for me. There was no jiggle, no softness when you hugged someone. The cups always had a fake shape to them. The Water Bra solved this. Until that is, you decide to get intimate with someone for the first time. The most embarrassing was the first time with my now husband. I had a horrible crush on him for SEVEN years before we finally started dating, so that’s A LOT of build-up. However, and to this day he makes fun of this…the lights were out, we were getting romantic, and he undid my bra, only to hear a loud “thud, thud” as my Water Bra hit the floor. How’s that for romantic? He still calls that my “false advertisement” bra.
After I got married and had my kids, I was not nearly as concerned about my breast size. Were they still small after kids? Yup. And as if possible, a little saggy. But around my early 30s, I stopped caring so much about what other people thought about my breasts and I ditched my Water Bras and my Victoria’s Secret Bombshell Bras. I went to simple shaped cups or on the very rare occasion I could find them, lace cups. Shopping for bras though still had me feeling like a little girl. Especially when the best selection of bras in my size were in Target’s girl department. Have you ever been in the girl’s department of a store and seen the look on another woman’s face when you are looking at clothes and hold them up to yourself to gauge size? I’ve got to say, you don’t feel so hot, sexy or sultry shopping for bras when you get that awkward and sometimes dirty look when the other patrons realize you are indeed shopping for yourself all the while they are shopping for their young daughters.
It wasn’t until a few years ago that I started seriously considering breast augmentation. I wasn’t a “clubbing” 20-something year old wanting attention. I had already had my kids. I have a healthy marriage. I didn’t want “giant jugs” or “melons”. I wanted to be able to buy beautiful and sexy lingerie, and have it fit. I wanted suit
jackets and fitted bodices to not look like the sails of a ship in dead wind. I wanted to feel like a woman.
A few times I almost did it. It’s weird though. It seems that when I don’t have the funds for the procedure, that’s when I’m ready to have it done. But when I do have the funds, I worry about being judged about my decision.
I have friends who have had it done. And I think some of them look good. Others are too big for my personal aesthetic. One I had absolutely no idea that she had them done until she confided in me. That’s how great they looked!
Most of all, though, I worried about what my mom would think. Growing up (as she has breasts just as small as mine), she would tell jokes about herself, such as “I’m a carpenter’s dream! I’m flat as a board!” or “I’m a pirate’s dream! I’m a sunken chest!”. It’s odd that at the same time she was expressing pride at her small girls, she was
inadvertently putting them down. That mentality was passed on to me as well, as I’ve been known to say on occasion that I need a t-shirt that says “In Case of Rape, This Side Up.”
I have always wondered what my mom thinks about breast augmentation. Growing up, she never mentioned it. She did however mention how excited she was when during menopause, the “boob fairy” visited and increased her breasts by a full cup size. I’m fortunate enough that my mother is still with me, so I think I might actually
tackle this scary idea and get up the courage to talk to my mom about breast implants.
One thing for sure that I can tell you is that I am 100% ready to take the plunge to finally be able to wear a plunging neckline. I’m saving up for the procedure and hope you will follow along in my journey as I learn everything I need to know about getting the breasts that I have always dreamed of.