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A Plastic Surgeon’s opinion on Breast Beauty

Exactly what defines a beautiful breast

This is obviously a very difficult question to answer however after reading this Opinion Piece it will give you an insight into how a plastic surgeon approaches this question.

As previously stated in other Opinion Pieces there is much more to making a beautiful breast than simply volume. Many other pieces of anatomy combine to create a breast. Plastic surgery can be used to enhance or correct these features. There are some features that are very difficult to change such as the underlying chest wall rib structure on which the breast sits.
Seeing your breast through a plastic surgeon’s eyes may help you to appreciate the different aspects of decision making when considering an operation.


Plastic surgery can be used to enhance or correct many different features of the breast, not just volume.



Breast volume creates the size of the breast. It can be modified to make it bigger, smaller or altered to change the shape of the breast mound.
Nipple position and size
Plastic surgeons refer to nipple position as ptosis which is measured in grades. Ptosis means when the breast is droopy or saggy. For simplicity the nipple position is related to the inframammary fold (IMF). The IMF is the crease under the breast.
Grade 0 = no ptosis. The nipple is above the level of the IMF. (see Fig. 1)
Grade 1 = the nipple is at the level of the IMF (see Fig. 2)
Grade 2 = the nipple is below the level of the IMF but not reaching the bottom of the breast. (NB this is very important if you are considering a breast lift – Refer to Article Breast Lift Explained) (see Fig. 3)
Grade 3 = the nipple is below the IMF and at the very bottom of the breast. (see Fig. 4)

The degree of ptosis is determined by 3 different things. The first is genetics, the second is hormonal changes during pregnancy and breast feeding and the third is the ageing process.
The areola of the nipple is the pigmented circle of skin around the outside of the nipple. The size of both the nipple and the areola can also be out of proportion with the breast size and modification of this is often incorporated into the surgical plan.

Breast shape

The first thing that most plastic surgeons assess is the base width of the breast. It is very important that there is a gap between the breasts of approximately 3-4 cm. If this is not present the medical term is called symmastia. The breast should be confined to the width of the chest or extend slightly beyond it on the sides. The upper pole should be full with the lower pole being fuller than the upper pole and the majority of the breast volume in the lower half. The lower pole should be rounded similar to a semicircle and both breasts should be symmetrical.
So you can see that bigger is not necessarily better – from a cosmetic perspective figure 5 with a smaller breast volume and better aesthetics looks better than figure 6 which is larger with poorer aesthetics.
For a more detailed analysis please refer to the Article The Ideal Aesthetic Breast.

Fig. 1 Grade 0 ptosis

Grade 1 ptosis

Fig 3 Grade 2 ptosis
Fig 4 Grade 3 ptosis

Figure 5a Fig 5b
A normal sized breast with no ptosis looks aesthetically better than a larger breast with more droop in fig 5b.

This opinion piece was brought to you by Dr Damien Grinsell.
For a consultation please contact Horizon Plastic Surgery on 03 85602999 or email enquiries@horizonplasticsurgery.com