Plastic Surgeon Raleigh: Big News in Breast Implants is Small

By: Michael Law MD

Breast implants in Raleigh and elsewhere for cosmetic augmentation have been available since the 1960's. By the 1980 breast augmentation was the 2nd most popular plastic surgery (after liposuction), and the motto seemed to be "the bigger the better". The oversized implants seen everywhere in the popular media in the 80's and 90's clearly served to alter the public's perception of what breasts are supposed to look like: large, taut and high.

Now, breast augmentation surgery is more popular than ever. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (, 329,000 breast augmentation surgeries were performed in 2006. This is an almost thirty percent increase from 2003. Today patients and the public are 'rediscovering' the fact that the ideal breast is soft, supple, fuller in the lower than the upper pole, and in proportion to the rest of the figure.

Patient demographics are changing, too. Women in their 30's and 40's (especially moms) are the fastest growing group of patients seeking breast augmentation today. These are women who have lost breast volume following pregnancy and lactation, and who simply seek to restore a natural, more youthful breast contour. They don't want to look like they've had surgery; they instead wish to 'fill out' clothing better and feel more comfortable out of clothing. Even women who have not had children are opting for smaller, more realistic appearing breast augmentation. Professional women (including physicians!) want to look their best, but they don't want to look "done".

"It is very common in my practice to perform an enhancement that changes the breast profile from and 'A' cup to a 'B' cup," says Dr. Michael Law, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Raleigh, NC, formerly of Beverly Hills. "I rarely have patients requesting large implants anymore, although there are still a few who express a desire for that busty, 'done' look. I counsel those patients that it is certainly possible to achieve that look, if it is truly what they want, but that I simply won't perform any aesthetic surgery that doesn't look natural. A woman with very large breast implants that doesn't match her frame looks like a cartoon character, and that is not my aesthetic ideal. And these patients never have any problem finding someone who will give them the look that they want.

One advantage of a conservative breast enhancement is that small implants are much more likely to feel natural. It is possible to provide an enhancement that is soft, supple and even undetectable with a small implant, something that is never achieved with very large breast implants.

"One of my recent breast augmentation patients (a doctor) said the following to say at her follow-up appointment: 'If I hadn't written a check to pay for my breast implants , Dr. Law, I wouldn't know they're not really mine.'

Implants of a moderate (and in my opinion, appropriate) volume, whether they be saline or the newly re-approved silicone gel implants, look and feel natural. The implant sizes I most commonly use blend in nicely with existing breast tissue, and patient satisfaction is high.

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