Is there such a thing as the perfect breast? After performing more than 3,000 breast surgeries, including breast augmentation, at my Chicago practice, I’m intrigued by the findings of a recent study that examined whether there is an ideal ratio for upper and lower breast proportions.
The study from the September issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery® showed that a ratio of 45:55 — a breast that is slightly fuller in the lower pole (bottom half) compared to the upper pole — has “universal appeal.” Researchers surveyed 1,315 respondents, including 53 plastic surgeons, who ranked the perceived attractiveness of 4 women with different breast sizes. Using computer software, researchers altered the photos of each of the women’s breasts into 4 different proportions.
The participants looked over the photos, with proportions that varied between more fullness in the upper and lower poles, with the nipple as the dividing line. For the winning proportion, the 45:55 ratio, 45% of the breast’s mass was above the nipple and 55% below. It’s also important to note that the respondents also preferred nipples that pointed slightly upward.
The overwhelming preference for the 45:55 proportion included both men and women. In fact, the researchers noted, 90% of the men who participated in the study preferred this option, which is essentially a more natural-looking breast than the “enhanced” look of more fullness in the upper pole.
“This is i n stark contrast to previously misplaced assumptions that men prefer oversized or ‘fake’ breasts, a view that has long been held as a clichéd interpretation of male preference,” the study says.
This study can be useful in helping plastic surgeons understand the aesthetic importance of breast proportions, but it also remains critical to tailor the procedure to the individual. A proportion that works for one body may not be quite right for another.
Ultimately, I listen closely to each patient’s cosmetic goals, because the definition of a “perfect” breast depends on personal preference. That’s why it’s so important to find a qualified plastic surgeon with the skill and experience to devise a surgical plan that will satisfy the patient’s goals while still looking natural and beautiful.