Breasts are the most definitive organs of a woman, and they also lend woman with grace, beauty and tremendous self-confidence. Actually, breasts are collections of fatty tissues called connective tissues or adipose tissues that are bonded by a layer of skin. The adipose tissues are held in place by Cooper’s ligaments. The terminal end of the breast contains a nipple, surrounded by the areola. The color of the areola differs from woman to woman. It can range from a bright fleshy pink to a darker shade of brown. Also, the size of areola differs. The areola can be so small as not to be seen behind the nipple at all, or it may spread to a wide area around the breast, which could be several inches across. Moreover, the size and shape of the areola (and the entire breast) keeps changing during the lifecycle of a woman.
Types of Breasts
As faces of people are different, so also are breasts. No two women will have identical breasts. The size and shape of the breasts depends upon genetic factors, regionalism, diet, climate and several other factors. Though there are several variations of breasts, some types can be classified broadly as follows:-
(i) Perfect Breasts – The perfect breast shape is quite a rarity. In both medicine and esthetics, the perfect breast shape is the one in which the nipple points outwards, parallel to the ground. There should be no sag and the breast should be supple and well-toned.
(ii) Swooping Breasts – This shape is the one in which the breast slightly bends inwards above the areola. There is no sag however. Due to the bending of the breast, the nipple points upwards, inclined to the vertical.
(iii) Saggy or Ptotic breasts – Saggy breasts are commonly found in women as their age advances. These breasts droop downwards, causing the nipple to be pointed downwards too. Saggy breasts may have more or little volume, depending on the amount of fat tissues in them.
(iv) Small Breasts – Small breasts are breasts that have very little volume of fatty tissue in them. Small breasts also have small nipples and areolas. There is very little substance between the nipples and the pectoral muscles.
(v) Tubular or Constricted Breasts – These are actually a defective breast shape which may be cause due to hernia in the breast tissue. They are visible as tubular or narrow cylindrical in shape, with very small nipples and areolas. Their base is also small, and the two breasts may be far apart.
(vi) Augmented Breasts – These are a severe condition of tubular breasts. There are visible anomalies in the shape of the breasts.
(vii) Pectus carinatum or Pigeon Breasts – These are severely deformed breasts which lie almost flat on the chest. They do not look like breasts at all. These are caused due to a congenital defect.
Though these are the main breast shapes seen around, they are not in the least all. There are several variations even in the above types of breasts. Some abnormalities in breasts are also common. Given below are some common abnormalities that are observed in breasts:-
(i) Many women have asymmetrical breasts. The asymmetry may be only in the shape and size of the breast, or it may also be seen in the shape and size of the nipple and the areola.
(ii) Some women may have hair around their nipples.
(iii) Some women may have inverted nipples.
Despite these abnormalities, these breasts are able to perform their main function, which is lactation. Hence, the outward shape of the breast is only for purposes of beauty, and not for physiology.
Breast Shapes and Breast Implants
A person going in for a breast augmentation surgery must keep the shape of her breast in mind and then decide upon the right kind of implant for them.
There are two main kinds of breast implants:-
(i) Round Breast Implants – As their name suggests, round breast implants are biconvex in shape. The more modern implants are saline gels filled inside a silicone shell. Due to their round shape, their insertion is not much difficult and they do not pose problems even if the implants get rotated within the breasts.
(ii) Tear Drop Breast Implants – Implants that are tear drop-shaped provide better shape to the breasts as they complement with the natural breast shape. However, due to their complex shape, they need an expert surgeon. A slight mistake could lead in asymmetric breasts. Problems can also arise if one or both of the implants get rotated within the breast.
When thinking about breast implants, the natural shape as well as size of the breast must be taken into consideration. Round breast implants are more preferable, due to their ease of implantation and hence, lower cost. When it comes to size, most women go in for a one or two cup size increase. The most common trend found is of converting an A cup size to a C cup size; though changes from B to C and B to D are also very common. It is detrimental to have an increase of more than two cup sizes, such as A to D. This will seriously interfere with the proportion of the body and will look quite off-putting.
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