HOW LARGE IS TOO LARGE WHEN IT COMES TO BREAST IMPLANTS?

A recent story in the Plastic Surgery News (2/21/2012 by Jim Leonardo) recounts the story of Brazilian model, Sheyla Hershey, who “claims her size 38KKK breasts saved her life when she drove her car into a tree after leaving a Super Bowl party on Feb. 4. Hershey, 33, told police she became dizzy while driving near her home before striking the tree.

“My implants saved my life, I’m very sore and I have some scratches on them, but I know I would have been badly hurt without them because they were very close to the steering wheel,” she told RadarOnline.com. The airbags in her vehicle failed to deploy, according to reports.

Police charged her with DUI, but Hershey claims that road conditions contributed to the crash, the website states.

“It was raining and the roads were bad and the visibility was poor, there are no sidewalks,” she told the website. “There was a rough crash into (one) tree then I panicked and reversed across the road and hit another tree.”

Hershey had her record-setting 38MMM implants removed in 2010 after infection set in. She’s informed news outlets that she plans to return to this size when she’s physically ready.”

38MMM! I am not sure that there are enough letters in the alphabet to describe what is a frightening surgical result!! Although your right to choose your implant size may be protected by our nation’s Bill of Rights, there are many reasons to limit the choice of size to something considerably smaller than that.

• The body’s tissues are going to be stretched by such an implant that drooping of the breasts, thinning of the skin, and atrophy of the breast tissue will occur.
• Breasts that large will produce physical problems. I see women who are of a DD cup size and who are suffering from shoulder grooving at the site of the bra straps, numbness of the hands from traction on the nerves passing from the neck to the upper arm, rashes and irritation in the fold beneath the breast, hunching of the shoulders, neck/back/shoulder pain, etc. The list goes on!
• Seromas (fluid collections), capsular contracture, and infections are more common with larger implants.
• Nipple sensation may be reduced when very large implants are inserted.

What is the correct size for a breast implant? Although patients may like the way a certain size of implant looks in their bra before surgery or the way an imager shows they will look with a particular size of implant, that does not mean that the body’s tissues will stretch to accommodate that size of implant. Dr. John Tebbetts of Dallas, Texas introduced a way of determining the breast stretchability by simply measuring certain things about a breast – done during a preoperative office visit – and these numbers can then be used to give the upper limits of what size implant should be inserted. Although I do not follow this system to the letter, it is a valuable tool to help me advise the patient as to what size of implant should be considered.

Finally, although a patient can have a larger implant inserted in a 2nd procedure since the tissues will stretch, it still does not mean that it is a good idea. It simply means that the body’s tissues have stretched so as to allow the larger implant. The list of problems that is given above still applies. Air bags are a better choice than enormous implants!

Should you have any further questions, please contact my office.

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