Ask Dr. Barber

Q. I feel like my earlobes are too big.  As I have gotten older, they have gotten larger.  Can earlobes be reduced?

A. Yes, earlobes can get larger as you get older and yes, they can be reduced in size.  You need to be aware that when they are reduced, you will likely lose your pierce hole and will have to have the earlobes re-pierced.  The surgery to reduce the earlobes is performed under local anesthesia, takes about an hour, and you can resume activities almost immediately.  You will not be able to wear earrings for about a month, then you can wear clip on earrings.  You can re-pierce your ears after about 3 months following the surgery.  Scarring is minimal. 

Q. My breasts are about as flat as they can be!  I have wanted a breast augmentation for a long time, but I am so nervous about creating too radical a change in my figure.  I have seen a plastic surgeon in the past and one of the questions asked of me is what size I want to be.  I honestly don’t know the answer to that question.  How do I make a decision on the right size for my body shape?  I am 5’ 2’’ and weigh 115 pounds.

A. This is a good question and something that you should think carefully about before having a breast augmentation.  I have several suggestions for you.  The first is to simply look in magazines with pictures of women wearing bathing suits or bras and find someone who appears to have a figure that appeals to you.  Take the picture with you to your consultation and show the plastic surgeon.  This picture will give some idea to the doctor about a size range that will accomplish your goal.  The second suggestion is to look at a website called implantinfo.com.  This website has hundreds of pictures of women who have had breast augmentation surgery. The patient’s pre and post op pictures are shown along with the height and weight of the patient and the implant size that was used for the augmentation.  This can at least give you a general idea on what a particular size implant is capable of doing.  Remember to look at pictures of women who are about the same height, weight and pre-op breast size that you are.  The same size implant in a women who is 5’2’ and weighs 115 pounds will look totally different in someone who is 4 inches taller and weighs 30 pounds more.  My final suggestion is to see a surgeon who offers 3-D imaging of the breasts.  This type of computer generated imaging has the capability of simulating a breast augmentation with a variety of breast implant sizes using the patient’s own photograph.  The way this works is that a photograph is taken of the patient’s breasts and the photo is converted to a 3-D image on the computer.  Using the actual dimensions of that patient’s breasts, the computer will match appropriate implant sizes to her and simulate what she will look like after surgery.  It is a very powerful tool to provide a visualization of anticipated results.  This technology is call Vectra 3-D imaging, and is available in some plastic surgeons offices, including Barber Center for Plastic Surgery.  My final thought for you is to not go too large.  There is often a temptation to place large implants in when you start with small breasts.  In the long run, most patients are happier if they chose an implant that gives a natural look that fits her body, rather than implants that are too large.  Make sure that the dimensions of the implant match the dimensions of your breasts. Good luck.

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