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Entries in Breasts (4)

Tuesday
Sep042012

Twin Study Shows Moisturizing, Breast Feeding Stall Breast Aging

James Woodson/Digital Vision/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Breast feeding, daily moisturizing and hormone replacement therapy can make a woman's breasts appear more beautiful, but smoking, drinking alcohol and having multiple pregnancies can take an aesthetic toll, according to researchers.

A study of identical twins published Tuesday in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal, titled "Determinants of Breast Appearance and Aging in Twins," shows environmental factors play a key role in how a woman's breasts age.

Other factors like higher body mass index (BMI) and larger bra and cup sizes also contribute to accelerated breast aging, according to the study.

An estimated 316,848 women had breast augmentations and 127,054 had breast lifts performed in 2011, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

Now, women can identify lifestyle behaviors that can slow the aging process to avoid surgical intervention, according to the study, which was funded by a grant from the Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation.

For the last three years, plastic surgeon Hooman T. Soltanian of University Hospitals Case Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio, studied 161 pairs of twins.

"It's very rare that both twins have been through the same exact environmental factors throughout life," he said.  "The idea was that they have the same [breasts] from a genetic standpoint.  If we see a difference, it's more likely to be environmental factors."

Soltanian collected data from consenting women between the ages of 25 and 74 at the annual Twins Days Festival in Twinsberg, Ohio.  The average age of the study's participants was 45.5 years old.

"The twins come from all over the country for a weekend to have fun and celebrate," he said.  "We have been using that opportunity to study their breasts.  It's not a longitudinal study, but a cross-sectional study."

The study had two parts.  First, each set of twins was given a questionnaire on lifestyle habits, such as smoking, drinking, number of pregnancies, use of a bra, stress at work, sports, hormone replacement therapy, moisturizing and exposure to the sun.  Each twin answered independently.

Then, photos of the twins' breasts were taken "in a secluded area by professionals."  Those photos were "subjectively evaluated by independent reviewers."

Soltanian acknowledged there is "no objective measurement" for what makes a breast "beautiful."  But researchers looked for skin tone, droopiness, shape and areola size.

Moisturizing seemed an "obvious" advantage on a breast's appearance, showing fewer wrinkles, according to Soltanian.  

Those who received hormone replacement therapy after menopause had more attractive breast shape, size, projection, areolar shape and areolar size.

The study seemed to refute myths about the negative effects of nursing a baby, findings that even surprised Soltanian.  Even though the size and shape of the areola had suffered, the skin quality was better in women who breast fed.

"All these twins did not breast-feed without being pregnant and pregnancy has a negative effect on breast appearance," he said.  "My explanation is that women who breast fed have a different hormonal milieu -- sort of like internal hormone replacement.  So even though those were disadvantages, they gained some benefit."

Soltanian, who does reconstructive surgeries for women after breast cancer, said this twin research could be expanded to longitudinal studies that look for environmental influences when one twin has cancer and the other doesn't.

As for the study's importance, he said, "It's obvious to me that breast appearance and breast health as a whole are a major part of female health."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul032012

Twin Sisters' Torment Led to Breast Reduction Surgery

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- For the first time since they were teenagers, 42-year-old twins Tanesha and Tiwan Sweet can finally go out in public without enduring taunts, stares and whispers.

Up until a few weeks ago, the women suffered years of humiliating harassment for having size 40G breasts.

"I used to work in a nursing home and a lot of the older men groped at me and touched me," Tanesha, who hails from Long Branch, N.J., told ABC News.  "I always went to work wearing two bras and a sweat top, and I would never take it off, even if it was 90 degrees out."

But the torment continued outside of work as well.  Going to the beach, even while covered up in pants and tee shirts, led to more teasing.

"We were just walking along and people were staring, and we've even had cars stop, look and whisper while they're pointing at us," she said.

On top of the emotional pain, the sisters also endured years of back pain and discomfort.  Tanesha said she suffered from unrelenting back spasms.

Relatives and friends who had breast reduction surgery spent years trying to persuade the women to do the same.  They were initially reluctant because of concerns over cost.  Their surgeon, Dr. Russell Ashinoff of The Plastic Surgery Center, said the procedure can cost between $5,000 and $8,000 if not covered by insurance.

But both sisters found out their health insurance would pay for most of the surgery.

While considered a cosmetic procedure, Ashinoff explained it's also a reconstructive procedure that improves self-esteem and eases physical symptoms; the latter is why insurance companies agree to pay for the surgery under certain conditions.

"We removed probably about 1,200 grams from each breast, which is about 2.5 to 3 pounds from each side," he said.

Tanesha said the surgery took her from a 40G to a 38DD, taking quite a bit of stress off her back and neck.

"I haven't had a back spasm since the surgery.  I have had no pain at all," she said.

And her bra size isn't the only part of her wardrobe that has changed.

"I can finally buy a size extra-large shirt now, and I can also wear button-up shirts, which I could never wear before," she joked.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Apr272012

Russians, Scandinavians Top ‘Atlas of Breast Cup Sizes’

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Relax, all you data-hungry world travelers. At last there’s a guide to the countries with the biggest breasts. German newspaper Bild has published a World Map of Breasts, a color-coded plan showing how women around the world stack up in terms of cup size.

It turns out that Russia and the Scandinavian countries are the top-heavy winners, with a “greater than D cup” average size. American women weren’t too far behind; the map shows the average U.S. cup size is D.

But Bild itself points out in a blog entry called Hooray for Boobies that the data used to make the cup-size map might be flawed. And the results might seem a bit counterintuitive. Breast tissue is composed largely of body fat, so it may be tempting to chalk up larger breast size to a country’s higher rate of obesity. But that comparison doesn’t quite match. In the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s 2009 rankings of the world’s most obese countries, the U.S., Mexico and New Zealand rated highest. But Russia, which ranked lower than the OECD average, came in first.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Dec072011

Smoking Could Cause You to Lose Your Nipples

Zoonar/Thinkstock(DETROIT) -- One plastic surgeon has given his patients yet another reason to give up cigarettes: Smoking could make their nipples fall off during cosmetic breast surgery.

When Dr. Anthony Youn, who practices in Detroit, warned his patients of this possible surgical outcome, he wasn’t just trying to scare them.

“I’ve actually seen it happen,” he told ABC News.

In his memoir, In Stitches, Youn described a smoker whose nipples began to turn dark purple during breast lift surgery, indicating that the tiny veins in her breasts were failing to keep blood flowing properly.

Cosmetic surgeries like breast lifts and breast reductions alter the blood flow to these body parts as it is. But Youn said the nicotine and carbon monoxide from cigarettes could strangle blood flow even more. Body parts that don’t receive blood flow turn from purple to black -- to dead, he said.

“Among plastic surgeons, this is a very well-known complication,” Youn said. “If patients don’t stop smoking for three to four weeks before and after the surgery, they put themselves at risk for major problems.”

The risk is not only for breast surgeries. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons recommends that patients stop smoking well in advance of any cosmetic procedure. In 2009, a report to the American College of Surgeons noted that smoking could complicate the management of anesthetic during any surgery and also hinder a patient’s recovery.

Youn said patients who didn’t kick their smoking habits while undergoing nips and tucks were at a high risk for wounds straight out of a horror movie.

Smoking can, for example, damage or kill the skin of the face after a face-lift, leaving exposed tissue. Smokers getting a tummy tuck could see the skin and fat of their abdomens die off, “leaving a big crater,” Youn said.

Even secondhand smoke could lead to these complications, which can result in months of recovery and a couple thousand dollars in extra medical expenses.

Youn said he found that the most effective way to get his patients to kick their smoking habit was to tell them the truth about these very real risks.

“Smokers are addicted, and unfortunately, in order to get them to stop smoking, sometimes you have to shock them,” Youn said. “And many of my patients say, ‘Thank you so much for telling me this because now I really am going to quit.’”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio