Many women seek breast augmentation to get more cleavage. Cleavage is a confusing concept. There are a few concepts that are often dumped into the category of “cleavage” that are not the same thing. These concepts deserve separate consideration since plastic surgeons manipulate them in different ways.
- Cleavage refers to the space between your breasts. If your breasts are close together, you have more cleavage. If your breasts are widely spaced you do not have much cleavage. This cannot be safely narrowed surgically, but your breast implant choice can affect its appearance.
- Fullness in the upper portion of the breasts is distinct from breast spacing or cleavage. This can be improved surgically…
- Breast projection refers to how far your breasts stick out from your chest. This is affected by your rib cage and your breast structure. It can be influenced surgically during a breast aug.
Your cleavage or breast spacing is anatomically determined and should not be changed. The attachments of the pectoral muscles along the breast bone limit how close together breast implants (under the muscle) can be spaced. Releasing these attachments can lead to synmastia (“unibreast”), which is difficult to correct. If you have widely spaced breasts, using a moderate profiled implant can help maintain more volume towards the middle compared to high profile implants. This does not mean you should not have high profile breast implants if you have wide breast spacing—breast spacing is just one of the many factors that must be balanced when selecting your implant type.
If you want fullness in the upper portion of your breasts, you need an implant that is wide enough to reach up there to provide volume. You cannot generalize here… Your individual measurements and natural breast volume distribution need to be considered to determine what implants will get the job done.
If you want your breasts to protrude more, you want more breast projection. All breast implants increase breast projection, but some do it more than others. High profile breast implants increase projection the most. Since high profile breast implants are narrower, they may not provide as much fullness as the same volume moderate profile implant.
Relax! You do not need to figure out what type of implants you need to get the right balance of cleavage, fullness and projection. Instead, having a better understanding of what these terms mean will help you communicate your goals to your plastic surgeon so that he or she can figure out the hard parts for you. Improved communication between you and your plastic surgeon will help you get the result you want.