Pursuing perfection: Breast Surgery 101

By Lee J Mac for Asian Sirens
September 1, 2005

One very interesting phenomonon, particularly amongst fans of Japanese models and AV Idols is the willingness - even need - by many people to believe that their favourite models are all natural. The fact of the matter is, very few models today haven't had some kind of surgery: for example, these days it is almost considered compulsory for Asian models to have a nose job. But the thing that seems to always cause the most controversy in online fora is whether or not a model has had a boob job.

Speculation on the psychology behind this phenomonon would make for a very interesting article in itself, but first it would be instructive to explain the pros and cons of the various modern breast surgery techniques, and how to recognise whether a model has had it.

As the photo at right indicates, Sora displays several of the tell tale signs of having implants, so initially it was surprising to some that people thought she was natural. However, this seems to be based on the very common misconception (amongst Americans at least) that implants are always hard and stiff. Yet as we shall see it is actually quite easy to make implants soft and bouncy - with the right surgical techniques.

Types of Implants

It is widely known that there are two basic types of implants: silicone and saline. However, even amongst these there are a few variations.

Liquid silicone: This was the original breast implant, as the feel is closest to human breast tissue. However, early implants had very thin shells, meaning they would rupture easily. This meant that an 'unnatural' substance could enter the bodily tissues. As such, this type of implant is no longer in use, and resulted in silicone implants being banned in the US.

Saline: As silicone entering the body was a problem, it seemed logical to replace it with a 'natural' substance - hence salt water (saline) implants. This is the type now used almost exclusively in the US, and is also the type most commonly used in Japan. However, even with the same implant it is possible to vary its size and firmness depending on how much you fill it.

Try filling a plastic bag with water yourself. If you don't fill it up too much, it stays pretty soft. However, if you really fill it up, it becomes very firm. Herein lies a key difference in the techniques of American and Japanese surgeons. American surgeons generally prefer to overfill saline implants, resulting in a very firm breast. On the other hand, Japanese surgeons generally prefer to underfill them, resulting in a softer, more 'jiggly' breast.

So why do American surgeons overfill them? To try and avoid another problem known as 'rippling'. If you move the water bag around, ripples will form in its surface. But the more you fill it, the smaller those ripples will be. There are however other ways to combat this problem.

Silicone gell: Another, more modern and advanced solution to the problem of silicone entering the body are silicone gell implants. Basically, these are filled with a thicker silicone gell instead of liquid. By its nature, this gell will not leak, even if you cut the implant in half! And the properties of silicone gell mean it is still soft and squishy, like natural breast tissue - while they don't feel quite as soft as liquid silicone, they feel much more natural than saline.

As you can imagine, they are also much less prone to rupture and rippling than saline, so they are widely considered to be superior to saline by the medical community. However, while they are readily available in Australia and Europe, they are illegal in the US due to an overreaction to the problems with earlier liquid silicone implants. Also, they do have one cosmetic disadvantage relative to saline: whereas saline implants are usually filled after they are inserted, silicone implants are always premanufactured, so they require a larger incision than a saline implant of the same size (so they leave a larger scar).

Textured vs. Smooth

Whether saline or silicone, modern implants come in a choice of textured or smooth surfaces. Smooth implants actually move around freely, whereas textured implants are locked in place by attaching themselves to the body's scar tissue, so they don't sag as much. Textured implants are also less prone to medical complications, and feel much more natural: with smooth implants, it always feels like there's a bag inside the breast. However, because they move around freely, smooth implants bounce around a lot more than textured implants - sometimes even more than natural breasts. This fools a lot of people into thinking smooth implants are actually real and this is one of the 'tricks' Japanese surgeons use.

Another reason Japanese surgeons perfer smooth implants is because rippling is less visible, as the implants are not in direct contact with the breast tissue - this is one of the reasons they are able to use underfilled saline implants. Another reason is because they don't tend to go for as large an implant, and also because of how the implant is inserted.

Over the Muscle vs. Under the Muscle

Another technique Japanese surgeons usually use is to insert the implant under the chest muscle. This means the entire breast as well as the chest muscles cover the implant, which means they sag less, makes them appear softer and more natural, and also helps to cover up any rippling. However, this type of surgery is more difficult and more painful, so most American surgeons prefer to insert the implant over the muscle, in the breast tissue itself. This does however make them appear harder and less natural, and makes rippling more visible - hence the fact that American surgeons tend to overfill them, making them even harder.

One frequent side effect of submuscular placement is the reduction - or even elimination - of the natural 'crease' under the breast. You will often see this amongst the Japanese models who've had breast surgery (such as Sora). However, even though this is unnatural, it is often considered attractive, as it makes the breast look more youthful and 'perky.'

Different Insertions

Placing the implant over the muscle means having to cut into the breast itself, either around the edge of the nipple or along the crease under the breast. Hence, this results in visible scarring on the breast. However, submuscular placement allows the surgeon to insert them from another part of the body, usually the armpits, where the scar is very hard to see. Hence the fact that the Japanese models almost never have visible scarring on their breasts.

It is because of the foregoing reasons the Japanese models usually have softer, bouncier and more natural looking implants than most of the American models. So how can we tell if a Japanese model has implants? Some of the signs have been pointed out in the Sora Aoi picture above. As another example of what is believed to be natural breasts, see the Saori Nanami pic at right.

Note how her breasts not only flatten out when she leans back, but also change form. This is almost always associated with natural breasts. Even underfilled saline implants will tend to retain the same form, even if they move to the side and flatten out. This is probably the single most reliable way to tell if a model is natural or not.

There is a difference in the way smooth implants move around relative to natural breasts: the implant will tend to bounce about as a round ball, whereas natural breasts will undulate. However, with the relatively small, underfilled submuscular implants that Japanese surgeons prefer to use, it can still be very hard to tell the difference.

Some would argue that if you could feel the model's breasts, which remains unlikely, you would know if they have smooth implants every time. However, textured submuscular silicone implants in particular feel almost completely natural, so even this method isn't completely reliable.

Thus it is hard to trust a model when she says she's natural, especially Asian models. Their promoters will often even come up with 'growing up' shots to 'prove' they are natural, but these are usually bogus: clothed breast pics can be very misleading!

Courtesy Asian Sirens (www.asian-sirens.com), used with permission. Special thanks to Lee for his contribution to this article for Asian Sirens.








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