Women Find Breast Surgery Attractive Again

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Many plastic surgeons with an elite practice have their own operating room, offering patients discreet access to the surgery. Dr. Darrick Antell, a plastic surgeon whose practice is almost exclusively cosmetic, says, “We have many patients who would easily be recognized, so we have available a side exit — they can walk out immediately to a waiting car and not even have to go through the lobby.”

Between 1992 and 1994, Dr. Antell says, he all but stopped doing breast implants. But in recent years, he says he has been inundated with female patients in their mid- to late 40s, who can easily afford the $8000 he charges.

Dr. Antell says even though his patients have cosmetic needs, they deserve sympathy. “It is easy for (critics) to say, ‘Live with it.’ These are usually attractive people who have never really suffered or felt self-conscious in a room,” he says.

One of his patients, a 47-year-old jewelry designer on whom Dr. Antell operated several weeks ago, says she used to be uninhibited about her body and probably wouldn’t have considered such a procedure when she was in her 20s. But after separating from her husband, she says, she examined her body and found that her breasts “had lost volume. They sort of looked deflated, so I was looking for fullness.”

Her friends thought she was “crazy,” she says, but she decided to go for a modest implant anyway. “I notice a difference when I walk down the street — men are staring at me, and I have men yelling out of their car, she says. She says the operation taught her “that men like breasts — they won’t admit it but they do.”