by Terrye Tebbetts
I was recently asked to provide the High Five Measurement sheet to a woman who already had implants and was unhappy with her size. I had to explain to her that once a breast has been changed with an implant, the High Five system is really not useful. Our clinical measurement system is designed for use on primary augmentation patients and mastopexy patients – it allows us to find the amount of empty space in the breast envelope that needs to be filled – -not push tissue.
The High Five system is for women out there who want a breast implant but don’t want a boob job. It is for women who don’t want their breasts to walk in a room before they do. It is for women who want to look natural – no hint of implant – and avoid reoperations in the future.
The problem and most discussed topic on this forum is SIZE and unmatched expectations. The number of posts where someone is anguishing over 25cc’s never ceases to amaze me. The number of posts where all caution has been thrown to the wind – all logic and reality – all concepts of gravity and limits – - and posters are assuring each other that 475, 500, 600 cc is all good – just blows me away and makes me wonder where in the world is the surgeon in this decision and how can he or she in good faith endorse these enormous implants? (any breast that can truly accommodate 500 – according to the system – should be having a lift not an implant) Are they just giving patients what they want? Are they ever addressing what this will do to the patient and her breast down the road? Are they tired of patients coming back in after surgery and saying “gosh doc these are nice but it’s a small C and and I wanted a full C” – so they just go larger to avoid the comments afterwards?
Expectations – there is always a goal and a reason why a woman ventures into this arena – it is our job as the medical professionals taking care of you to help you understand what can clinically and safely be done. It is your job to adjust to the realities presented – - or decide not to do it at all. But if you set yourself up for a result that isn’t attainable – reaching for that unreachable vision in your head – you will always be unhappy and still searching.
That is why the High Five System is SO important the first time. A woman gets to see clinically if she likes, will be happy with what her body will allow. Surgeon and patient are on the exact same page and expectations are balanced.
We used to use all the stuff you guys have done – cups size, sizers, imaging, photos of others (I can proudly say, however, that we NEVER used the rice test!) – but all of those things did not prepare either the patient or the surgeon for the best operation that could be had. Once the measurement system had data and was published – it was and is tried and true – - it is right every time.
There is a CORRECT amount of fill for each woman’s breast – when used it is always right – it is never too big or too small. For me and for Tebbetts, it has taken the guess work out of this operation and makes it a pleasure to take care of our patients. It is always the perfect fit because the patient’s body told us what to do.
The first operation on a breast is the surgeons best opportunity to give you the best result possible. Once you get into revisions, it is never as easy as it was the first time. And once you get into revisions – it is even more important to boil down what you are really trying to fix and then find a surgeon that will be HONEST with you about whether or not they can predictably fix it.
Honesty and Expectations – because in the end whether it is your first time around or your fourth revision, that is what it all comes back to.
About the Author: Terrye Tebbetts is one of the most knowledgeable women in the world about breast implants, with 27 years of experience educating patients and 11 years as a patient herself. For more information about breast implants or breast augmentation Dallas surgeons, please visit www.thebestbreast.com.