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Ann Plast Surg. 2011 Jul;67(1):7-11. doi: 10.1097/SAP.0b013e3181f77ab5.

Ideal anthropomorphic values of the female breast: correlation of pluralistic aesthetic evaluations with objective measurements.

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Department of Surgery, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.



In determining ideal anthropomorphic values of the female breast, previous studies relied on the aesthetic judgments of 1 plastic surgeon alone or conveyed no aesthetic judgment.


Anthropomorphic measurements were recorded from the breasts of 109 female volunteers. Images of their breasts were arranged into a computerized survey, and plastic surgeons, cosmetic breast surgery patients, and reconstructive breast surgery patients were interviewed for aesthetic feedback.


In all, 252 plastic surgeons, 15 cosmetic patients, and 25 reconstructive patients submitted 4446 evaluations. The ideal sternal notch to nipple distance was 21 to 21.5 cm, the ideal nipple to base distance was 6 cm, and the ideal base to inframammary fold distance was 2 cm. These and other ideal anthropomorphic measurements were calculated and compared with previously published values. Among cosmetic patients, insufficient cleavage had the most negative effect on aesthetic value, and among reconstructive patients, severe asymmetry had the most negative effect.


Ideal anthropomorphic values were similar among plastic surgeons and patients, and these values will be useful in achieving quantitative breast surgery. In cosmetic patients, operative planning should focus more on superomedial fullness of the breast to create cleavage, and in reconstructive patients, postoperative asymmetry should be minimized.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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