This is how it must feel to be a teenage boy.
I'm playing with big boobs. It's really exciting stuff.
Silicone spheres in different sizes, from a modest 310g to a massive 580g, the breast implants feel surprisingly soft and pliable.
"Cut one in half and it is just like a gummy bear," says Adam Bialostocki, balancing a boob in one hand. It holds its shape well. One side of the sphere is weightier, almost a teardrop shape, mimicking the shape of a normal breast.
Bialostocki, 37, is a plastic, cosmetic and reconstructive surgeon at Tristram Clinic in Hamilton, where he has been based for the past five years.
He helps fix faces and bodies afflicted with cancer or damaged in car accidents or from run-ins with horses, and also uses his scalpel to improve people's looks on the aesthetic or cosmetic side of plastic surgery.
Bialostocki says television shows such as Extreme Makeover and Nip-Tuck have increased public interest in cosmetic plastic surgery, making it more acceptable. What people ask for seems to vary. "It depends what has been on television the week before, whether patients are asking for a face lift or a tummy tuck."
CHRISTINE CORNEGE/Waikato Times
ADAM BIALOSTOCKI: Breast Implant technology has advanced and is now safer than it was in the early 1990's.
But modest Kiwis are still not ones to brag or talk openly about plastic surgery. "Americans will show off their scars. Plastic surgery over there is a status symbol, it shows you can afford to have it, like having a flash car or boat," says Bialostocki.
The difference between New Zealand and America is also seen in the boobs we go for. "In Texas the average breast implant, by weight, is 450g. Here it is 300g, and in Australia it is about 350g, probably higher," says Bialostocki.
The weight or size of implants doesn't correlate to cup size, as they depend on the patient's body frame, beginning breast size and other factors.
"About 320g to 335g is the most common shape I do, but that is for someone who is 5 foot 7 inches, and you have got to have the right proportion. Someone who is 6 foot 2 inches, that implant is going to be too small for her."
Technology has changed over the years. In the past, there were health concerns about breast implants, especially silicone ones which leaked. Bialostocki says that's not a problem now - old implants made in the early 1990s, if perforated, would squirt out like toothpaste, but the new-style silicone implants are made of gel which holds its shape, and does not migrate through the body. The ones we are playing with are by Inamed, and made in Ireland.
Saline implants are an option, but are still held together with a silicone shell, and do not necessarily give as natural an effect as full silicone ones, as water must be pumped in and breasts can look overly firm.
Of course, the clinic does more than just boob jobs.
Apart from the appearance medicine side of things (see next page), there are four plastic surgeons at the Tristram Clinic, which has been operating in Hamilton for 17 years.
Surgery to change body shape is a biggie for plastic surgeons. "Someone who has had a gastric bypass, and lost 50 or 60 kilograms, they walk in looking like they are wearing someone else's clothing, with skin three sizes too big for them," says Bialostocki. A body lift pulls up loose skin, and although it can be a time-consuming procedure taking 10 hours, it is "hugely rewarding", he says. Plastic surgery is often empowering for people. "It gives people their confidence back."
Clients go through hours of consultation with doctors and clinic staff to ensure they understand procedures, and patients must be psychologically stable.
Clinic staff say it is not only women. Men are increasingly interested in cosmetic procedures, not only Botox and dermal fillers to smooth out lines and wrinkles, but plastic surgery too. For men who want defined pecs, silicone implants (squarer and flatter than women's breast implants) can help give that buff, chiselled look. Calf implants are also an options. Bialostocki pulls one out of a box. It is a long clear saline-filled teardrop-shaped wedge, not unlike a piece of raw chicken breast. "These guys, they go to the gym and they are buff, they work out, and their thighs and chest and arms bulk up, but their calves don't look in proportion, no matter how many calf raises they do."
Plastic surgery is really about putting the body back in proportion, says Bialostocki, whether giving flat-chested girls a bit of a boost in the boob department, or pinning back large ears, or correcting a bumpy nose damaged in a rugby ruck.
The boobs are the hit of the day. The female Times photographer can't get enough, and keeps squeezing them, suggesting they would make a great stress toy. "I think that myself," laughs Bialostocki.
Original Source: Kate Monahan; Waikato Times; http://www.inboxrobot.com/news.php?fid=131095752