HOUSTON (FOX 26) - The breast implant trend is on the decline for the first time in decades. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons says tens of thousands of women are opting for a more athletic look and kissing their fake breasts goodbye. One woman, who has undergone the procedure four times and "gets" why the trend is finally dying down, shares her story with FOX 26 News.
Natalie Benestante is thrilled with her new look and truly no longer believes bigger is better. She reduced her breast implants from a double-D to a small C. She started this journey to a fuller look almost twenty years ago.
"It really boosted my self-confidence and I felt good about myself," explains Benestante. "I've always been shapely, athletic, but felt out of proportion up top, but I was more balanced-out and felt more proportioned."
She says she loved her new look for a while, but then like many women who've undergone the procedure, she had her first child and that changed everything.
"Probably six months after having my baby, I noticed a change in implants -- had saline, they were drooping and had shifted a little bit and had excess skin. At that time, I had breast lift and removed excess skin and put in a fuller implant."
That was then. Now, she's closer to where she was twenty years ago.
"Pretty small, small and perky is what they're looking for," says Dr. Mark Schusterman, a plastic surgeon in Houston. Many of his patients have jumped on the bandwagon for smaller breasts.
"I think most women are going for a more natural look, but a lot of women are coming back in after they've had implants for several years and want to go smaller," explains Dr. Schusterman. "They're just tired of the larger breasts and they're heavy and it makes them difficult to work out. After they've had kids, they just don't look very good. They come for smaller implants and often times a breast lift."
Many celebrities have openly admitted to removing their implants, including bathing suit beauty Pamela Anderson. Health Magazine shared the dramatic difference in not only their breast sizes, but more modest clothing as well. Among them, actress Melissa Gilbert who openly talks about removing her implants, as does singer Stevie Nicks. Even Sharon Osborne is going for a smaller look.
Many women say it's tough to work out with large breasts. Others are tired of follow-up procedures from their implants.
"It's more of a physical feeling that they're heavy and in the way and they're tired of them," says Dr. Schusterman. "It sounded like a good idea when they were young, but as they get older, their lives change and their perspective changes and they're more in to comfort than the way they look."
Natalie is enjoying her smaller look and enjoying life more now without large breasts.
"I'm very athletic," says Benestante. "We spend a lot of time outdoors, athletic stuff, golfing, fishing, weight training, and much more comfortable and not to mention more comfortable carrying my baby around! My back doesn't hurt, so it has been a good positive change."
Dr. Schusterman adds that the older implants also make mammograms more difficult to read, especially if the implant is not under the muscle. He believes that could also prompt women in their 40s and 50s to remove their implants or get a newer version.
For more information about this trend, visit http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20958304_4,00.html and