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Health Watch: Breast Downsizing

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Breast downsizing is a new trend in cosmetic surgery. Women exchanging large breast implants for smaller ones. 3 On Your Side Health Reporter Stephanie Stahl says Hollywood is leading the trend.

Sexy starlets with voluptuous cleavage. Big breasts, enhanced with implants, used to be a popular look.

But not anymore.

A growing number of stars are rumored to be downsizing, exchanging supersized for more natural looking implants.

"Bigger is not better," said Harriet Bleiman, of Havertown. She has joined the reduction bandwagon.

"I just feel like this is the right proportion for me," said Harriet.

She used to avoid wearing tight tops because her large breast implants had become an embarrassment.

"I liked them at the beginning, and after a couple of years they felt like two large, standing out, almost cantaloupes, and that made me very uncomfortable," said Harriet.

And Harriet developed a common problem. Her implants got hard, misaligned and fake looking.

"It's more of an art than a science," said Dr. Kevin Cross, a Plastic Surgeon at deme in Philadelphia. He says a growing number of women want to look more natural.

"Patients come in with double d's and will say I'd like to be more comfortable. I'd like to be able to exercise. I'd like to be able to be less self conscious about what I'm wearing," said Dr. Cross.

He says sometimes the surgery involves a simple implant exchange, but usually there's some reconstruction.

"It does require modifying the pocket where the implant sits, to make sure that the new implant sits appropriately," said Dr. Cross.

"They're gorgeous," said Harriet. She had her implants replaced in November.

"My breasts are soft and natural. Bathing suits are more comfortable because I don't have this thing sticking up right here," said Harriet.

She has a new summer wardrobe. Summer at the shore with her family will no longer be about covering up.

And she thinks her new smaller size may have even helped her golf game.

"My putting is better. I was always a good putter, but now I'm an excellent putter," said Harriet.

It costs $6,000 to $8,000 to have breast implants exchanged, and it's not covered by insurance.

Risks are similar to initial breast augmentation, but the procedure is an easier recovery.


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Reported by Stephanie Stahl, CBS 3

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