Keeping abreast of the issue
Hong Kong women love to follow a trend and breast implants are no exception. The rise in celebrity enhancements has meant an increasing number of local women are asking for breast implants, says plastic surgeon Mok Chun-on.
However, although the western belief that 'bigger is better' is obvious on the red carpets of Hollywood, 'Chinese women who want implants do not crave a very large breast size', says Mok. 'Most younger women want a B or B+ size. Mature women who are not as thin go to a C size, but that's really the maximum.'
There are no statistics for Hong Kong but Mok says he thinks the trend for breast implants is gaining strength. 'It's more common because women are becoming more liberal and tolerant,' Mok says.
Model Gaile Lai shocked the local celebrity circuit in 2004 when she admitted having breast implants to boost her bust size from 32A to 34C. However, she had the implants removed a year later because her back could not support their uncomfortable weight.
Then there is Carisa Yan Wing-shan, who has talked openly about her breast surgery and is the face of beauty salon Be A Lady, which takes clients to South Korea for surgery.
'Women come to me for various reasons,' says Mok. 'They are either young women with small breasts and they want to have bigger breasts to make themselves feel more confident or to please their boyfriends. The other women are usually mature and have often had babies. They may have sagging and their breasts have become less prominent.'
Mok does, however, turn away patients who are too 'immature or have unrealistic expectations'. Often these are young girls who are not sure what they want.
Implants cost up to HK$60,000 under general anaesthesia at a hospital, but some women opt to do it under local anaesthetic in a clinic.
Mok cautions against taking the cheaper option and going to the mainland, Thailand, Taiwan or Korea. 'I'm not saying they are doing bad surgery, but you don't have the control or standards there that you have in Hong Kong.'