Cosmetic surgery isn’t just about changing the way that the body looks. Altering physical appearance can also have psychological impacts, and breast augmentation is no exception. This article will focus specifically on the impact of breast augmentation on women’s confidence, offering evidence along the way.
What Is Breast Augmentation?
Before getting started, let’s take a moment to define terms. Breast augmentation is usually used to refer to a type of cosmetic surgery where implants are placed to make a patient’s breasts physically larger and give them a fuller look. People who want a clearer answer to this question can also visit charlotteplasticsurgery.co to check out before-and-after photos and get a free e-guide on the subject.
There is one misconception worth clearing up here. Breast augmentation is not the same thing as a breast lift, which does not add volume to the breasts. Instead, it changes their appearance by removing excess skin and tissue at the top to reduce sagging. Breast lifts can be combined with breast augmentations, and often are in the context of so-called “mommy makeovers.”
Either on its own or in combination with a breast lift, a breast augmentation can accomplish many aesthetic goals. They include:
Enlarging naturally small or underdeveloped breasts.
Improving symmetry between the breasts.
Restoring breast shape or size following mastectomy.
Helping women who have undergone childbirth and breastfeeding regain their silhouettes.
The result of accomplishing these aesthetic goals for most women is a body that is more in line with their images of themselves, which is a large part of why it can instill so much confidence.
When Can Breast Augmentation Increase Confidence?
There are several groups of women who stand to benefit from breast augmentation surgeries. Each of them is a little different, but all report increased confidence and self-esteem following their elective procedures.
Young Women With Micromastia
Micromastia is a little-known medical condition in which a young woman’s breasts never develop. These patients’ chests look the same as those of prepubescent boys. As a result, these young women often struggle with substantial body image issues throughout adolescence. Once they reach adulthood, they may opt to have breast augmentation surgeries to create a more womanly figure in line with those of their peers.
Women With Asymmetrical Breasts
Some amount of breast asymmetry is normal in women of all ages. However, there are cases where women have significant mismatches in size or shape, which can be a difficult problem to deal with both practically and psychologically. Some patients feel embarrassed by it, while others complain primarily about not being able to find affordable bras. Either way, it can cause serious body image issues that are easily alleviated through targeted breast augmentation.
Women Who Have Breastfed Children
Breastfeeding children is a wonderful experience for most new moms. However, like childbirth, it can also change the appearance of their bodies in permanent ways. Even women who find that their bodies bounce right back after childbirth may still never get the same volume or fullness back in their breasts that they had before breastfeeding. They generally undergo surgery to restore their former appearances.
Women Who Have Lost a Lot of Weight
When women gain and lose weight, it doesn’t just occur around the abdomen. Larger women who lose substantial amounts of weight may also find that their breasts shrink to a size that makes them feel uncomfortable. Combining breast augmentation with a breast lift to remove excess tissue and skin is a great way to improve confidence after having achieved those weight loss goals. It’s important to note that maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including consuming nutritious foods and staying hydrated with healthy drinks like water and herbal teas, can also contribute to overall well-being, which complements these positive body transformations.
Breast Augmentation and Self-Esteem
What’s interesting about breast augmentation is that although it’s usually considered a purely cosmetic surgery, women who undergo this procedure almost always report increases in their overall quality of life comparable to those associated with medically necessary surgeries. One study performed by Cynthia Figueroa-Haas from the University of Florida’s College of Nursing found a direct correlation between women’s self-esteem and sexual satisfaction and undergoing breast augmentation. The participants’ self-esteem scores were measured using the widely accepted Rosenberg scale. They increased from an average of 20.7/30 pre-surgery to 24.9/30 post-surgery.
Breast Augmentation and Sexual Satisfaction
A lot of research attention has gone into male sexuality in recent years. Female sexuality and sexual satisfaction receive far less attention, thanks largely to social standards, yet they’re important aspects of women’s overall well-being. While women shouldn’t view any kind of plastic surgery as a panacea for self-esteem or sexuality issues, breast augmentation can form one piece of the puzzle.
When Is Breast Augmentation Not the Right Solution?
Although the vast majority of women who undergo breast augmentations report high levels of satisfaction with the results, that doesn’t mean it’s the right solution for everyone. Some people simply won’t be good candidates for the surgery, as is the case with people who smoke or suffer from certain underlying diseases. Others may be going through difficult life changes such as divorces or deaths in the family that leave them emotionally vulnerable, in which case it makes more sense to wait until everything has calmed down.
Finally, breast augmentation is not a good solution for people who struggle with major mental illnesses, body dysmorphia, or self-esteem issues. Patients with a fragile sense of self may still report feeling better immediately after surgery, but they could be at a higher risk of suicide decades down the line. Most experts believe the connection is intrinsically tied to the worsening of psychiatric illnesses.
Speak With a Plastic Surgeon Today
People who are struggling with body image or self-esteem issues as a result of misshapen or underdeveloped breasts can often benefit substantially from undergoing a breast augmentation. They need to have clear expectations regarding the results, though, and find out whether or not they will be good candidates for the surgery. Not everyone is.
The answers to all of these questions can only come from a one-on-one meeting with a skilled plastic surgeon. Anyone who wants to begin the process of getting a breast augmentation should call to schedule a consultation today.