Breast Augmentation: Beyond Aesthetics and Esteem

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Breast Augmentation
Photo credit: American Society of Plastic Surgeons

Naturally, a woman’s breasts play very significant roles in creation. Beyond producing and housing the milk  that caters to the feeding and survival needs of infants and children, they also symbolise femininity and constitute a confidence-booster for the average woman.

Even older men are still attracted to the breasts of their spouses. As echoed in the biblical book of Proverbs 5:18-19, the fact that a woman’s breasts remain one of the sources of satisfaction for her husband shows that God Himself had a special purpose for creating them and this purpose transcends the production of breast milk for her babies.

The sophistication of modern life has made many women to begin to find ways of altering the sizes of their breasts, as a response to what they term feelings of inadequacy or the desperate hunger for a better physique. The religious would readily interpret this to mean that such women are not satisfied with God’s creation and, so, are trying to reshape what He has endowed them with. Beauty enthusiasts, however, strongly disagree with this viewpoint.

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There are many reasons women engage in what is universally known as breast augmentation. One is the need to look youthful, beautiful and fully feminine. Such women believe that the fuller the breast, the more beautiful and attractive they become to the opposite sex.

Another reason women augment their breasts is to restore firmness or volume, following months of breastfeeding their babies. This is usually the case with women who jealously and passionately guard their physical beauty. They do not want anything that would give them away as people depreciating in appearance. There are also those who undergo breast augmentation in order to correct flaws created by a previous surgery, while others who have undergone mastectomy as part of their breast cancer therapy also embrace breast augmentation.

One thing that is glaring in all this is that women attach so much significance to their self-image, of which their breasts play a prominent part. However, despite the many good reasons women engage in breast augmentation, there are also risks involved. This is where cosmetic surgeons and others involved in the process must come open to their patients. Risks such as infection, rupture, capsular contracture, breast implant illness, and, in rare cases, cancer, are common.

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For Dr Andy Wongworawat, a board-certified plastic surgeon and owner of Advanced Institute for Plastic Surgery, it is important that patients understand that breast augmentation is surgery and therefore prone to risks. “All surgeries, regardless of how common they seem, come with risks,” he said.

Statistics however indicate that there is only about one per cent risk of complications due to breast implants, with the most common being pain in the breast, changes in nipple and breast sensation, scar tissue formation, rupture and deflation. Dr Alexander Zuriarrain, a double board-certified plastic surgeon with Zuri Plastic Surgery, believes that warning guidelines on breast augmentation are very necessary in order to improve patient education, while taking cognizance of the risks associated with the process.

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“All patients should understand the risks of breast implants to include additional surgeries, capsular contracture, implant rupture, and possible infection,” he said, adding that it is important for all patients to discuss breast augmentation with a board-certified plastic surgeon who has extensive training in the field.

Essentially, women must draw the line between beauty-seeking and their health. It is not profitable to incur dire health consequences in the quest to alter the size or shape of one’s breast. This is especially important, as the World Health Organisation and the US Food and Drug Administration have identified a connection between breast implants and a rare form of cancer called breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL).

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