It’s hard to believe that, over the course of 50 years, the simple insertion of a bag of saline or silicone beneath the breast would become not only the most popular plastic surgery procedure today, but also a totally accepted norm in our culture. It’s true – breast augmentation is officially mainstream.
The popularity of breast implants can be explained quite simply: the procedure is reliable, our patients are happy with the results, and our culture values breasts. The photo at the left is from a patient on whom I recently performed a breast enhancement. She was given these cookies by her friends celebrating her decision to have her breasts augmented. How cool is that? From my perspective, a breast augmentation is a really fun procedure and I share my patients’ excitement. It’s their big day, a celebration of the decision to engage fully the benefits of a breast augmentation and what is to come.
Very few people are not aware of what a breast enhancement is. We all probably know several if not many women who have had one. And we see the results all the time—at work, the shopping mall, walking in the neighborhood and watching TV. Today, social media is full of material for all those interested in learning from actual patients rather than from plastic surgeons’ marketing teams. If you want to know what it could be like for you, just ask another patient.
What’s new in breast augmentation since it first appeared 50 years ago? In reality, not much. We still have both the saline and silicone implants on the market, and more than 85% of patients prefer the latter. Gone are the days when people believed breast implants were associated with health problems: to date, no correlation has been found. Like any surgical procedure, there is always a risk for complication, but this is not a deal breaker for most women.
The best advice I can give anyone considering a breast augmentation is to choose your doctor wisely and use good judgment when you determine the size of your implant. Your doctor should be someone who can educate you, too. For example, because larger implants increase the risk of complications, I always preach to my patients to choose the smallest implant that creates the desired look. The average size varies by region of the country, but is in the 300-400 cc range. There are still patients who prefer the really small implants and those who want really big ones. To each her own!
If you are considering a breast augmentation, this just may be the perfect time for you to fully embrace the most popular cosmetic surgery procedure! Maybe your friends will also have a party to celebrate you.