Thursday, July 19, 2012

Bikini and sundress season. What's up?

According to the American Society for  Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), the season of summer, bikinis and sundresses is a good time think about and talk about breast surgery.  ASAPS statistics show breast augmentation was the second most popular cosmetic surgical procedure in 2011, and 317,000 augmentations and 127,000 breast lifts performed.   In 2006 the FDA announced their decision to reintroduce silicone gel breast implants to the market, and last year 69% of the augmentations performed used silicone implants.

It's been 50 years since the first breast implants and we have certainly come a long way in terms of safety and reliability. 

Currently, both silicone and saline implants are FDA-approved by three makers: Allergan, Inc, Mentor Worldwide, LLC and Sientra, Inc. The latter being the latest one approved to offer silicone-gel implants of various shapes, textures and sizes. Having more options helps me as a Southwest Florida plastic surgeon and my patients make the best decisions for their particular body types and needs.

A recent survey conducted by reports that breast implants can improve a woman’s sex life. 61% reported an increase in frequency and 70% stated that they had an overall increase in satisfaction. The Huffington Post speculated that an increase in self-confidence following breast implant surgery most likely is the cause of the jump. Many studies have connected a rise in self-esteem post-plastic surgery, so their theory certainly has merit. Especially since almost 85% of women who have had breast augmentation have said it was “worth it” and they would do it again.

This cultural fascination with breasts led author Florence Williams to write “Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History,” which reported the average cup size in the US to be a C and that lingerie stores are now carrying larger sizes, some up to a size KK. Ms Williams was inspired to write the book due to her research into breastfeeding. (She had discovered contaminants in her own breast milk.) While it is a common misconception that women who have had breast augmentation cannot breastfeed, or that breastfeeding causes sagging, it is untrue.

Breast surgery also isn’t only relegated to increasing the bust size. 

Many women who have gained and lost weight, have large breasts genetically or have just succumbed to age and gravity might turn to a breast lift or breast reduction surgery. Common complaints of chafing, back, shoulder or neck pain and the inability to find the right bra, clothing or swimwear might lead some to seek out surgery. Breast reduction has one of the highest satisfaction ratings, with 95% of women saying it’s “worth it.”

According to the ASAPS, there were 316,848 breast augmentation procedures performed in the United States in 2011 compared with 101,176 such procedures in 1997. Breast reduction has had a 136% increase and breast lifts have increased over 539% over the same time period.


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