Is it Worth it to Have a Breast Augmentation?
When you’re considering any elective medical procedure, you need to know the risks, and weigh them against the benefits. The choice of whether or not to have elective surgery is very personal, and every person will make their choice differently. Here, we’ll discuss the major risks and benefits of having breast augmentation surgery. If you want to learn more about what the procedure and the recovery are like, please visit Breast Augmentation (with Implants): the Procedure and Recovery.
Please note that this page is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for qualified, individualized medical advice. You should discuss your potential elective surgery with your own doctor(s), including your primary care physician and the surgeon who will perform your surgery if you decide to proceed.
Any surgery has risks, and they should be carefully weighed before you decide to proceed. There is a chance of infection, which may require antibiotics and may also lead to a less aesthetically-pleasing result. There is also a chance of excessive bleeding during the surgery, which occasionally requires a blood transfusion. Some women react badly to anesthesia. There is a small risk of death due to any surgery. Although it’s important to be informed, these risks are small in most healthy people; talk with your surgeon to determine your personal risk.
Additionally, there’s the risk that you might not be happy with your breast augmentation result. You might feel that your implants are too small or too large, or you might not like their placement. You can reduce this risk by choosing a surgeon who listens carefully to you and tries to understand your goals, and asking him or her all of your questions before surgery.
Your implants might also move over time, and shaped implants may rotate, leading to an asymmetrical and possibly strange appearance of your body. Scar tissue sometimes forms around the implants; this is called capsular contracture, and if it happens, your implants may feel hard rather than soft and may have an irregular appearance. Some people experience rippling of the skin over the implants. There is also a risk that one or more of the implants will rupture at some point, requiring replacement or removal. Your incisions may not heal well, leading to scars which aren’t aesthetically pleasing.
Some women experience changes in sensation in the breasts and/or nipples after breast implant surgery. This could include numbness or pain. It may not fully resolve after you heal from your surgery.
If you may wish to have a baby after your breast augmentation procedure, you may find that breastfeeding is more difficult, although it’s still possible for women with implants to breastfeed.
Years ago, a group of women with silicone breast implants raised concerns that their autoimmune diseases were caused by the implants. Silicone implants were not used for several years while research was done on this issue. Fortunately, it has been determined that there is no increased risk of autoimmune disease related to breast implants, and silicone breast implants are safe for women’s health.
Breast augmentation can greatly improve a woman’s self-esteem. It can make her feel more confident, and more feminine. For women who have lost breast volume due to pregnancy, weight loss, or mastectomy, it can restore the woman’s body image so that she feels good about her body again.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average surgeon’s fee for a breast augmentation is $3,678. This varies between surgeons and in different regions, so check with the surgeon you’re considering to find out the exact price. Additional costs, including the anesthesia, operating room fees, medications, and possibly additional items, may not be included in this fee. For more details, please see our Breast Augmentation Costs page.