When it comes to something as controversial as breast augmentation, it’s very easy to find misinformation being spread by both supporters and critics. While certain myths may be strategically beneficial to advancing a cause, they harm women who are trying to make an informed decision about whether the procedure is right for them. Below are five myths about breast augmentation that should be debunked.
- "Breast augmentation is an unregulated business."
While it’s much easier for someone to claim to be a plastic surgeon than it should be, you can figure out if a surgeon is qualified if you're willing to do your research. If you choose a doctor who has been certified by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, you can rest assured that he or she is probably a safe choice. The ASPS requires surgeons to undergo comprehensive written and oral exams and expects them to accrue five years of surgical experience before they receive certification. To say that the business is a complete free-for-all is misleading.
- "Breast augmentation can solve body-image issues."
While most women report feeling increased self-confidence after a breast augmentation, this doesn’t necessarily indicate that the procedure is the cure for all of your body-image issues. An augmentation can change your physical appearance, but it can do nothing to address the original causes of your low self-esteem. Lots of times, people find that after a cosmetic procedure their insecurities re-emerge in some other form.
- "Breast augmentation makes breastfeeding impossible."
This is a myth that at least has a little truth to it. In some cases, the surgery may impede your ability to breastfeed—specifically if your implants move from their original position or if your surgeon makes an incision near the areola. However, by and large this will probably not be the case. Some women are also concerned that implants may leak into their breast milk, which could cause health problems for their babies. Even if your implants leak, there are no studies indicating that they can spill over into your milk ducts.
- "Only vain women have breast augmentation surgery."
There are lots of reasons why women might want to have a breast augmentation, and while vanity is a possibility, it’s not the culprit 100% of the time. Some women do it for themselves, such breast cancer survivors, and others some simply do it for a fun change of pace. Regardless of your reasons for wanting the surgery, it’s nobody’s business but your own.
- "Breast implants have to be replaced regularly."
It’s true that most implants don’t last a lifetime, but many critics claim that they must be replaced every five to ten years. However, it’s not uncommon to find implants that hold up for more than two decades. This is especially true with the new “gummy bear” silicone implants, which are specifically designed to last longer than older models.