The Hidden Dangers of a Breast Job

Research suggests those with breast enlargements are at triple the risk of death from alcohol or drug abuse

3 min read

Cleavage is the new self-esteem. Be it size-zero girls, wannabe brides, ambitious professionals or 40-something mommies, breast implants are a new rage in India. It’s almost become a national pastime; the Association of Plastic Surgeons of India, says, breast jobs have increased by more than 150% in the last five years in the country.

But seems like going under the knife does not make women feel complete about themselves. A study published in the Annals of Plastic Surgery found that women who get breast implants are three times more likely to commit suicide about 10 years after surgery, and more likely to die from alcohol or drug dependence or abuse.

Research suggests those with breast enlargements are at triple the risk of death from alcohol or drug abuse
A jump from size B to D might make you feel like a goddess but understand the full spectrum of unintended physical and emotional side effects of taking nature in your own hands (Photo: iStock)

The Study

In the study, Swedish scientists analysed the medical history of more than 3500 women for three decades, and compared the cause of death to what’s considered normal for that population. Besides triple the risk of suicide, they also found that the lung cancer deaths among breast-implanted women was fairly high.

Research suggests those with breast enlargements are at triple the risk of death from alcohol or drug abuse
A health scare over cancerous implants from France in 2012 also did not deter Indian women from falling into the booby trap (Photo: iStock)

Researchers say that this does not mean that elective breast augmentation messes up your mental health — it just sheds light on the fact that women who choose to change their bodies may be at higher risk for body image issues and the psychiatric problems that sometimes accompany low self-esteem in the first place.

Cosmetic Surgery: Beauty or Beast?

Your first breast surgery probably won’t be your last. More than half the women need another surgery within 10 years because implants don’t last forever. They begin to leak over time or a “scar shell” could develop around it, warping the shape of the breast and necessitating the need for another surgery.

So if a patient is not emotionally stable or financially secure, the results can be disastrous.

Research suggests those with breast enlargements are at triple the risk of death from alcohol or drug abuse
These are silicone breast implants. Sometimes a person with a clinical body image disorder, exaggerates a flaw to the point of delusion, imagining a minor imperfection as a hideous disfigurement (Photo: iStock)

Patients don’t understand that breast implants or any other cosmetic surgery is not just a nip and tuck to appear younger and fresher. It is still a new area of medicine and unless you go to an expert surgeon, the price to pay for tampering with your body, might be massive.

Psychiatrists say that patients are never fully prepared for the mental and emotional costs of cosmetic surgery.

Changing one feature might throw off the appearance of others. A tummy tuck may cause the thighs to look out of proportion, while plumped lips may make a normal sized nose suddenly appear obtrusive. I’ve seen cases where Botox injections, which paralyze certain facial muscles, caused the other active muscles to appear strangely overpowering and odd.
– Dr Mohan Thomas, Cosmetic Surgeon

Doctors also say that sometimes patients realise they’ve invested time and money into a procedure that was more psychological than physical. So the obsession might not stop at a breast implant. Next it might be the nose, then the lips, and the ears. The perceived abnormality keeps moving.

And the results may not always be what you bargained for. A botched up procedure pulls almost all patients into clinical depression.

So before you decide to lie down on the operating table for a perfect body, discuss the full spectrum of unwanted side-effects with your doctor and understand that there is no such thing as a “perfect body” anyway.

Also Read:

In the world of nips and tucks, liposuction is the most popular procedure but sometimes it can cost you more than your money.

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