Despite the poor economy, more cosmetic surgeries were performed in 2011 than ever before. According to The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery’s Cosmetic Surgery Statistics the most common procedure requested by women was breast augmentation with breast lifts falling in the top five. Together, these two procedures accounted for almost 450,000 cosmetic surgeries in 2011. From 1997 to 2011 breast augmentation procedures increased by almost 320 percent, while during this period breast lifts increased by 540 percent. Many reports, polls and studies have suggested that breast enhancement surgery changes the way women view their bodies which leads to increased confidence and self-esteem. These heightened characteristics have also been linked to a more satisfying sex life.
What is Breast Augmentation?
Also known as augmentation mammoplasty, this surgical procedure involves creating larger or fuller breasts through the use of various types of implants. The implants are placed under the chest muscle or the breast tissue to alter breast size and/or shape of the breasts. Breast mammoplasty is used to make smaller breasts look larger, correct asymmetrical breasts, and increase the fullness of breasts that have begun to sag due to age, pregnancy or breast feeding.
There are currently two types of breast implants that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, saline filled and silicone gel filled implants. Saline implants are reported to be safer than silicone since it’s easier to tell when a saline implant has ruptured. Both types of implants come in a rounded or more natural appearing teardrop shape, and smooth or textured surfaces.
Another technique that is used for breast augmentation is fat grafting also known as autologous fat transplantation. This involves removing excess fat from areas of the body such as the buttocks and thighs and injecting it into the breast. A benefit to this augmentation method include that the risks of rejection or adverse reactions are removed since the fat being transplanted is the individuals own tissue. Additionally, fat transplantation permits surgeons to shape the breast to fit the requested appearance as opposed to being restricted to using preformed implants. One limitation of the procedure is that the fat transfer method limits the increase in size of the breasts which is smaller than what can be obtained with implants.
While some practitioners in the field have expressed reservations regarding this procedure, according to studies published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the Journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, fat transplantation is a safe and efficient method of breast augmentation.
What is a Breast Lift?
Breast tissue and surrounding skin often lose elasticity with increasing age as well as from pregnancy, breast feeding and changes in weight. Additionally, genetics has been shown to play a role in decreased skin elasticity leading to premature sagging of the breasts.
A procedure which can address these effects is a breast lift or mastopexy, which involves removing unnecessary skin and raising the breast which are then supported by tightening the tissue around them. However, breast lifts do not change the size of the breasts. For fuller or larger breasts, plastic surgeons often perform a breast lift with breast augmentation.
Is Breast Enhancement Connected to an Improved Sex Life?
For women, body image greatly influences self-esteem, self-confidence, and the way they react in intimate encounters. When women feel self -conscious or ashamed of their bodies, they are less responsive and enjoy sex less than when they feel positively about their body image. In terms of body image, the parts of the body that are the primary focus for women during sexual encounters are their breasts. This may be a result of images from T.V., movies, media, ads, books and societal norms in which breasts are equated with womanhood, femininity, sexiness and desirability.
This is one of the main reasons millions of women have had breast enhancement surgery. When a woman feels her breasts look asymmetrical, misshapen, or undersized, this can have a large impact on her life. We’re surrounded by advertisements for products that are alleged to increase breast size, bathing suit models whose figures suggest the ideal body includes large, firm breasts, and movies in which the ingénues clothing reveals enough to suggest the presence of sizable breasts beneath. With all these influences it’s not surprising that women believe that they must have large breasts to be found attractive by others . These beliefs transfer to the bedroom, affecting a women’s sex life.
New Findings on Breast Augmentation Surgery and Saxual Satisfaction
Breast enhancement surgery has recently been front and center in the news with increased attention on examining the relationship between women’s satisfaction with their breasts and their sex-life. A study in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery reported that women who had breast enhancement surgery reported increased satisfaction with the appearance of their breasts, and a greater sense of psycho-social and sexual well-being after the surgery. Since psycho-social functioning is strongly related to sexual functioning, while each of these factors may have contributed independently to improved life satisfaction following breast enhancement surgery, these factors also likely contributed to women’s quality of life through the ways in which they interacted.
A recent poll conducted by RealSelf.com, a consumer review site related to breast augmentation, suggested that breast enhancement surgery improved several areas in the respondents’ sexual functioning. In particular, results demonstrated that following surgery 61% of the participants reported having sex more often, and 70% of the participants reported greater satisfaction with their sex live.
Interviews with plastic surgeons regarding this poll were not surprised by the findings. A plastic surgeon on faculty at the University of Texas stated that he noticed a difference in how women dressed and the way they carried themselves , which he equated with increased self- confidence following surgery. He added that he believed this improved confidence observed in his patients was likely to affect other areas of their lives in a positive manner including their sexual functioning.
Anecdotal reports suggest that women who have undergone breast enhancement surgery experience orgasm more quickly and are more easily aroused by their partners. Some practitioners have suggested that when a woman feels self -conscious during sex that it’s more difficult for her to relax and experience pleasure from the encounter. Breast enhancement surgery increases overall confidence, which can lead to a woman feeling more relaxed and less inhibited during sex. Most theories related to the outcomes of breast enhancement procedures suggest that the improvement found in women’s sexual functioning was a result of an improved body image leading to increased self-confidence and greater comfort in intimate situations.