12 things to consider before breast implants.

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One woman’s view.

(1) Going under anesthesia is no joke. You could die. Let me say that again: you could die, even at the hands of a competent, board-certified surgeon. It is rare, but possible. If I found out I had to have major surgery, I would freak out. Do you willingly want to put yourself through that stress? Look in the mirror and ask yourself if you are willing to die for fake tits.

(2) It will hurt. A lot. The intense pain and numbness around your breasts may last for days, weeks, months, years, or forever. Yes, forever. There is no way to predict how your individual body will react to this intrusion. Ouch!

perma bra breast

(3) Getting implants is like buying a new car. Cars don’t last forever, and neither do implants. Sometimes you get lucky and get ones that last for several years, but most implants do not last that long, even the expensive ones. Eventually, you will have to go back under the knife and face the risks (and pain) of surgery. Again.

(4) It is going to be ridiculously expensive. Budget out more than one surgery; the doctor may not get it right the first time, or there may be a complication after a few weeks. Also, you may want the implants removed someday, which is an additional cost. Insurance does not cover these costs. In addition, if you are not on a group insurance plan from your job and you are seeking individual insurance coverage post-surgery, you are probably screwed. Health insurance companies look at silicone breast implants as a “pre-existing” condition, and they will put you in the high-risk pool, thereby tripling the cost of your insurance.

(5) You may think people won’t judge you, but they will judge you. Fake boobs are something you will be silently judged for by both men and women. I’m not saying it’s right, but it will happen.

wired magazine breasts natural

(6) Attitudes change with time. If you are in your 20s, you will grow and mature beyond what you can imagine now when you near the age of 30. This is happening to me (again) as the big 4-0 looms around the corner next year. Attitudes are bound to change.

(7) You will get lots of attention based on your breasts. Duh. This is why you’re considering major surgery. But consider also that you want to be respected for your brilliant mind, too, not just your tits. It will be frustrating when you are perceived as a sex object and little more.

(8) Some implant cases are more understandable than others. If you’ve had a mastectomy or if you have a completely flat chest, like a 12 year old boy, for instance, implants may make you feel more womanly. They may. They may not.

(9) Not all men like fake boobs. In fact, it is a serious turn off for some because it says a lot about a woman’s self-esteem, which appears to be externally derived. You could meet that great guy, but alas, he may not be able to get beyond the idea that your boobs are fake. They feel different to the touch than natural breasts and could very well be a psychological barrier to building intimacy with your partner. Along with that, many guys don’t care about boob size, contrary to how the media portrays them.

(10) Look at your natural breasts, touch them, and try to perceive their beauty. If you are considering implants, you obviously do not see your natural breasts as beautiful. Ultimately, you want to replace them with ones you think will be more pleasing. If you look at images of women’s natural breasts from the past, you can take yourself out of the context of this era and see natural breasts as a thing of beauty and sexiness, regardless of size.

(11) Research by the National Cancer Institute has found that women with breast augmentation are more likely to die of brain cancer or lung cancer compared to other plastic surgery patients. Pretty self-explanatory.

(12) If you can’t stop thinking about fake boobs, consider refocusing your attention. When I find myself obsessing about an aspect of my body, such as my imperfect butt, I am not putting my attention where it needs to be in that moment. I was born and developed in a certain way, specifically designed to do certain work. Work that will save me, repeatedly.

For me, it is writing. Writing gives me the one-pointed focus that calms my mind and centers my thoughts. This focus allows me to produce great writing (sometimes), which actually puts my whole being at ease. This sense of ease emanates from a deep place, beyond the body.

When you consider something like getting breast implants, you are essentially taking your eyes off the prize in life. And you doom yourself to a body-centered existence that will make aging an even more difficult process, and you will constantly strive against it. All bodies age and perish; there is nothing to hold on to, as much as we try by using artificial methods such as breast implants.

What you really want and crave has nothing to do with anything outside of you. It is the source of your own enthusiasm and the pathway to peace on the inside.

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About S.V. Pillay

S.V. Pillay is a former high school English teacher and current freelance writer in the great city of Chicago. She enjoys writing about religion, spirituality, art, endangered species, the environment, and social justice. She is American by birth (want to see her birth certificate?), South Indian by DNA, a student of yoga, and a proud Generation X’er. She prefers interactions with real human beings as opposed to social networking. And although she owns her share of MP3s, she still listens to records, tapes, and Cds. S.V. Pillay is currently working on her debut novel, a book of poetry, and a bunch of short stories. Click here to follow her on Twitter. Click here to read more stuff.


92 Responses to “12 things to consider before breast implants.”

  1. Lynne Ryder says:

    This is clearly an opinion piece and not investigative journalism. This woman is entitled to express her beliefs on the subject, just as she is entitled to author an article entitled 12 Things To Consider Before Becoming An Astrogeophysicist, though she may have no knowledge, scientific understanding, or new insights to bring to the table. That said, both breast augmentation and breast reduction are as serious a surgical procedure as any, and as such, deserve a better, more well-reasoned discussion than this poorly informed article. Of course, that's just my opinion.


    Writer, Breast Augmentation patient, 1998.

  2. Florencia says:

    I have breast implants and you demonstrate that you are completely ignorant about this topic. Every situation is different and you sound judgmental and uninformed. I thought about getting implants for ten years and it was one of the best decisions of my life. I did all my research and found an amazing surgeon. My breasts look and feel real, my husband did not know that they were fake, when I told him (after a few months of dating) he did not believe me. I did not suffer any pain, I did not even take pain medication after the surgery and started doing my regular life after two days. Not everybody needs to change them, my great-aunt is 94 years old and had breast enlargement in her early 40s. Never had them changed. You sound like a woman with a lot of anger and jealousy. I'm surprised your article was posted.

    • Georgia says:

      I couldn’t agree with you more. As a psychosomatic therapist by profession and proud owner of “fake tits”, I am completely disgusted at the lack of compassion and open mindedness this article has on this topic. Yes sure, inner peace, self love and seeing our own beauty is important. But in understanding the issues in the tissue of the physical body in relation to how we experience the world, sometimes the growth happens more powerfully working internally and externally in conjunction with one another.

      From an emotional standpoint the surgery can be undertaken for reasons which come from deeply buried hurt from all sorts of issues from a very young age which cause underdeveloped breast tissue, oversized breasts and a myriad of other issues related to this area of the body. I realise if I had not been doing the work emotionally regarding these issues before and after my surgery I might have had a very different experience. But having this procedure in order to fill my heart with something other than bones and limited breath from a lifetime of under nurturing and self hate, along with feeling womanly and beautiful; can I just say what you have written here is deeply unfair. To say most of what you have without having gone through the procedure yourself, sounds ragingly judgemental.

      Perhaps in future writing about things you know about from first hand experience or that you have well researched would be a better angle. Not everyone who has had breast augmentation is then forevermore noticed for their bra size, and not their brain. This was quite a sad article for me to read from one woman to another I’m sorry to say.

  3. domesticpirate says:

    After breastfeeding 4 children, I love what my breasts have done, but I no longer love the way they look. Now that we are done having children that is solely what my breasts will be for: aesthetics. I find full, perky breasts to be more attractive than flat, sagging ones; it's not something I can help, or change, it just is. I deserve to find myself attractive, and I know how to make it happen. People are constantly surrounding themselves with things that they find attractive: art in certain colors, blankets and rugs with luscious textures, clothing bearing bold patterns, vacations to stunning vistas. How is taking steps to make my body a temple I am attracted to (via piercings, tattoos, or implants) any different? My body is the only thing I am guaranteed to have until death.

  4. Erica says:

    I got breast implants in my twenties. I am 6 feet tall and was an A, now a C. I didn't do it for great reasons– I was in an abusive relationship and my boyfriend pushed for it. However, now fifteen years later, I am healthy and happy– and really love my breasts! My insurance rate didn't go up, people appreciate my mind and spirit first and foremost, and I haven't had to undergo further surgeries. The subject of my implants never even comes up. It is something just my husband and I get to enjoy and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. If people are judging me based on the fact of my implants as the author suggests, I don't know about it and even if I did, I don't care. To each his own. Blessings to all!

  5. Myriadia says:

    This piece is clearly written by someone with breasts she enjoys the appearance of and a good store of self-righteousness, without any care for checking facts or considering other points of view.

    Most women, including myself, who get breast implants have excellent self-esteem, are very well researched and aware of all the risks and downsides. The have ultimately made a cost-benefit decision that the implants are more of a benefit for their own personal reasons.

    Assuming no one who gets implants think their natural breasts are beautiful (some actually do, they just want larger ones – their own business), they must have low self-esteem, and that everyone wants the same "prize in life" speaks more to the author's preconceptions than any grounding in reality.

  6. Bela says:

    It's pretty clear that this article that implants are a trigger for you and it doesn't seem like you spent much time listening to the *many* reasons women get breast augmentations.

    1) There are risks associate with any surgery but lets be real, most people survive it just fine. Car accidents, on the other hand…
    2) Two hours after surgery I went out for a smoothie with my mom at the public market and had a lovely time (of course, the drugs they gave me were what made it fun!). I never needed to take anything but Extra-Strength Tylenol after that though and I felt good, even had lunch with friends the next day. Some women experience pain, some don't.

    3) This is true. They should be replaced every 10-15 years; I know a number of women who's implants are in great shape after 25+ years but it's not the norm or recommended shelf life.

    4) Lots of things that we love are expensive (hello, $13,000 in Yoga TT for this girl!!). Don't buy them if you can't afford them.

    5) People judge us for a ton of reasons and there's nothing I can do about it even if I wanted to. Should I take other people's potential judgements into consideration before I get dressed everyday? What a stressful way to live!

    6) We change our minds about all sorts of things (ie tattoo's, marriages, buying a house etc) but we still have to keep making decisions in order to move forward in life. Some decisions turn out well, some don't!

    7) Some women might get implants for "attention" but I don't find that is the usual reason and your statement is pretty catty. Most of the women I talk to just want to feel beautiful naked! If your breasts have melted into two skin flaps after breastfeeding or they've looked like a tennis ball in a tube sock your whole live you might feel less than stellar taking off your bra and that can take away from some of the pleasure of sex. My implants haven't turned me into a sex object. My students see me as their teacher, peer and friend not as a sex object, that's just silly.

    8) I'm glad you find *some* breast implants more understandable than others, it's good of you to be so generous.

    9) True, not all men like fake breasts. Then again, not all men like saggy small boobs either but I had boyfriends that loved me before and a boyfriend who loves me now. There are tons of reasons to like or not like me, boobs are just one of them. And honestly, did you just use "boys won't like you" as a manipulation tactic, really?

    10) I looked at my breasts and tried to love them for 36 years. I really like small breasts actually but mine were not only small they also grew in saggy and stayed that way since puberty. They looked like I had breastfed 10 kids but I have none. No matter how much love I sent them (and I really did) they just made me feel sad so I stopped taking my bra off during sex. Now, I love my breasts for real, they are just splendid! It makes me smile just thinking about them 🙂

    11) What doesn't give you cancer these days? My health is pretty spectacular as is my mom's and she's had he implants for 30 years.

    12) Sometimes when we feel good about our outsides it can create a sense of peace inside of us. If someone is "non-stop" thinking about anything they are out of balance but if they know what they want there is no reason not to get it.

  7. karen katz says:

    as an RN (and small breasted woman), I would beg women to please not get implants. I have taken care of cancer patients my whole career, and anything that would increase your cancer risk even a tiny bit, and is an elective procedure is something I am completely against. also, as the writer said, there is a very small but real risk of anesthesia complications, which can be serious to life threatening.

    I have had many lovers in my life-male and female-they all loved my breasts, or at least pretended to!…..now at age 58, as everything physical begins its inevitable descent, my breasts are still pretty perky.

    please ladies, unless you have had a mastectomy, or are completely lopsided, don't get implants.

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  9. sarah1001 says:

    So many issues with this article. Yes, you ,may be judged for implants, just as you will be judged for having a flat chest. Humans observe, categorize and judge. Its going to happen, whether your breasts are natural or not. Yes, some men may not like them, just as some men may not like women with flat chests. Either way, no one is going to be everyone's cup of tea. So best advice is do what makes you happy, not because of what people may think or whether men will be attracted to you or not. Getting implants doesn't mean you have low self esteem.

    I couldnt be more happy with my decision to get implants. I feel more womanly, my body feels more balanced and I love how they look. To me, they are not "fake." they are just as much a part of me as my ass that I have done endless squats to get because I sure wasnt born with that asset either. Does this make me shallow? Perhaps, if caring about my appearance because looking a certain way makes me feel confident is shallow. But while I may have some shallow concerns, I am not a shallow person because I do not judge other people's bodies or feel that I have any right to comment on someone else's life choices. Saying there are some reasons for getting implants that are more valid than others is a joke. No one can say someone else's decisions are valid or invalid. Who are you to say? The author of this article need to spend more time tending her own garden. We have one go round on this planet in this particular vessel. Do what you want to it. Do what makes you happy. Sure, do the research and make smart decisions. But just do you and dont waste time caring what others think.

  10. Gretchen says:

    I have had my implants sux years now. I love them and have had no problems. They are very soft and look great. Yep, it hurt when I got them, and it was very expensive. It was totally worth it. I was worried I might meet a great guy one day who didn’t like them but finally said screw that, I will do to my body what I want. I have not regretted it for one second. Mine are fairly large and sometimes I get judged by them I’m sure. It just makes me laugh. If you are happy with natural breast, keep them that way, but don’t this article deter you if you want implants. I love my boobs!

  11. Alison says:

    I can’t wait to get my BA done in December!! I was always flat chested and after feeding two beautiful babies I have two empty sacks on my chest with inverted nipples. I’m getting small implants so that I can finally feel feminine. This article made me even more excited because it was so short sided. Women should be free to do whatever the hell they want without judgement, ESPECIALLY from other women!! Common ladies, let’s just love on each other. My girlfriends, who have lovely naturally big boobs, are so supportive and excited for me. Peace!

  12. Eline25 says:

    I dont get how anyone could think of cosmetic surgery as something you’re ‘doing for yourself’. Sure, YOU may feel more feminine afterwards and YOU might be more confident. The problem here is that if your self-esteem and confidence is so closely related to the way you look that you are willing to pay a small fortune to risk your life obtaining what society considers beautiful – you are already in big trouble. Feeling feminine shouldn’t be based on your breast size. Also not your self-worth or confidence. Can you not hear how sad that sounds? If you were on an island by yourself, and there was a machine you could get into that would preform a BA on you- would you do it? No! If no one else are there to evaluate and complement you, there is no point. All that is left is risk of health and literal extra weight on your chest.

    As a woman I get that there is pressure from all kinds of media to look a certain way and I have also felt this pressure, felt less attractive because of it, and in my teens: So so depressed. But that’s also what it is. Society telling us what is attractive. If society told us that flat chests were the ultimate look – you wouldn’t ever consider a BA. You are not doing it for yourselves – you are trying to become what advertising has told you you should be.

    What really frustrates me about this is that it only becomes more acceptable and mainstream; which in turn, adds on the pressure for those of us who have taken a stand to change this sick culture and NOT bow under to the pressure. WE are slowly becoming the abnormal ones. Young girls are also affected by this, seeing their moms, aunts and older sisters risking their lives to change their looks – to become happy. Eventually, I fear there will not be any female diversity, only copies of the same stereotype, and those few freak flat-chested non-women who couldn’t afford to be normal.

    • Alexis Ramer says:

      I agree with the person who dared to utter the no one gets Breast Augmentation for themself.

      Her point of being by oneself on an island was perfect.

      I am not being judgmental. I get it. I remember when I could turn heads when I walked into a room

      I remember the feeling of power, to a degree, and it felt wonderful.

      i am pretty obsessed with my looks, but my intelligence is something that I cannot ignore. It is somewhat, at times, cognitive dissonance.

      I have very high esteem with regard to my mind, but there remains this overwhelming thought about how much “hottter” than I am.

      I am not happy. I am, at times but generally not. I was anorexic for a time and still, at my age, worry about getting a blemish

      As far as I can figure, my looks were the focal point of my parent’s attention

      It could be as simple as that.

      i am not judging women who choose this, but me thinks thou protest too much.

      Again…the island scenario.

      But it is TOUGH to let all of that go. That we seek validation from external sources is, especially, seemingly hard wiired in our brain

      Think of what you could spend that 10k on

      In a way, the lower animals are so much “smarter” than human animal.

      You don’t see cows, dogs. etc. enlarging their mammary glands. Lol

      My breasts used to be huge. After I had my first child, they, as well as the rest of my body changed.

      i was actually super thin.

      I had never been over weight. It was just that I morphed into this thin muscular 12 year old boy.

      My husband, now my ex., teased me about trading me in for a new model.

      i was really hurt by that comment, as I was fairly young and very sensitive to criticism about my looks.

  13. Bernadette says:

    Where is this proof of women with breast augmentation being more likely to die from lung and brain cancer? From what I have read lately breast augmentation doesn't even increase your risk of breast cancer.

  14. Sheena says:

    Wow, tarred and fucking feathered. I get that your perceived absurdity of a person literally risking life and limb under the supposed illusion of self-improvement, but how grossly misinformed and uninformed is this article.

    1. Like anesthesia an author's responsibility to a well written and researched article is no joke.

    2. Yes, like so many other things in life pain during recovery and surgery go hand-in-hand.

    3. Surgery is like buying a new car, the same way orchids are like bowel movements.

    4. Everything comes at a price, real or inferred. The value and assigned meaning by the individual is what makes the difference.

    5. People will judge you; you are judging in this article. That, is what humans do. We are presented with a situation practical or theoretical, we judge, come to a conclusion and are either stirred to act or not. Judging is an inherent trait of all organisms that experience a flight, fight or freeze response to any threat to their well-being, real or assumed.

    6. You are right. Attitudes do change with time. So does everything else. Everything changes, and life goes on.

    7. Yeah, so what? You also get attention for popping a wheelie on your bike or pulling a handstand in the middle of a G8 summit. Ask any stripper or performance artist how they feel about attention.

    8. Some cases are more understandable? Please tell us how you are arrived at that conclusion from interviewing a wide cross-section of breast augmentation candidates.

    9. Again you are right. Not all men like fake tits. Some men like the rock solid, sometimes oiled pecs of other men.

    10. You look at your breasts S.V. Pillay, touch your breasts, and try to perceive their beauty. Acknowledge them for all that they are; powerful, vulnerable, beautiful, perfect and imperfect all at once. But your perception of your breasts is just that,YOUR perception of YOUR breasts. How can you justify dictating to another being THEIR perception of THEIR vessel? Our shared existence does not give you insight into the reality of another.

    11. National Cancer Institute researchers can only tell you about the research candidates in their studies. Published results of a controlled scientific experiment from a government controlled institution is never self-explanatory or applicable to every individual governed by that country, let alone the world.

    12) Consider re-focusing your attention S.V. Pillay, and this is not me dictating but suggesting. When you find yourself obsessing or fixated on anything that does not promote growth and the self in a positive light, search yourself to see what is the basis of this negative energy. Is it from external pressure due to absurd, meaningless, unattainable, societal expectations? How can you counter that negativity? What puts an individual's whole being at ease? You're fortunate you have found your peace in writing. There are those who still struggle to find peace in body and mind, hopefully your words will help someone somewhere in their search. It's not easy acknowledging and transcending the mind-body coexistence. Hopefully we won't forever be fighting ourselves in our doomed body-centered existence.

    Plato spoke about opinion being that midpoint between ignorance and knowledge.

    Be well…

  15. speakfromtheheart says:

    So, a lot of responses here are already castigating you for this article, but frankly, you deserve it.
    You certainly have a right to an opinion an to make points about the negative effects of breast implants,
    but your "list" and post is simply full of flat-out incorrect assertions. Your risks of health side effects, for example,
    are grossly overstated. They read like a list of breast implant risks circa 1969. They also last far more than "a few years". I"ve talked to too many surgeons and patients who have implants to believe much of what you are claiming.
    I don't know a single one who had complications, or cancer, or needed them replaced, even after 10 years.

    Ditto for the pain and recovery time claims. The feedback I get from people who have really had this done
    is that there is pain and a recovery from surgery, but it is hardly any worse than, say, having an appendix removed.

    "Very expensive"? Well, I suppose that's a judgement call. They cost around $6,000 these days, on average.
    That's a pittance compared to what most surgeries cost. The only difference is you have to pay for it
    out of your own pocket. But why do you list this as "negative"? Anyone who is considering this is aware that it is
    a cosmetic procedure and they will have to pay for it. That's like saying, "Cars are bad because, well, they cost a lot of money."

    People will notice and judge you. So what? Guess what? They judge you based on your hair, your skin,
    your height, your intelligence, your religion, politics and 100 other factors, some physical and some not.
    If you get great big implants and you are worried that people will judge you as a porn star, well, don't get them.
    Anyone getting implants is well aware of how they will be seen by the public. Heck, some women want
    big implants BECAUSE they want to be seen as sexy like a porn star. Again, none of this should be news, nor is it
    a "negative". It's like saying, "Ya know… if you wear a miniskirt or a push-up bra, people are going to see you
    as sexy". Ummmmm… isn't that the point? Honestly, you're talking to women like they are stupid children
    who don't know how their appearance is perceived by the general public. I promise you, every girl on Earth
    has known since she was 12 years old what parts of her body she wants to show off, and what parts she doesn't.

    Pointing out negatives is all well and good. But it needs to be truthful.

  16. David says:

    If men wouldn’t exist, women wouldn’t get breasts implants. I don’t believe in things like ” ohh, I did it to feel good in my own skin” bla bla bla. Everything you do, in terms of appearance, you do it for others. You do it because you care what others think about your looks. Many women admit they do it to look good in certain clothes. If there would be no men who would look at them, they wouldn’t risk their lives doing this type of procedure. ayyyyyyyyyyyyyy The funniest part is some women believe the bullshit they’re saying. You can’t even make this up. LMAO

  17. Guest says:

    Let's not forget that there are breast deformities as well.
    I, myself am in the process of getting one diagnosed.
    If I were to get implants, it would be because of this. Not for anyone else but myself.
    I have the right to wear clothing with confidence.
    I have the right to wear a bathing suit with confidence.
    I have the right to wear a bra or lingerie with confidence.
    These boobies are for me and my husband only.
    If you have not suffered a bodily deformity, then you have no idea how I, or another patient feels.
    I am not wanting to emulate a porn star, even if other women do.
    Some people get in horrible car accidents and have plastic surgery to fix their faces, etc.
    For every plastic surgery patient, there is a story behind the "why".
    And that "why" is no one's business!

  18. Emily says:

    This article makes me angry, i want a breast augmentation. I understand all the risks. And some points in this article are true. However, stop mentioning men. I do not want boobs for men. Or for any other person. I want them for myself. And this line "You will get lots of attention based on your breasts. Duh. This is why you’re considering major surgery. " Has just made me want to find you and slap you. I do not want attention. Thats the opposite of what I want. I do not want to flaunt my boobs. I want them to feel more feminine. Until you want a boob job, do not write an article about things to consider. Because in reality you have no clue at all.

    I think this is a very rude article and very inconsiderate to anyone that is struggling with their insecurities about their body.

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