It’s such a popular surgery.
But new research shows that women who receive breast implants are 3 times more likely to commit suicide than the general population.
Deaths related to alcohol or drug dependence or to mental disorders were also 3 times higher among women with breast implants.
This new study in the August issue of the Annals of Plastic Surgery confirms earlier research that linked breast augmentation and suicide.
The study analyzed over 3500 Swedish women who got breast implants between 1965 and 1993. Breast cancer patients with reconstructive surgery were not included.
The researchers followed the women for up to 29 years after surgery. The average follow-up period was about 19 years.
A 10-Year Grace Period
They found that there was no increased risk of suicide in the first 10 years after surgery. But the risk was 4.5 times higher 10 to 19 years after surgery and 6 times higher after 20 years.
Women with breast implants also had a higher risk for lung cancer and chronic respiratory disease. But they didn’t have a greater risk of dying from these diseases.
Although it hasn’t been ruled out that silicone toxicity is responsible for the increased suicide risk, the experts believe it is more likely that the women had psychological problems before getting implants.
The women may have had self-esteem or body image issues before surgery. Even if they initially experienced psychological improvement after the surgery, it didn’t last.
These studies linking breast implants and suicide point to a greater need for psychological evaluation of plastic surgery patients.
The Parallel To Weight Loss
It’s hard not to draw a parallel between the psychological effects of cosmetic surgery and weight loss.
How many of us believe that if we lose our excess weight our problems in life will be solved?
Although the suicide link may not be there with weight loss, the disappointment can be.
If you have psychological or relationship problems in your life, neither weight loss nor cosmetic surgery will solve them.
It’s just easier to believe it will.