Sunday, July 11, 2004

Teens not shy about breast implants from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
In a Rich's-Macy's changing room, Amanda Ross smiles as she squeezes her sinewy body into an orange nylon tank top.

"I never could have worn this before," she says, sashaying before a full-length mirror.
"You look great," says Paige Bellamy, trying on a white body-hugging shirt.

Ross and Bellamy, friends ages 19 and 18, recently did something once unthinkable for women so young: They got breast implants. They joined a surge of American women, many of them teenagers, lining up for breast enlargement surgery like never before.
There is an accompanying photograph of the young ladies in question with the following caption:
Friends Amanda Ross (left), 19, and Paige Bellamy, 18, say their recent breast enlargement surgeries allow them to wear a wider range of clothes. They liken breast implants to a cosmetic change, such as teeth whitening.
In a bit of unintended humor the photo has a "click to enlarge" link below it.
These young ladies don't seem to mind the potential consequences. Putting aside the discredited link between silicone implants and connective tissue disorders, these women seem to shrug off any concerns. Concerns including difficulty with mammography, clinical exam and breastfeeding. What about the potential for implants having to be replaced in ten years?
Ross said she hasn't thought a lot about the need to replace the implants, which health officials say is required every 10 years or so. "I'll be an older woman then," she said.
But wiser? Only time will tell. There are financial concerns as well. One of the young women financed the $6,000 for her implants over four years with monthly payments of $160. This could impose a significant burden. On the other hand, the chances of repossession are slim, so what have you got to lose? These young ladies are not alone:
Of the 280,401 women who received cosmetic breast implants last year, 11,326 — or 4 percent — were under 19, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. In previous years, that age group accounted for 1 to 2 percent of the total. Statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons are more conservative, saying 3,841 women under 19 got breast implants last year. That's a higher percentage of its total than in the past two years. Both groups report a doubling of all breast enlargement surgeries over the past five years.
The article parades some psychology types who provide the usual boilerplate about society's expectation of women looking like Barbie and the effects that has on "self esteem". Diane Zuckerman, president of the National Center for Policy Research for Women & Families, goes so far as to say, "You don't want them to be making decisions about plastic surgery." I wouldn't go that far but I have serious issues with how these young ladies view a major surgical procedure with comparing to teeth whitening. It's called "informed consent" for a reason but with statements such as this:
Bellamy.... admits that she only pretended to read the waiver forms about possible complications from the surgery. "I didn't want to freak myself out, so I wouldn't read it," she said.
I wonder how informed she was. Well you pays your money and you take your chance. A note to Ms. Bellamy's surgeon: clip and save for your malpractice attorney.
My sample suffers from selection bias since my breast patients see me for cancer concerns, but I have yet to have a patient tell me she was happy with her decision to have implants 20-30 years ago.
Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?