Breast Augmentation Research

I'm doing an argumentative paper for my college Eng. 101 class. I need some articles on breast augmentation. To be more specific, in my paper my view on breast augmentation is that I believe there are positives in general, except when I see a young girl that has absolutely no deformation, or lack of breasts whatsoever, and she gets an augmentation for her boyfriend or guys in general. I think that is a shame and I wish they wouldn't do it for those reasons. I'm thirty-four years old, I've had two children and I personally still see no need for breast augmentation. If you could point me in the right direction of some research articles that would be helpful to me I'd appreciate it.


I've copied you a recent release from the Canadian Women's Health Network about the long-range realities of breast implants. I found these statistics on breast implants rather sobering. Perhaps this will add to your perspective.

New Canadian study shows follow up procedures from private breast implant surgery draws on public health system

Aleina Tweed and Ann Pederson, researchers with the British Columbia Centre of Excellence for Women's Health, are asking the government to keep better records. There are currently no mechanisms in Canada to track the health outcomes from plastic surgery, including breast implant surgery, despite the various health problems that have been linked to these implants.

An estimated 100,000 to 200,000 women in Canada have breast implants, approximately 80% for cosmetic breast augmentation and 20% for cosmetic reconstruction after mastectomy surgery or to correct under- or non-developed breasts.

In 1992, concerns over the safety of the silicone gel filler prompted the U.S. and Canadian governments to impose a moratorium on silicone gel-filled implants, effectively limiting their use to clinical trials or special dispensation. Saline filled implants have continued to be widely available. Inamed Corp., the manufacturer of McGhan implants, is currently applying to the FDA and to Health Canada to lift restrictions on the use of silicone gel-filled implants.

However, concerns over implant safety whether silicone- or saline-filled remain. International research indicates that the complication rate associated with breast implants is high. A study by the Mayo Clinic in the United States found that fully one-quarter (25%) of women with breast implants suffered local complications severe enough to require additional surgery within five years of implantation. Further, between January 1, 1985 and September 17, 1996, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration received 103,343 adverse reaction reports associated with silicone breast implants and 23,454 reports involving saline implants.

In a recent Canadian study supported by the British Columbia Centre of Excellence for Women's Health, Aleina Tweed focused not on the health outcomes of breast implantation, but on health care utilization as a marker of the potential physical and financial burden borne by women and by the public health system as a consequence of breast implant surgery. Data collected from a study group of 147 women who had undergone breast implant surgery were compared to data from a group of 583 women without implants.

Ms. Tweed found that women who have or have had breast implants visited doctors and specialists significantly more, and were more than four times as likely to be hospitalized than the women without implants. Women in the study group were twice as likely to be admitted to hospital electively, although the services accessed once admitted were similar. One of the few differences was the increase in general and plastic surgery services among women with breast implants - services that we would expect to be associated with local breast-implant related complications.

Breast implant surgery is often not a one-time procedure. Following implantation, over half (51%) of respondents from the study group reported at least one additional breast implant-related surgery. Of these women, half (49%) reported one additional surgery, and nearly one-third (28%) reported three or more additional surgeries. For some of these women, the complications were enough to convince them that they no longer wanted breast implants. 40% of respondents had had their implants permanently removed.

Cosmetic breast augmentation is not considered essential medical care, and is therefore paid for privately rather than through public insurance. However, when there are health consequences to this surgery, women enter the public health care system for care.

Full study available at:

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