Celebrity boobs jobs -- actual (Heidi Montag) and rumored (Sarah Palin shot down speculation that she was "enhanced") -- are so frequently in the news that it makes women think breast augmentation is a simple, complication-free procedure.
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But this is not the case. It's a surgery. And, like any surgery, you should think long and hard before you go under the knife. Here are some things that you might not know about breast implants:
1. They don't last forever. According to the FDA, if you get implants (silicone or saline), you will likely need additional surgery within 10 to 15 years due to rupture, other complications, or cosmetic funkiness (asymmetry, wrinkling, rippling, etc.). Cha-ching.
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2. They don't solve self-esteem issues. A study in the American Journal of Epidemiology found that, compared with the general population, women with breast implants are 73 percent more likely to commit suicide. This isn't a result of the implants themselves, it's that the implants didn't solve a pre-existing psychological issue such as low self-esteem or depression. Make an appointment with a psychologist before undergoing any plastic surgery.
3. They make it harder to spot breast cancer (and may rupture during a mammogram). Silicone and saline implants make it more difficult to detect cancer during routine mammograms. Some studies estimate that up to 30 percent of tumors are missed in women with artificially-enhanced cleavage. Of course, if you have implants, this is not an excuse to skip mammograms altogether. To up your chances of effective detection, find a doctor or facility that has experience with imaging women with augmented breasts.
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4. Most men prefer manmade mammaries. There aren't any super scientific studies on the matter, however, in every online and magazine-sponsored survey I can find, more than 80 percent of guys say they would rather a woman keep her natural girls than invest in a bigger pair. Take it from notorious womanizer and Katy Perry's hubby, Russell Brand, who has been quoted as saying, "I prefer natural, to tell you the truth. In my thoroughly researched and valid academic view, they look amazing: the symmetry, the softness, the roundness ... it's the touch too."
Bonus: Get cuter cleavage here (add a cup size...or two) -- no surgery required!
5. There are natural ways to enhance what you've got. For a boob job, minus the slicing and stuffing, head to the gym and opt for moves that strengthen your upper back, says exercise physiologist Tom Holland, owner of Tom Holland's Athletic Club in New Canaan, Conn. He suggests rows, flies and pushups, which will train your muscles to pull your shoulders down and back, automatically lifting the breasts to make them appear larger. Tip: To maximize results when doing upper back exercises, imagine squeezing a pencil between your shoulder blades. Click here to build the ultimate upper back workout.
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