Breast implants tend to conjure up the same image: models on the beach with suspiciously perfect bodies. While it’s true that it isn’t hard to find breast implants on display in movies, in modeling photos, or on beaches, the breast implant is far more than just a feature to make the already beautiful more beautiful (although it is that as well, for what it’s worth).
No, breast implants are also an important part of psychological medicine. This has been recognized for years in some countries. The British NHS (national healthcare system) covers breast implants in cases where issues with the breasts (such as underdevelopment or asymmetry) have lead to psychological problems for the woman. In this case, the surgery is an obvious and incredibly effective way to help treat what can be more than just a source of embarrassment for a woman, but a true detriment to her overall psychological health.
Another way that breast implants work as psychological medicine is in the case of breast reconstruction after a mastectomy. As points out, mastectomies are becoming an increasingly common treatment for breast cancer (or as a means to remove the risk of breast cancer). While that is excellent news for the longevity of millions of women, the results of a mastectomy can be devastating to some women.
Consider the situation: a woman discovers she either has or is an extremely strong candidate to develop breast cancer. This is shock enough, but then she finds out that the treatment requires the removal of her breasts, a very noticeable part of how she looks and perhaps how she thinks of herself as a woman. Now, the trauma is two-fold. She has to worry about all those things that come with a cancer diagnosis (thoughts of mortality, worries about loved ones, etc.) and she has to deal with losing a crucial part of herself.
It’s obvious, in that situation, that serious psychological trauma could develop. Thankfully, the answer is right there for all to see. Breast implants, as in the cases discussed above with the NHS, provide a way to remove this secondary trauma immediately. According to Bergman Folkers, breast implants can restore the original look and feel of the breasts that have been removed, allowing the woman to avoid a lifelong reminder of the difficult situation she’s already been through.
Breast implants, then, are a means of psychological recovery, and a way to remove the suffering that might come after the treatment.
Looked at this way, it’s obvious that we must stop looking at breast implants as something only there for the rich, the beautiful, or the beach-obsessed. We have to start seeing them as something much more as well: as a means of providing true and proven psychological benefits to some women.
For the kinds of cases mentioned above, there is no better means of healing the mind than by providing the physical benefits that can be found with breast implants.