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Breast implants boost self-esteem for many women, but some feel let down.

How Will Breast Implants Change Your Life?

Breast Implants & Body Image continued...

She also sees young women who have developed asymmetrical breasts -- they don't match in some way, either in size or shape. It's a relatively common, embarrassing condition. One breast might be a D-cup, while the other is a B. Or there might be a half-cup difference between the breasts -- which might not sound like much, but can be very noticeable.

"They truly feel they have a deformity," Casas tells WebMD. "They don't feel they have a normal body part. It's a body image issue, not a self-esteem issue. They want that body part to look more normal, to look better in clothes and bathing suits."

All that rings true with Kearney, she says. "I look in the mirror now and think, 'That's the way I'm supposed to look.' I have more confidence now. I can go clothes shopping, and it's amazing how things fit."

Mommy Makeover & Breast Implants

Here's another of Casa's patients: 41-year-old Kristen Chase, who was "a generous 36B" before she had four children in seven years, she says. "After my fourth child, my breast tissue was just a deflated sack. My body bounced right back after the pregnancies, but my breasts didn't. I wanted my body back."

Women like Chase grew up with a completely different mind-set, says Casas. "They don't have body image issues. These women went through their formative years feeling good about themselves. They work out, feel great. They just want the breast to be the nice normal size they had before."

The first time Chase looked into breast implant surgery, silicone implants weren't FDA approved. With her broad chest, a saline implant just wasn't appropriate. "It would have protruded too much," she says. "That was not the look I wanted."

Her result with silicone? "It's very natural, not an artificial breast look, not the type you see on the street and know immediately is a fake," she says. Another key point: "I've had zero sensitivity loss in my breasts."

Breast Implant Replacement & Other Realities

Women who’ve had breast implants and their doctors agree: It’s very important to go into surgery understanding the full financial costs -- or you’re bound to be dismayed.

  • Health insurance does not cover the surgery.
  • Insurance also does not cover any follow-up surgeries. Yet complications do occur, and revision surgeries are sometimes necessary to correct a problem.
  • Also, both saline and silicone implants usually have to be replaced at some point because of breakage.
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