Oscar winning actress, Angelina Jolie, bravely admitted to the world that she underwent breast augmentation after losing both her breasts in a double mastectomy. The news dominated headlines because many people hadn’t heard of such a thing – a woman opting for a preventative procedure, and then admitting to cosmetic surgery. For many, this was the first time they’d heard of a non-superficial reason to garner breast implants.

In an op-ed piece titled “My Medical Choice,” Jolie tells her audience that she carries a mutation of the BRCA1 gene, which increases her risk of breast cancer to about 87 percent. “I decided to be proactive and to minimize the risk as much I could,” says Jolie. Her mother died of ovarian cancer at the age of 56, and Jolie has no plans to leave her children similarly motherless. She writes, “I can tell my children that they don’t need to fear they will lose me to breast cancer.”

About her breast implants, Jolie has this to say:

“There have been many advances in this procedure in the last few years, and the results can be beautiful.”

She’s a brave woman indeed, and she’s helped to open the world’s eyes to alternative reasons to get implants. In truth, there are many reasons a woman chooses to have her breasts augmented. And, no one can argue that Jolie had a perfectly good reason to have her breasts reconstructed, after she lost both of her natural breasts in a double mastectomy.

What are some of the other reasons a women may decide to undergo breast augmentation?

There are many reasons that a woman might opt for breast augmentation, says, leading Baltimore breast augmentation surgeon, Dr. Adam L. Basner. A member of the prestigious Mentor’s Preferred Physicians Program, Dr Basner lists the following reasons as the most popular reasons a woman chooses to undergo breast augmentation surgery:

·To enhance the body contour of a woman who, for personal reasons, feels her breast size is too small

·To restore breast volume lost due to weight loss or following pregnancy

·To achieve better symmetry when breasts are moderately disproportionate in size and shape

·To improve the shape of breasts that are sagging or have lost firmness, often used with a breast lift procedure.

·To provide the foundation of a breast contour when a breast has been removed or disfigured by surgery to treat breast cancer

·To improve breast appearance or create the appearance of a breast that is missing or disfigured due to trauma, heredity, or congenital abnormalities

Studies have shown that a full chest can help a woman achieve a full life.

As it turns out, breast implants, even those garnered for cosmetic reasons, can have a positive effect on one’s life and mental health. According to a study performed by the University of Florida’s College of Nursing, breast implants have psychological benefits, as they improve self-esteem. 84 women were studied before and after surgery. These women reported higher self-esteem and improved sexual satisfaction post-surgery. Thus, leading researchers to determine that breast augmentation has health benefits, especially in women who perceive their breasts as physical deformities.

It seems that breast implants have lived with this stigma of being superficial for too long, but the truth is they have their benefits, and many of the women who have them aren’t superficial at all, but rather simply seeking to improve their life overall.

Parting words from Angelina Jolie:

“Life comes with many challenges. The ones that should not scare us are the ones we can take on and take control of.”