Am I, or are we, selfish?

I've been contemplating on the breast augmentation thing since maybe age 16. I'm now 31. I used to wonder when my breast would fill out and they never did. Two kids later I'm still a solid A on one side and a B on the other. But even through this all and surely I can justify my desire to finally fulfill the dream of having something there. I'm financing most of it which means we're making sacrifices as a family. I can't help feel so selfish and so guilty.

Doctor Answers 7

You shouldn’t feel guilty for wanting to look and feel your best.

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I often meet with women who have similar concerns as the ones you’re expressing. True, breast augmentation is elective surgery. And, I completely understand that, depending on your family’s financial situation, it may feel careless or wasteful to spend money on unnecessary surgery. However, I would argue that how you look can greatly affect how you feel. Women who finally have breast augmentation after feeling insecure for a long time about their small breasts often report a dramatic improvement in quality of life, a better sex life and more confidence in professional and social environments. Discuss your options with a plastic surgeon and your family to determine if the cost of the surgery is feasible, but don’t feel guilty for wanting to look sexy and feel comfortable in your own skin.   

Eugene Plastic Surgeon

Is elective cosmetic surgery "selfish?"

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Elective surgery is as "selfish" as buying a new dress, getting a new hairdo, using deodorant rather than going "nature girl" Bohemian, having orthodontia rather than crooked teeth, or having one's appendix out rather than "just letting nature take it's course" and rupturing like would have happened years ago.

Because you "can," rather than "have to" doesn't somehow make it selfish or wrong.

It might, if you forego feeding your family to have elective surgery. It might, if you don't do your part to help those around you with friendship, advice when asked, help when needed, and "elbow grease" when a cash donation isn't just an "easy way out."

In short, taking care of one's self (including mind, body, and self-esteem) is exactly WHAT allows us to care for others around us, to the degrees appropriate for self, spouse or loved ones, family, co-workers, community, country, and human race. Each of us will value these somewhat differently, and it is neither right nor appropriate for me to say what is right for you, or vice versa.

Financing cosmetic surgery (something you want) is indeed different from financing a home or car, as the latter items are considered more of a need. But why not a Yugo instead of a Lexus? Or a smaller home in a less comfortable neighborhood? It's all about degree, balance, and YOUR priorities. Others may find a wish for enhanced breasts totally "vain" or "selfish." Just as you might find that person's wish for a certain handbag, or article of clothing, or piece of jewelry even more so.

You need not over think this, my dear. Having breast augmentation is OK, even if you choose to finance the surgery. This simply tells me that YOU choose to find this worthwhile enough to pay for it over time, with interest. Don't burden yourself with guilt, just as you are wise to consider the burden of payments rather than saving up for for elective surgery. That, to me, is the question you are asking and answering yourself--now and finance, or later after saving up?

But, it's OK! Either way. Really. Best wishes! Dr. Tholen

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

Your concrns are very realistic!

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This is an extremely personal decision.  I look at cosmetic surgery as an investment in yourself.  It is analogous to buying a piece of furniture, automobile or any other major investment.  Only you can make the decision what is best. Speak to your support group (husband, significant other, clergy person,  best friend. I'm not sure I would advise you to have the procedure if you can't keep food on the table.  Be careful of financing.  Many of the programs charge very high interest rates.  Sometimes you can do better by applying for a personal loan with a bank, or asking family or friends to lend you the money.  You can save a considerable amount of money.  Additionally, the surgeon's fee might be a bit higher because the financing companies charge your surgeon a considerable amount of money and he/she in turn must increase their price to cover their cost.  Good luck and whatever you decide to do, do so knowing that you've made the best decision. 

Elliot Duboys, MD, FACS
Long Island Plastic Surgeon

Feeling Selfish About Plastic Surgery

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The decision to have elective plastic surgery is certainly a very individualized one. Most patients have many factors to consider during prior to proceeding. It is important to make sure that you are physically, emotionally, socially and financially stable before embarking down the road of cosmetic surgery.

It sounds like your long history of breast asymmetry and your desire to improve upon this is a good reason to consider surgery. If all of the other factors pan out in a favorable fashion, a breast augmentation may end up being a well-deserved reward for yourself. 

Ashley B. Robey, MD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Breast augmentation

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It is a personal choice to have a breast augmentation.  It is up to you to decide for yourself. Best of luck.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Choosing Cosmetic Surgery

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Thank you for your question. Cosmetic surgery is a very personal choice and the reasons for choosing to do it are as varied as people's feelings about it. Only you can decide if you feel confident about your choice, the benefits that you will achieve and risks that you have weighed. I recommend discussing further with your Plastic Surgeon to make sure that all of your questions and concerns are addressed.

All the best

Guilt Associated with breast augmentation?

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Thank you for the question.  
It is not unusual for patients to experience significant emotions, including "guilt" when making decisions about proceeding with elective surgery. Ultimately, whether or not to proceed will be a very personal decision, that only you can make, after careful consideration of pros/cons/risks/complications...My best suggestion: best to achieve a physical, emotional, psychosocial, and financial “stable state” prior to considering elective plastic surgery.

When the time is right, seek consultation with board-certified plastic surgeons who can demonstrate significant experience helping patients achieve the types of outcomes you would be pleased with. You may find the attached link, helpful to you as you learn more. Best wishes.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.