Several studies in the past have linked breast augmentation and suicide. But just because there is a statistical association does not mean there’s a cause and effect.
Back in 2001, Brinton et al was the first to connect breast augmentation and suicide. In that particular study, “breast augmentation patients were four times as likely to kill themselves” when compared to other female plastic surgery patients when the variables were consistent. But this study didn’t evaluate if these patients had problems in their marriage or other issues such as depression.
There’s no shortage of studies that point out the association. Studies out of Sweden, Finland and Denmark all found that breast augmentation patients were more likely to commit suicide when compared to the general population. But again, that doesn’t mean breast augmentation leads to suicide.
Other studies by Joiner, McLaughlin, Rohrich and Sarwer all recognize the increased suicide rate associated with breast augmentation but they suggest that the risk of suicide predates implant surgery. In other words, women that choose to get breast implants may have depression and low self-esteem prior to surgery and this puts them at higher risk of suicide.
This idea is supported by Jacobsen et al in 2004 when they found that “almost twice as many augmentation patients (8% vs 4.7%) had been psychiatrically hospitalized before their surgery.” Clearly, better studies to truly confirm a cause and effect relationship between breast augmentation and suicide is needed before drawing a definite conclusion.
To discuss breast augmentation and your concerns with Dr. Kaplan, click here.