Solving insecurities

Two UB students say breast implants improved their lives

The Spectrum

She spent $7,800 to be on bed rest and painkillers for two weeks straight. She felt as if there was a heavy load sitting on top of her chest - like something was suffocating her - and she could not make the pain go away. She knew that in a month or so, her money would pay off, though, in the form of a self-esteem boost.

After years of letting insecurities and low self-worth get the best of her, *Chelsea Lynch, a junior photography major, decided to take control of her body and change what she said was bringing her down. She decided to get breast implants.

Breast augmentation is the most popular cosmetic surgery in the United States and "over 330,000 women underwent this procedure in 2012," according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. There are risks, though - the FDA says there could be, among other things: additional surgeries required; capsular contracture, which is scar tissue that can form around the implant and squeeze it; and asymmetry, meaning the breasts are uneven in size or appearance.

Two UB students, who said they turned to breast implants in order to solve self-esteem issues, urge other students in the same position to consider implants.

These students hope to reduce the stigma associated with receiving implants and to point out the positive affects the procedure can have.

Lynch said that she spent her entire life self-conscious about her breast size. Her friends and family always made jokes about how small her breasts were, and while she seemed to take these comments with ease, deep down she felt her insecurities grow. She always made comments to her family about wanting to get a boob job, but didn't take that option into serious consideration until December break, her sophomore year of college, when her mother told her she'd be willing to bring her to a plastic surgeon for a consultation.

"I was always trying to make my boobs look bigger in any way possible, like with bras and stuff," Lynch said. "It wasn't doing anything; it was not doing the justice it needed to because everyone still knew how small my boobs were. My home friends and boyfriend would make comments, like 'You have really small boobs.' I've always had insecurities and self-esteem issues, and this was one step into making me feel better about myself."

Lynch's mom took her to the office of renowned Dr. Michael Fiorello - a surgeon in Pearl River, N.Y.

Her mother had three conditions that had to be met in order for Lynch to go through with the procedure.

First, she wanted her daughter to receive a new type of procedure called the "gummy bear procedure." The gummy bear procedure was introduced to the United States two years ago.

Dr. Grant Stevens, a prominent plastic surgeon in Marina Del Rey, Calif., is an advocate of the "gummy bears," because they look and feel more like natural breasts, according to ABC News. He also said they're safer than other types of implants because they have a "lower rupture rate."

Second, Lynch's mom wanted her surgeon to make the incision underneath her breast, which he agreed to do.

The last guideline was that Lynch would still have feeling in her breasts upon completing the procedure, so she can breast feed if she chooses to when she has children.

A "smile" incision around the areola increases the possibility of women having problems breastfeeding, according to

Lynch's doctor agreed to ensure she had full feelings in her breasts upon completing the surgery.

For one month, Lynch was not allowed to be on birth control, to have any extra hormones in her body or to eat red foods. On May 21, she was put under anesthesia and was prepared to wake up feeling a confidence she had never felt before, she said.

Similarly, *Heather Kun, a senior communication major, underwent her procedure the summer going into her sophomore year of college. She had been unhappy with her looks for years.

"I used to have nightmares that I was topless in front of people," Kun said.

These nightmares led her to feeling insecure. She said she was excited the morning of her procedure, because she knew she'd be leaving the surgeon's office as the "best possible version" of herself.

Kun was 19 years old, so she was not allowed to get silicone implants. Rather, she got saline. She needs to get them touched up every 10 years because they may rupture, she said, but still, she thinks the surgery was worth every inconvenience.

Both Kun and Lynch believe implants solved their insecurities. They felt the effects immediately upon completing their procedures. The women said their friends and family members supported their desire to get implants.

"They always look out for my best interest and only care that I always feel secure," Kun said.

Lynch no longer feels insecure or embarrassed taking her shirt off. She said she even likes to walk around completely topless now.

"I felt like a little boy before my boob job," Kun said. "Afterward, I finally felt sexy."

Lynch urges UB students who feel insecure with their bodies and breasts to look into implants. She said the procedure is expensive, but if it's something feasible and truly desired, then there should be no embarrassment or shame in getting implants.

It's a personal thing, Lynch said. Not being able to buy certain shirts, to comfortably sleep with a boyfriend or to walk around with a true sense of confidence is hard. If simply getting implants can solve that many insecurities, then she believes it's worth the procedure.

Kun went from an A cup to a C cup and Lynch went from an A cup to a D cup. Both said they feel more natural with their new breasts. They felt as if their bodies were not proportional beforehand.

Though there are certainly health risks, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons states implants can lead to a boosted self-esteem, body image and sexual satisfaction. Both Kun and Lynch report that their new breasts have brought them all three.

*Names have been changed to protect the anonymity of these students.