Four epidemiologic studies have examined mortality among women with cosmetic silicone gel-filled breast implants and have found that risk of death from suicide is two- to threefold higher in this group than among women of comparable age in the general population. The authors review the literature on the psychological and psychiatric hypotheses concerning women undergoing plastic surgery, although these hypotheses do not specifically address the association with suicide. Epidemiologic research is urgently needed to evaluate whether this association is an artifact of a higher prevalence of underlying and unreported psychopathology and other risk factors for suicide among women receiving breast implants or whether implants have an actual causal role in the risk of suicide. Until such studies are completed, psychiatric consultation should be considered before breast augmentation, especially for patients perceived to be at high risk by the plastic surgeon.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Applied Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health