Summary: Breast augmentation has always been a popular procedure—but just how popular. It’s difficult to simply ask Milwaukee breast augmentation doctors, for example, and get a good read on that question, due to geographic variability, not only in the United States but also across the globe. Luckily, Nate Silver’s famous Five Thirty Eight blog has taken a stab at statistically answering this question. Of course, telling us how popular a procedure is doesn’t necessarily explain why the procedure is popular in the first place, but we can take a stab at that.

plastic surgery

A Popular Option

Breast augmentation has always been an exceptionally popular aesthetic plastic surgery procedure. In fact, what started simply with breast augmentation has blossomed into a whole area expertise, offering a wide range procedures designed to make women not only feel comfortable with their breasts, but empowered by their overall look. Whether it’s a breast reduction, enlargement, or lift—there are ways to achieve the desired end results whatever those may be.

And yet, despite the diversity of procedures centered on the breast, the augmentation remains king of the hill (though, breast lifts are gaining in popularity faster than breast augmentations, but I’m not convinced breast implants need to start looking over their shoulder just yet). So just how popular are breast augmentation surgeries? Well, recently, this question was posed to Nate Silver’s famous Five Thirty Eight blog and answered by Mona Chalabi.

Percentages and Percentiles

According to Chalabi’s calculations, roughly 4% of all women have breast implants. Of course, there are variables in her calculations, and even though she got a lot of her statistics from a reputable source (the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery), it’s not difficult to see why her calculation might not be perfect—it’s difficult to know how many women keep their implants and for how long or how many women have switched to a different sized implant.

Still, 4% seems to fit with anecdotal evidence and with the general perceptions regarding the popularity of breast augmentation surgeries. Whether you look at Milwaukee breast augmentation doctors or surgeons in Houston, where the breast implant was essentially “born,” there’s a kind of universal popularity to it, so it’s no wonder Chalabi’s calculations put the number at roughly 1 in every 26 women.

Not Giving In to Pressure

Still, popularity in and of itself is not a good reason to undergo a breast augmentation procedure. According to the website of the Milwaukee breast augmentation doctors at Milwaukee Plastic Surgery, candidates should only pursue this type of plastic surgery for their own purposes and not because of outside pressure. I think that’s advice that’s generally pretty sound (to the extent that one can truly separate outside pressure from internal pressure).

That said, according to Real Self, a popular plastic surgery social media website, breast augmentations typically rate very highly when it comes to satisfaction with the results of the surgery. In fact, many of those who are unsatisfied list the reason for their displeasure as thinking their breasts would have been bigger after the surgery. Of course, finding the right size for your body is a task that you and your plastic surgeon will take on together, and while it’s important to assert your opinion, it’s also vital to listen to the guidance of your surgeon for the best possible results.

Feminine Identity and Your Best Real Self

There’s no getting away from the fact that the breasts seem to be a particularly strong locus of feminine identity, and that the opportunity to augment that identity is one that many women undertake, whether that’s increasing the size of the breasts, making them a bit perkier, or reducing the overall volume. The popularity of these procedures, especially in comparison to procedures such as face lifts or tummy tucks, really points to a definitive and concrete appeal.

This is especially true when one takes into consideration the popularity of breast augmentation the world over. From South Korea to Venezuela to Brazil, breast augmentation is an exceptionally popular aesthetic plastic surgery procedure, and that may or may not say something about the feminine experience in these countries—or at least how we define the feminine experience.

Because the breasts are such a locus of pressures and attention, plastic surgery often presents the easiest and fastest way to dissolve that pressure. This comes with added benefits, usually, in the form of higher self esteem and even, statistically, higher quality of life. The point is that breast augmentations are a popular procedure—and will likely continue to be popular for some time to come.