Press Releases

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

New Survey Reveals Life-Changing Events Lead to Women's Renewed Focus on Self

Red Bank, NJ - New research from the not-for-profit National Women's Health Resource Center (NWHRC) shows life-changing events, such as childbirth, significant weight loss or divorce trigger changes in a woman's mindset, inspiring improvements around health, fitness, and, for 42 percent of women, their physical appearance. Of those women motivated to improve their appearance, nearly half (45 percent) said they would consider plastic surgery to do so. These are just a few of the results from the NWHRC's Life Makeover Secrets of the Modern Woman national consumer survey.

"This research tells us significant life events influence a woman's overall outlook on life, empowering her to pursue a healthy lifestyle and her own beauty goals, which often leads to increased consideration of medical aesthetic procedures," says Elizabeth Battaglino Cahill, executive vice president of the NWHRC. "During the past decade, we have seen the topic of plastic surgery - including breast aesthetics - become increasingly relevant for women. Therefore, as a premier women's health organization, it is critical that we provide women the information and tools they need to make informed decisions"

The NWHRC survey specifically challenges current stigmas and stereotypes associated with breast aesthetic surgery and the women who choose surgery. In fact, results show more than half of women surveyed (53 percent) said they are more accepting of breast augmentation surgery than they used to be and women who undergo breast augmentation surgery were described as confident (60 percent) and feminine (61 percent). Women's changing views may stem from personal experience, as 50 percent of women reported knowing someone who has had breast augmentation surgery.

Recent data from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) support the NWHRC survey findings. In 2006, nearly 11.5 million cosmetic surgical and non-surgical procedures were performed in the United States, an increase of 446 percent in the last decade. What's more, breast augmentation surgery surpassed liposuction as the number one surgical cosmetic procedure for women in 2006, with more than 380,000 procedures performed.

"The NWHRC survey results echo what I hear from patients in my practice. My typical breast aesthetic patient looks just like your sister, your neighbor or the school librarian. She's well-educated, savvy and she has turned her attention back onto herself after years of taking care of everyone else," says Caroline Glicksman, M.D., a plastic surgeon in private practice in New Jersey. "The women who come into my practice to inquire about breast aesthetic surgery are generally looking to restore or enhance their breast shape, often after breastfeeding or surviving breast cancer, or to obtain a more proportionate body. Their decision is driven from within as they are motivated to make a change for themselves rather than to please anyone else."

In fact, 91 percent of women surveyed cited the desire to reshape their breasts following a major physical change, like weight loss or childbirth, as the primary reason they may consider breast aesthetic surgery. In addition, 88 percent of women agreed that breasts contribute to their overall feeling of femininity.

"As a woman, my breasts are important to me and to my sense of femininity. For my personal life makeover, I regained control of my life and long-term health by losing over 100 pounds. While I am proud of my accomplishment, I didn't realize the impact it would have on the shape of my breasts. It was frustrating to work so hard to achieve the healthy body I had always wanted only to lose my feminine curves in the process," says Joanne Eddinger, a non-profit executive in College Grove, Tennessee. "I decided to undergo breast augmentation surgery and a breast lift to restore the breast shape and volume that I had lost along with the weight. It was the right decision for me and today I feel more healthy and vibrant than ever before. "

In response to women's interest and request for more information about medical aesthetic procedures, such as the options in breast aesthetics, the NWHRC has developed an online tool kit to prepare women for a more informed discussion with their surgeon. The tool kit includes important information about breast surgery, the various breast implant options available today, questions to ask a surgeon and resources to find an experienced, board-certified surgeon.

"It's important for women to do their homework. Sometimes women don't know what questions to ask and our tool kit can help them start a dialogue with a surgeon to determine the right choice for them," says Battaglino Cahill.

When considering breast aesthetic surgery, women should seek advice from a plastic surgeon who they can partner with to define realistic surgical goals and a plan for their long-term breast health. For more information about breast aesthetics or to find a board-certified surgeon near you, please visit www.healthywomen.org/breastsurgery.

The Life Makeover Secrets of the Modern Woman national consumer survey and campaign are part of an NWHRC educational initiative, sponsored by Allergan, Inc., maker of the NATRELLE™ Collection of breast implants.

About Life Makeover Secrets of the Modern Woman National Consumer Survey
The findings presented are the result of 1,600 telephone interviews conducted using an RDD methodology from July 19, 2007 to August 7, 2007 by GfK Roper Public Affairs and Media. The survey was conducted among a representative sample of women 18 to 64 in the continental United States. Data were weighted for sample balancing by age, education and census region. The margin of error for the total sample is +/- 2.5 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level. The margin of error for subgroups is higher. Because of rounding, numbers may not total 100 percent.

About The National Women's Health Resource Center (NWHRC)
The National Women's Health Resource Center (NWHRC) is the leading independent health information source for women. The non-profit organization develops and distributes up-to-date and objective women's health information based on the latest advances in medical research and practice. NWHRC believes all women should have access to the most trusted and reliable health information.

About GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media
GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media is a division of GfK Custom Research, North America. Specializing in customized public opinion polling, media & communications research, and corporate reputation measurement—in the US and globally. In addition to delivering a broad range of customized research studies, GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media draws from GfK's syndicated consumer tracking services, Roper Reports® US and Roper Reports® Worldwide, which monitor consumer values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors in the US and 30 other countries. For more information, visit www.gfkamerica.com.

For detailed information about the safety of silicone and silicone gel-filled breast implants, please read the complete patient information at www.fda.gov/cdrh/breastimplants/labeling.html.

Downloads:
Press release (PDF)
Life Makeover Secrets of the Modern Woman National Consumer Survey Research Report (PDF)
National consumer survey fact sheet (PDF)