Mia Amini
A silicone gel breast implant is shown at the Mentor Corp. manufacturing facility in Irving, Texas. (Associated Press)

Breasts are deeply feminine and deeply personal. So when a woman is contemplating breast enhancement, the journey from thought to reality requires an expert like Dr. D'Arcy Honeycutt of Advanced Surgical Arts in Bismarck. Since 1994 Honeycutt has been helping women feel great about their breasts. You must be 18 or older to be a candidate for breast augmentation defined as "breast enlargement with an implantable device typically saline or silicone filled." Honeycutt sees 50-80 women a year who vary in cosmetic needs from women who have been smaller breasted most of their lives, to women who are post pregnancy as well as those who have had chemotherapy and a mastectomy.

Breast augmentation runs between $6,000-$8,000, and Honeycutt even offers clients a layaway plan where patients can book a surgery date and pay in installments leading up to the surgery. You begin the breast enhancement process by making an appointment, going through an in-depth interview, taking photos, trying on different size implants and discussing your investment in your breasts. Key factors Honeycutt provides for consideration to each potential patient are "How long has she thought about having the procedure. What is the motivation? Who will care for her postoperatively? What look does she want the implants to achieve?"

The breast augmentation surgery itself typically takes an hour. Expect to experience soreness for the first couple of days post surgery. Most pain and soreness should be gone within a couple of weeks but do not expect to train intensively or perform heavy lifting for six weeks. You will be able to view the full, final results of your surgery with minimal scarring after one year.

Honeycutt noted most fears and myths about breast enhancement surgery have been dispelled due to the accessibility of information on the Internet. You can even watch a breast augmentation demonstration on YouTube. There are still possible complications associated with the surgery including drooping, hardness with pain, deformity due to hardening of the implant, possible deflation and rupture. Honeycutt said in very rare cases "large cell anaplastic lymphoma has been found in a very small number of women."

Honeycutt reflected on client success stories: A 50-year-old woman who lived her life as an AA cup size and often felt she looked like a boy, felt more feminine and confident after her breast implants. Or the mom whose large breast where flattened after nursing three children, said she felt more attractive and confident for herself and her husband after enhancement.

Breast augmentation can also include lifts, reduction and reconstruction options. If a patient is seeking breast reconstruction or if there is a congenital deformity, payment can be reviewed with an insurance provider. Honeycutt noted that women have often spent years wanting this procedure, and the improvement in self-esteem, confidence and feeling more feminine are the most common results.

For more information, visit advancedsurgicalarts.com or call 701-530-8450.

Mia Amini is a lover of people, music, beauty, fashion, art and faith. Busy by day managing Radio station Y93, after dark her world is a mix of rockstar covering Bis-Man events while honoring the domestic with a great boyfriend and two dogs.