Breast enhancement can give women big boosts in self-esteem and make them feel sexier, according to a not-so-surprising finding published in the current issue of Plastic Surgical Nursing.

Cynthia Figueroa-Haas, an assistant professor at the University of Florida's College of Nursing and author of the study, was quick to caution that breast enhancement should not be seen as a cure-all for feelings of low self-worth.

"Many individuals, including health-care providers, have preconceived negative ideas about those who elect to have plastic surgery without fully understanding the benefits that may occur from these procedures," Figueroa-Haas said in a statement.

She studied 84 women aged 21 to 57. A small number of the study participants showed no change in attitudes, but overall, Figueroa-Haas found dramatic increases in levels of self-worth and sexuality among most participants.

The average self-esteem score rose 20 percent while the score for sexual function - a mix of arousal, satisfaction and experience - rose 15 percent. As usual, more study is needed.

- Josh Goldstein