Breast Augmentation Alternatives

alternative to breast implantDuring a recent breast augmentation consultation, the patient was concerned about placing silicone implants into her body and wanted to discuss alternatives. Although I understand where her concern is coming from (bad internet information) it’s important to address each alternative.

For eons there have been creams, pill and potions touted to enhance breast size. Unfortunately, if any of these really worked then I wouldn’t be doing any breast augmentation surgery. The reality is that there are not any scientific studies to prove any of them work.

In other countries, such as China, silicone, usually industrial grade such as used in Priscilla Presley’s lips, is injected into the breasts for augmentation. This inert material seems like it would enhance the breasts without significant complications. WRONG! When silicone is injected into the breasts the body will attempt to wall it off. This creates what are called granuloma. These are firm nodules that make the breasts painful, lumpy and bumpy.

Fat is the latest material to be used for breast enhancement. Fat injection for the breasts got its start in breast reconstruction. It is not uncommon for breast reconstructions to need autologous tissue to correct depressions or other contour deformities. Before fat, only flaps could be used. Fat became popular because of its accessibility and less donor site trauma. To this end, others decided to take it a step farther and offer breast enhancement with fat.

Breast augmentation with fat seems like a safe and reliable procedure. Unfortunately, fat absorbs at varying rates and thus both breasts will end up not only smaller but of different sizes. In addition, fat necrosis can create scarring that is difficult to interpret on mammography. So my advice is to not waste time and money on a procedure that results in scarred breasts that are the same size as before the surgery.

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