Breast Enhancement Options

i am not sure i should get breast implants.  it scares me to get plastic surgery.  i want to know: what are the non-surgical ways to enhance my bust?  are there natural remedies to breast enlargement?

Doctor Answers 90

Non Surgical Breast Enhancement Options

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There is only one Non Surgical alternative to Breast Implants that I am aware of and that is BRAVA non surgical breast expansion. BRAVA does work, but slowly, daily use for many hours for 11 months. The BRAVA enlargement is modest and cannot achieve the same results as Breast Implants.

Fat Transfer to the Breast is new and called Natural because the technique uses your own body tissue-Fat. However Fat Transfer is a surgical technique.

Read the link below for a review of Breast Enhancement options


An honest appraisal of alternatives to breast augmentation using implants

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There are three main alternatives to breast augmentation using implants:

  1. Pills and creams. There are a large number of hormonal and homeopathic pills and creams that promise breast enhancement, but little existing proof of their effectiveness.
  2. The Brava breast enhancement system. Brava is a noninvasive treatment that involves wearing a special brassiere-type device for at least ten hours a day for ten weeks or more. Studies have shown a modest increase in bust size (about 1 cup size) after ten weeks of use, but how long the bust remains enlarged after treatment is stopped remains unclear.
  3. Breast enlargement via fat transfer. Fat transfer has been used recently with some success in reconstructing defects in breast cancer patients. There are, however, a number of questions that need to be studied before it gains widespread acceptance for cosmetic breast enhancement. For example, will the injected fat make breast cancer more difficult to detect?

In summary, breast augmentation using implants is currently the best method for achieving breast augmentation. Implants may not be perfect, but because we have a long history of using them, we know what their benefits and complications are.

Larry Fan, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon

Alternatives to breast augmentation

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There have been a number of creams, both hormonal and homeopathic, that promise breast enlargement without verifiable results. The Brava system has been used as well, but has been inconsistent.

Fat injections seem to be gaining popularity, as many plastic surgeons have used fat injections to help breast reconstruction patients with minor, and major, defects of the breast. There are surgeons who take four to seven hours to do one round of fat augmentation, that can usually only increase the breast size by about one half to one cup size (about 150cc). This can cost usually about 20K for this one cup size, and then frequently has to be repeated if it isn't large enough for the patient's wishes.

There are many unknowns currently, such as whether this will hide any cancer, or cause long term effects that may mask cancer by causing calcium deposits. This can be very dangerous if the physician just squirts fat into the breast and doesn't really do fat grafting, as it can lead to lumps in the breast of fat necrosis, and scar.

There is much more that we need to do to study this to make sure that we are doing the best thing for our paitents in the long run and are not harming them long term.

Implants currently are our best means of breast augmentation, as imperfect as they may be, because we have been doing them for almost 50 years, and know the types of complications and benefits that come with the implants.

Dan Mills, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Not really. Pills, lotions and potions don't work and...

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Not really. Pills, lotions and potions don't work and actually maybe dangerous. Some of them maybe based on hormonal products and therefore can really affect your health. Moreover, if there are ANY effects, these are only temporary.

I tried, a few years ago, the BRAVA system but it really did not rise to the promise and we abandoned this idea. Fat injections can potentially cover breast cancer changes.

Surgical breast augmentation remains the only reliable and safe way to predictably increase the size of the breast. Safety and satisfaction is reflected in the numbers. It is the most commonly performed cosmetic surgery (this is true for my practice as well).

The main alternatives to breast augmentation...

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The main alternatives to breast augmentation include:

  • Bra padding
  • BRAVA external breast augmentation system
  • Fat injections to the breast

The BRAVA system was invented by a plastic surgeon, Dr. Roger Khouri. The BRAVA uses an external suction device that looks like a large bra to create engorgement in the breast tissue and new breast tissue growth. This device has to be used for several weeks to months for at least 12 hours a day. Results that I have seen presented were mild at best and the longevity of the result was questioned.

More recently, fat injections to the breasts have become a hot topic in plastic surgery. Dr. Khouri has presented at several meetings in plastic surgery his use of fat injections to the breasts after they have been prepped for several weeks ahead of time with the BRAVA system.

Additionally, around the country there are centers conducting research concerning the safety of fat injections to the breast for cosmetic surgery, including theoretical risk of increased breast cancer, impaired mammogram and fat necrosis (death of the injected fat cells).

At this point, I would only recommend fat injections to the breast for cosmetic augmentation if it is done as part of a clinical research protocol at one of the major centers in America, to minimize your risks.

There are no pills, topical creams, injections or other...

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There are no pills, topical creams, injections or other non-surgical procedures that serve as alternatives to breast augmentation. Without surgical placement of a breast implant, there are no other options to achieve more fullness or better shape of your breasts.

Fat injections and hyaluronic acid injections to augment the breast a small amount have been described recently but are not widely accepted or recommended at this time in the plastic surgery world. This is because we don't know the long-term effects of materials injected in the breast, especially in monitoring for breast cancer.

Breast Enancement Options

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Thank you for your question. There are several pills and creams that market themselves as non-surgical breast enhancement options, however, there is little to no evidence that these are effective. I would suggest that you stay clear of these "herbal" products. The only way to reliably enlarge your breasts is with the placement of implants.
With that being said, the use of the BRAVA device (external suction cup) in conjunction with fat grafting may be a reasonable alternative or "less invasive" approach to enlarging your breasts. However, the fat transfer to the breasts requires extensive liposuction to the abdomen and back. The extensive liposuction will require going to the operating room. I recommend visiting with a board certified plastic surgeon to discuss exactly what concerns you about  "surgery" and possibly alleviate your fears.

Non-surgical options to breast enhancement

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As stated in many of the previous comments, Options for non-implant breast augmentation are:

1) Hormonal pills, supplements, creams.

2) Brava Breast Enhancement system.

3) Breast augmentation via lipoinjection.

4) Enhancing garments such as bras or inserts.

However, surgical augmentation remains the mainstay of breast enlargement providing reliable, predicatable, relatively consistent and subastantial breast enhancement.

Lipoinjection has recently been viewed as an option, yet concerns with interpreting mammograms as well as the consistency of the result and problems with sufficient tissue in thin paitents limit the applicability of this procedure.

There are no natural "remedies" that I know of. There is on

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There are no natural "remedies" that I know of.

There is only one non-invasive way to possible enlarge the breasts by about 150cc's. This is using the Brava system, which is basically a suction cup device that is placed on the chest to recruit adjoining skin ans tissue.

This requires several hours of wearing each night for many weeks. To put it in perspective, most patients I treat want an average of 250-500 cc implants in each breast.

The only device on the market to nonsurgically enhance...

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The only device on the market to nonsurgically enhance breasts is the BRAVA system. This has been shown in clinical trials to increase breast size by an average of 150cc or 1/2 to 1 cup size. The long term results are not yet known.

The device is not meant to replace implants since it only gives a small increase in size but may work for women who are looking for a small increase in volume or for women who have had some deflation of their breasts after pregnancy/breastfeeding and are looking to return to their previous breast size.

For a larger increase in size and more predictable results, breast implants remain the only option.

Kim Meathrel, MD
Ontario Plastic Surgeon

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.