Typically, most women who are wanting to change the size and shape of their breasts look to breast augmentation surgery, which requires the placement of an implant either over or under the muscle. But, there is another way enhance the breasts that you may not know much about.
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Las Vegas plastic surgeon Mike Edwards, MD, says that in the United States, the only thing that should be injected into the breast is a patient’s own fat. “To my knowledge, there is no FDA-approved product to inject into the breast for enhancement. Fat injection into the breast offers a modest change in size. And, it can be used for improvement in a breast cancer reconstruction patient without the need or use of an implant,” he says.
In order to inject fat into the breasts, fat is first removed from an area like the stomach, butt or thighs. Then, it is treated and cleaned up before it is injected into the breast. “The gentler the way the fat is handled, the more of it that will survive. Fat that is able to thrive is there forever,” says Dr. Edwards. “When this procedure is safely and properly performed, it can yield a natural result, which is soft and not prone to potential complications of implants, like capsular contracture.” But, there is a downside: It takes a long time to perform the procedure and there are limitations as to how much fat can be grafted in a single setting.
While there’s some talk of things like PRP (platelet-rich plasma) being injected into the breasts, Dr. Edwards is quick to point out that PRP is not a substitute for breast implants or fat transfer to the breasts because it does not have the ability to increase breast volume.
But not every doctor out there is jumping on the breast injection bandwagon for enhancement purposes. Cherry Hill, NJ, plastic surgeon Evan Sorokin, MD, says that, in his opinion, nothing should be injected into the breasts. “Years ago it was frowned upon to do this, and recently, more and more doctors have started to do fat transfer to the breast. I feel it should only be done in very limited reconstructive circumstances and not as a cosmetic first line treatment.”
If you choose to have the surgery done, it’s important not to let just anyone inject something into your breasts. “You should only choose a highly experienced board-certified plastic surgeon who has had the proper training and skill to carefully conduct the procedure,” says Dr. Edwards. “Your safety is the most important factor, more so than a great result. If fat grafting is not properly performed, there are risks of fat necrosis, infection and even contour abnormalities from the fat harvesting.”
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