What a Nonsurgical Breast Lift Can and Cannot Do

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You may have heard the term nonsurgical breast lift and wondered if this technique can actually help get breasts back to a perkier position. Yes, say breast enhancement experts, but getting a good result really depends on the patient’s anatomy and ensuring they’re the right candidate. We asked the experts to breakdown the treatment and share who can benefit most from it and who should skip it entirely and opt for surgery. 

What It Is

“Calling it a ‘nonsurgical breast lift’ is a bit of a misnomer,” explains La Jolla, CA plastic surgeon Joseph Grzeskiewicz, MD. “Firstly, it’s a real procedure requiring local anesthetic and sterile conditions. Second, it should be done by a surgeon, and thirdly, it does require some degree of entry into the tissues, or invasiveness, but it’s minimally invasive meaning that our only access points into the tissues are small punctures made with a needle.”

“It’s typically done while the patient is awake and radio-frequency energy is used to build collagen and tighten the skin,” adds New York plastic surgeon Elie Levine, MD.  “The procedure can be done in a little over an hour with mild discomfort and with virtually no downtime.”

The types of radio-frequency devices used vary and Campbell, CA plastic surgeon Kamakshi R. Zeidler, MD says that the skin tightening is what provides a slight lift. “There are many systems, like BodyTite and J plasma, which go underneath the skin to tighten it and requires the surgeon to control it a little more. Other devices like Morpheus8 and Profound go through the skin and combine microneedling with radio-frequency energy at the tip to tighten skin in a very precise way, which is controlled by the the machine.”

Who It’s For

According to the experts, the best candidates are those with mild skin laxity in the breasts. “People that with very ptotic, droopy or very large chested are not candidates for this procedure,” advises Dr. Levine. 

Dr. Zeidler adds that this is not a reshaping procedure, but it can be useful for those who may want to address one breast and not the other. “Think ‘microchanges,’ she says. “Patients who need repositioning and redistribution of volume are not great candidates, but this is a good option for those that need a little lift and those which a little asymmetry wanting one side to be tightened.” 

Some doctors have also used it to slightly reposition the nipple. “It can lift the nipple position and tighten the breast envelope improving shape and firmness in the process,” explains Dr. Levine.

What It Can’t Do

“You cannot make the breasts bigger or smaller,” notes Dr. Grzeskiewicz. The surgeon adds that a nonsurgical breast lift is not a “magic cure” and patients should know that limited results are possible beforehand. “It’s important to have realistic expectation of outcome and understand that there is always a trade-off in undergoing more minimally invasive procedures instead of more aggressive surgical operations.”

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