Non-surgical breast enlargement treatments: Myth vs Fact

February 7, 2014

*Disclaimer – There is no guarantee of specific results and results can vary from patient to patient. Our team of consultant plastic surgeons will ensure you are in safe hands and discuss your results at your consultation.

Cosmetic surgery has progressed in extraordinary ways over the last few decades. Public perception of what can be done has progressed along with it. But there are still some misconceptions about breast enlargement treatments, one of the most common of which is that there are more effective alternatives than surgery for breast enlargement.

So here, we will try to set the record straight about non-surgical alternatives.

Herbal pills are effective for breast augmentation

We say: There is simply no evidence that these pills work at all. It’s not surprising that a pill containing traces of blessed thistle and fennel will have little to no discernable effect on your body shape. Some ingredients of these herbal pills do bring about physiological changes, but they’re not very appealing: Blessed thistle affects digestion; Dong Quai can increase photosensitivity (vulnerability to the sun) and large quantities of Fenugreek can cause hypoglycema (low blood sugar).

Injections and rub-on gels are a comparable alternative to surgery

We say: These injections do not work as a long-term breast augmentation. Even their own disclaimer says that it might not work, and some patients have had to undergo additional treatments due to unwelcome side effects.

Breast enlargement pumps are comparable alternative to implants

We say: Pumps use suction cups to make the breast larger, and require use for ten hours a day for ten weeks. It’s a far less comfortable procedure than implants. The gains are small, the longevity of the result has been questioned, and the long term effects on the breast tissue are unknown.

Gels and oils are a comfortable alternative

We say: Lotions, moisturisers and oils are often (though not always) a safe and pleasant product to use. But we urge you not to buy any that claim to enhance breast size. You don’t need to take our word for it: The manufacturers of some of these products have specifically said that they don’t work as breast enhancement.

Fat transfer are an alternative to breast implants

We say: In some cases, mostly for reconstruction in breast cancer patients, fat injections have been used by some surgeons to augment the breast.

It is not a widespread procedure because there are a number of questions that still need to be studied. For example, it is unknown whether the injected fat may make breast cancer more difficult to detect, and whether it may interfere with mammography. We are unsure of any long term effects. There are possible cosmetic issues with the procedure including asymmetry, rippling, lumps of fat necrosis, and only small gain in size. Also, it is not guaranteed to last.

This procedure involves one round of fat augmentation or liposuction then in a separate procedure deposition of the fat into the breasts. This may lead to an increase in breast size.

We are unwilling to offer any procedure that we are not fully confident is best for the patient’s long term health and wellbeing. Whilst fat transfers may seem like a great alternative, the results cannot be guaranteed and the procedure is a lot more time consuming and expensive.

Why we only recommend breast implants

Breast implants are currently our best means of breast augmentation. Implants are among the most studied medical devices in history and cosmetic surgeons have been using them for almost 50 years. We know our range of implants are safe and reliable, and stand by the range of studies this procedure.

You might be interested to read our Breast Augmentation FAQs or the breast augmentation experiences of our patients Rachel Wallace and Phoebe McVey.

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