Nonsurgical Alternatives To Breast Implant Surgery Are They Effective?

By Katie Perry

Some women who want to increase the size of their breasts are wary of breast implant surgery. These patients tend to seek out alternative, nonsurgical methods of breast enhancement. A variety of ‘miracle’ products – breast pumps, pills, and creams – entice consumers with claims of increased breast size, enhanced fullness, and even improved shapeliness, but are these products actually effective alternatives to breast augmentation with implants?

Breast Pumps and Vacuums

One of the most common breast enhancement products on the market are breast pump or vacuum systems that claim to stimulate breast tissue growth and improve breast shape by placing the breast tissue under tension. This claim is based on the tissue expansion principle, a well-known concept which states that living tissues grow or expand in response to long-term, sustained tension. Tissue expansion using saline injections is frequently used in breast reconstruction surgeries and other restoration procedures.

Breast enhancement systems, on the other hand, are expensive, bulky, bra-like suction cup devices that must be worn on the breasts for 10 to 12 hours per day, for weeks or months on end. The tension that an enhancement pump exerts on the breasts is believed to activate cell replication, increase collagen production, and engorge the breast tissue with blood. While a moderate increase in breast size can occur, the change may only be temporary. The overall effectiveness of these systems is unknown.


Breast Enlargement Pills and Creams

Along with breast enhancement pumps, there are many hormonal and homeopathic pills touted to adjust the body’s natural hormone balance with herbs or other ingredients, such as blessed thistle, dong quai, fennel seed, fenugreek, wild yam, saw palmetto, and others. Some ingredients are believed to have estrogen-like effects on the body, stimulating tissue growth in a woman’s breasts and uterus. Although the long term effects are unclear, breast enhancement supplements that feature estrogen-like ingredients – without the balancing effects of added progesterone or progesterone-like substances – could lead to hormonal imbalances and excessive cell growth that may promote breast or uterine cancer, the development of blood clots, and other complications.

Similar to breast enlargement pills and supplements, topically applied breast creams are purported to facilitate breast tissue growth with ingredients that mimic the effects of estrogen. These products claim to trigger the body’s natural hormones to promote breast tissue growth, increase volume, and improve shape, but must often be used in conjunction with enhancement pills.

While a cream or an easy-to-take pill may seem like a viable alternative to breast implant surgery, there is too little known about the side effects of these products and whether or not they actually increase breast size.

Breast Implant Surgery: The Most Effective Option

Overall, there is no clinical proof that the nonsurgical, breast enhancement methods described above can actually change breast size or shape. If any improvement is experienced, the effects are likely temporary and may even cause health problems.

Women seeking to enlarge their breasts should take time to consider breast augmentation. While the decision to undergo any surgical procedure is a serious one to make, a breast augmentation performed by a highly skilled, board certified plastic surgeon is the most reliable and predictable method of improving breast size, shape, and fullness. Risks are minimal and post-operative pain, which typically lasts several days following the procedure, can be easily managed with pain medication. More importantly, patients are able to enjoy the final results sooner than they would following many of the nonsurgical methods. Furthermore, breast implants have been used for decades, and surgeons have a firm understanding of the benefits and risks associated with augmentation procedures, unlike nonsurgical methods.

About the Author: Katie Perry is an online content editor in the Tampa Bay area. She posts articles about plastic surgery topics and procedures including breast augmentation,

breast implants

, and more.


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