Summary: It’s natural to want better results with less discomfort, so the notion of a non surgical breast augmentation filler that could give you just that is not really shocking. However, while that type of treatment does not yet exist, there are some so-called non surgical breast augmentation option. How do those options stack up? Let’s take a look!
Rating Non Surgical Breast Augmentation Options
They sound too good to be true, but can non surgical breast augmentation fillers work? In recently published statistics, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons noted that breast augmentation was the most popular plastic surgery procedure in the United States. There were more breast augmentations performed than tummy tuck or liposuction or facelifts.
To be sure, the way in which breast augmentation procedures are performed has changed somewhat. Patients don’t really seek out overly large implants. And autologous fat and fat grafting are becoming two very popular methods for achieving the look of larger breasts. By and large, however, breast augmentation is still performed surgically, using either a saline or silicone-based implant.
More and more, however, surgeons are beginning to offer a “non surgical breast augmentation” with fillers—or at least, something to fill the space. This can be an appealing option, but do those procedures actually work? Or are they just another fad that will fade away after a while? Certainly, cosmetic surgery is no stranger to such fads.
How Does a Non Surgical Breast Augmentation Work?
When people talk about a “non surgical breast augmentation” they might be talking about two different procedures:
- Breast Augmentation Using Fat: Now, we tend to think this is something of a misnomer. A breast augmentation using autologous fat is, indeed, a way to get larger breasts. But we tend to think of it as a surgical procedure because all procedures that use autologous fat require liposuction. And liposuction means a small incision must be made. So, for this type of breast augmentation, you’re looking at a couple of days for recovery—possibly a couple of weeks depending on the extent of the liposuction.
- Breast Augmentation Using Saline Injections: Injecting saline directly into the breasts might seem like a great idea, seeing as how saline implants are one of the mainstays of the breast augmentation procedure. But saline injections and saline implants are two very different things. Saline is, essentially, salt water. With saline implants that’s a good thing because, in the event of a rupture, your body simply absorbs the saline. But without an actual implant, there’s nothing to stop your body from absorbing that saline, so the injection is short lived. Most non surgical breast augmentations with saline last for 24 hours or less.
There are certainly advantages and disadvantages to taking a non surgical approach (or less surgical in the case of autologous fat breast augmentation). Perhaps those pros and cons would be the best way to evaluate these procedures.
Pros and Cons of Non Surgical Breast Augmentation
When looking at the pros and cons of these procedures, it’s important to point out that both are somewhat relative. What’s “good” will depend very much on how closely it resembles what you want. For instance, the temporary nature of saline injection breast augmentation would be “good” if the patient only wanted short-term results. However, the pros and cons can still be broken down, at least somewhat.
Benefits of Non Surgical Approaches
Whether you’re looking at autologous fat breast implants or a saline injection, there are definite advantages to a non surgical approach to getting your breast augmentation.
With a saline injection:
- Results are instant; you can see your results (and enjoy them right away)
- There is very little discomfort involved
- There is virtually no recovery with this procedure
- Because of its temporary nature, saline injections are a great way to take a given volume or size out for a “test drive”
- Great for special occasions
With autologous fat breast implants:
- Incisions are much smaller than in traditional breast augmentation procedures
- The fat graft is permanent, meaning your breasts will not diminish in size over time (other than naturally)
- Augmented breasts will look and feel quite natural
- The process removes excess fat from an area where it’s unwanted and places it somewhere that it is wanted
- Recovery time is relatively minimal, especially when compared to other implant types
Disadvantages of Non Surgical Techniques
Of course, there are downsides to each of these techniques as well. As with the advantages, the downsides tend to be different depending on what the patient wants as the final result and in light of other options. That is, the incisions with a fat graft technique might be a “disadvantage,” but not necessarily when compared to the longer incisions involved in a silicone implant. In other words, these “disadvantages” will be different with each and every patient.
For saline injection breast augmentation:
- The results are temporary, sometimes as little as 24 hours—and the procedure can be relatively expensive given how short the duration is
- Saline injections can only increase the size of the breast so much, usually meaning the results are relatively subtle (at most, patients can expect an increase in a single cup size
- It may take several injections to get the results you want and, in some cases, those injections can lead to bruising
For Fat Graft Breast Augmentation:
- This procedure will not be a viable option for patients who do not have enough excess fat
- Fat transfers are not always 100% reliable, meaning that some amount of the fat transferred will not “take” to its new location; this can make results difficult to predict with certainty
- There is a recovery time associated with this procedure, even though many will market this type of breast augmentation as “non surgical”
Not a Fair Comparison
At the end of the day, there isn’t really a fair comparison to be made between “non surgical” breast augmentation techniques and their surgical counterparts. For most patients, the best way to achieve a considerable increase in the size of the breasts is to look into a traditional, surgical breast augmentation technique. Saline and silicone implants both have a remarkably effective track record (though silicone is the preferred implant for most surgeons).
Non surgical procedures just can’t compete in the same way that, for example, non surgical rhinoplasty competes with surgical rhinoplasty. Fat graft breast augmentation procedures come the closest—but again, those aren’t really non surgical at their core. A liposuction is a surgical procedure, even if it is minimally invasive.
A Non Surgical Breast Augmentation Filler?
That said, we wouldn’t be shocked to see a non surgical breast augmentation with fillers make an appearance somewhere down the line. That’s how “non surgical nose job” procedures got started—with the innovative use of fillers. Thus far, there is not a dermal filler that is appropriate to use in increasing the size of the breasts.
But cosmetic surgeons are always innovating. So it wouldn’t be shocking to me to see that kind of specifically designed dermal filler in the future. After all, breast augmentation (the surgical kind) has always been incredibly popular, so it’s an appealing market. So don’t be shocked if you see a non surgical breast augmentation filler somewhere down the line—but it’s not quite ready today, so be wary of non surgical breast augmentation claims until then!