Women may seek alternatives to breast augmentation because of fear, cost, risk, or they have heard about someone who had a bad outcome or re-operations. Alternatives to breast implant surgery do exist, however they all have their limitations. Some provide only modest enlargement. Some do not work at all. These options are listed below.
This is a perfectly acceptable option. It has a known outcome, no cost, and no risk.
Weight lifting can certainly help develop the chest muscles. No amount of exercise will tighten skin beyond its inherent ability to contract, or elasticity. Elasticity is lost with breast feeding, ageing, tanning, and smoking. Women who exercise intensely may actually lose breast size as they lose body fat, some of which is in the breast.
There is no scientific data that these are effective in producing a significant increase in breast size. There is no prescription strength cream that has been FDA approved for increasing breast size.
There is no scientific data that over-the-counter pills and herbal supplements are effective in producing a significant increase in breast size. There is no prescription strength pill that has been FDA approved for increasing breast size. Some women may notice a slight increase in breast size when they take estrogens. All medications have some risk.
EXTERNAL BREAST ENHANCERS
Silicone gel breast forms, Wonder bras, Water bras, padded bras, and push-up bras can all provide an improved size and shape to the breast in certain types of clothing. Of all the listed alternatives, they are by far the most popular. However there are limitations to the types of clothing a woman can wear, and certainly out of clothing any improvement is nonexistent. Many of our patients have tried these prior to coming in for a consultation because they have become frustrated with the limitations of these devices.
Fat or other substances should NEVER be injected into the breast. The injected fat causes scar tissue and very small calcium deposits that can be confused with a cancer on a mammogram. This can result in an unnecessary breast biopsy, or worse, a cancer that is ignored because the calcium deposit is attributed to the fat injection.
YOUR OWN TISSUE
This is an effective technique for a woman who has lost her breast due to a mastectomy for cancer. However the degree of scarring and the increased risks of the operations prevent it from being used for cosmetic purposes.