From stem cells to Botox, strange new ways doctors are boosting our busts.
Breast Implants? So 1990’s. These days silicone isn’t the only substance being used to boost our busts. From stem cells to Botox, doctors are developing new augmentation methods that are breaking barriers in the plastic surgery world.
Here are five weird new boob jobs worth knowing about.
1. Fat Transfer Breast Augmentations Using Stem Cells
Actress and breast cancer survivor Suzanne Somers recently made headlines when she opted to have her breast reconstruction done using this fairly new method. After undergoing a lumpectomy and reportedly waking up with ‘half her breast gone,’ Somers had her breast restored to its original size using fat and stem cells harvested from her abdomen.
While noting that this method has only been around for about two years and isn’t yet widely used among plastic and reconstructive surgeons, Dr. Shahram Salemy, MD, FACS, and RealSelf.com Medical Expert, says with advances being made, “we’re now seeing outstanding, lasting results from this approach.” The doctor first performs liposuction to remove some fat from areas like the hips or the abdomen, filters and concentrates it, and then injects it into the breasts.
“This is a good option for women who are not interested in having implants, have some excess fat in other areas of their body, and want a fuller look to their breasts,” Dr. Salemy says. It can also be used to correct size discrepancies between the two breasts.
2. Weight-Loss Assisted Breast Reconstruction
The Cleveland Clinic is performing a relatively new breast procedure that’s been a breakthrough for obese women who are breast cancer survivors.
“In the past, obese patients who underwent a mastectomy were not candidates for breast reconstruction, in part because of the risks associated with operating on a patient with a high BMI, but also because implants are not made to properly fit the body of an obese woman,” says Abby Linville, Communications Associate for the Cleveland Clinic. “So, the doctors started a program that helped the women lose weight, get down to a healthy BMI, and then, using the excess tissue from the abdomen, they recreate a new, natural-looking breast,” Linville says.
It’s a medical trifecta—a woman overcomes breast cancer, loses weight, and emerges with a new, healthier-looking body, including a reconstructed breast and tummy tuck, all in one.
3. The Pastry Bag Boob Job
You wouldn’t try to push a water balloon through a buttonhole, right? Common sense says no—the balloon would burst and create a mess! Plastic surgeons are faced with a similar task each time they insert a silicone breast implant into a small incision site.
When South Carolina-based plastic surgeon Dr. Kevin Keller, M.D. was introduced to silicone gel implants in 2006 (they had been off the market under FDA investigation for 14 years), he instantly felt there had to be a better way to insert large, pre-filled implants rather than trying to push them through small incisions using just a finger, which was standard procedure.
Dr. Keller turned to the kitchen—literally—and found the perfect inspiration: the funnel-shaped pastry bag. In 2009 the KELLER FUNNEL was introduced to U.S. plastic surgeons and today nearly 20 percent of all silicone gel breast implant procedures are conducted using the specially coated nylon tool.
4. Botox-Assisted Breast Augmentation
Botox in our boobs? Sounds strange, right? When you hear about how New York City-based plastic surgeon Dr. Matthew R. Schulman is using it, it makes sense! Dr. Schulman has introduced a new method of breast augmentation using the injectable form of Botulinum Toxin.
According to Dr. Schulman, Botox-Assisted Breast Augmentation has two major advantages: less post-operative pain and a faster final cosmetic result. The procedure is done as a standard breast augmentation where the implant is placed under the muscle. After the muscle has been elevated, Botox is then injected into the muscle before the implant is placed. This partially paralyzes the chest muscle, resulting in less muscle spasms that naturally occur during the healing process, and dramatically reduces patient discomfort. Also, Dr. Schulman adds that with regular breast augmentation, it takes about three to four months for the implants to “drop” into the desired position. By paralyzing the muscle with Botox-Assisted Breast Augmentation, implants can settle into position in about three to four weeks.
5. Injectable Fillers to Plump the Bust
You’ve probably heard of injectable fillers like Restylane being used to plump up your lips or cheeks to give your face a more youthful look. And now an injectable filler that’s similar to Restylane called Macrolane is being used throughout Europe and Mexico to boost breasts and butts too!
Macrolane is designed specifically for body shaping, and the company that makes it says results can last up to 12 months with a single treatment. In 2009 several media outlets reported that actress Jennifer Aniston used the substance to add fullness to her breasts, but it’s important to note that it’s not yet available for this type of use in the U.S. If deemed safe here in the U.S. for injecting into larger areas, Macrolane can give women a non-surgical alternative to boosting their bustlines.