As we’ve probably mentioned a few times before, breast augmentation was the most popular plastic surgery procedure of 2017. We don’t see that changing any time soon. But we do definitely see some innovations on the horizon. That’s why it’s not completely unreasonable for patients to ask: can you get a breast augmentation without implants?
When Can You Get Breast Augmentation Without Implants?
This is a question that used to have a simple answer: no. That’s because since its inception, breast augmentation has required implants of some kind in order to be successful. But new technology and novel techniques are pushing the envelope in terms of what can be accomplished with this procedure.
In other words, it might not be completely outside the realm of possibility that you could actually get breast augmentation without implants–maybe not today, but sometime in the near future. We’re going to take a look at how that might work, especially compared to how breast augmentation works today. Although even today, answering that questions–can you get breast augmentation without implants–requires a bit more work than you might expect.
How Implants Work During Breast Augmentation
If you want a breast augmentation, you’re likely going to look at breast implants as one of your primary options. These days, breast implants are broken down into two very broad categories:
- Saline implants are composed primarily of a saline solution. The benefit of this type of implant is the saline itself. If the implant ruptures, the saline is absorbed into the body without any issue, as saline is essentially salt water. (However, the implant will deflate and surgery will be required).
- Silicone implants are favored by most surgeons these days. A silicone implant will look and feel significantly more natural than saline implants. Additionally, if a silicone implant ruptures, the implant will likely not deflate, meaning patients can have a little more peace of mind about that particular issue (although detecting a rupture can be a bit harder–but that’s something you should discuss with your surgeon).
The vast majority of patients will elect an implant based on the size, look, and feel, trying to anticipate what the best possible final results might look like. But the choices aren’t necessarily simple or easy. Silicone implants, for example, come in a variety of styles, the most popular of which are called “gummy bear” implants due to their overall consistency. Again, most patients choose primarily based on the overall look and feel of the final results.
Breast Augmentation Without an Implant
One of the drawbacks of breast implants is that they have a shelf life. Eventually (perhaps even after fifteen or twenty years), the implant must be removed. (It should be noted that for many patients, that’s more of a feature than a drawback; at the end of that fifteen years, many are ready to go back to a smaller breast size.)
However, a new type of breast augmentation is changing that: fat graft breast augmentation. During a fat graft breast augmentation, fat is removed from your body via a liposuction procedure (this is usually referred to as donor fat). Once that donor fat is processes, it’s returned to the body via a series of injections.
Except that it’s returned to a targeted area. In this case, that fat is injected into the breasts in order to make them appear larger. The patient finishes the procedure (and recovery) with breasts that are larger and that look and feel totally natural. There are some drawbacks, of course. Sometimes the amount of fat that “takes” to the new area can be somewhat unpredictable. This means that the final results aren’t always quite as predictable as they might be with a more traditional implant.
What About in the Future?
And yet, the fat graft breast augmentation is as close as we’ve come to a breast augmentation without implants. There have been a few attempts to deliver those kind of results via injections over the years. There are some cosmetic surgeons who might offer saline injections, but those results usually last less than 48 hours and can be quite expensive.
Even the fat graft procedure is technically a kind of implant. So even now there isn’t a true breast augmentation without implants. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. The surgical procedures themselves have indeed become less invasive over the years. And getting a breast augmentation now is easier than ever before.
Could a breast augmentation without implants be right around the corner? It’s certainly possible. We’ll just have to see what the future holds.