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The Internal Bra - Don't Get Too Excited Just Yet

By February 27, 2010

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There is a lot of buzz out there right now surrounding the "internal bra" - a mesh support designed to be placed inside a woman's breast as part of a breast lift procedure to support the tissue in its new higher, more youthful position. While this news may be exciting for women who suffer from sagging breasts as a result of weight fluctuations, pregnancy, or simple aging, it's a bit too early to go out and sign up for the surgery.

The device is not yet approved by the U.S. FDA, and even if and when it does receive approval, there are concerns. Like breast implants, the internal bra is a foreign substance being introduced into the patient's body. There is always a possibility for inflammatory reaction or infection, either of which has the potential to lead to (cosmetic or health-related) disaster.

Another surprising misperception I've encountered surrounding this technology is that it allows for a "scarless" breast lift. Of course, this is not true. The mesh insert is normally inserted in conjunction with a traditional breast lift to provide additional support. Therefore, the usual breast lift incisions apply. Even if the internal bra does make it possible to minimize incisions, "scarless" is not an option. (After all, the mesh has to get in there somehow.)

If you're looking for a "scarless" breast lift, there are a couple of options out there that may come close. For women who experience only a mild-moderate degree of breast sagging (and don't mind going a bit bigger on top), breast augmentation surgery may do the trick to lift the breasts. of course, there are still going to be incisions, but going through the belly button (TUBA approach) or underarm (trans-axillary approach) can make your scars near-invisible.  On the other hand, if breast implants are not an option for you, some small degree of improvement may also be possible with non-surgical skin tightening.

See breast lift before and after photos.

See breast augmentation before and after photos.

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discussion in the plastic surgery forum.

March 3, 2010 at 2:13 pm
(1) Paul Henry says:

Transaxillary and umbilical approaches are poor choices when there is breast ptosis.(droopiness)

March 3, 2010 at 2:50 pm
(2) plasticsurgery says:

Paul – Depends on who you talk to. The degree of ptosis (notice I said “mild to moderate”) and the skill and experience of the surgeon with a particular technique of course factor into the suitability of any approach.

I am not a doctor, but I have worked for them, I talk to them all the time, I write (and constantly research) this website, and I have had two cosmetic breast surgeries myself. I mention this to support what I have found, and that is this: If you talk to ten cosmetic breast surgeons about what approach is the best choice for a given situation, you will likely get at least five different answers.

Based on all of my research and talks with plastic surgeons, if I’m going to put my own personal opinions out there, I would favor the peri-areolar incision, or sometimes the infra-mammary for the best implant placement in most cases. However, some women are really bothered by the idea of having any visible scars on the breast. So, although the options I presented may not be ideal for improving sagging, they may be a suitable compromise in some cases.

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