The Vampire Breast Lift

The Vampire Breast Lift?

In the non-ending search for cheaper and faster ways to achieve larger and lifted breasts, some practitioners have resorted to injecting breasts with various fillers, including saline, silicone, fat, hyaluronic acid, and most recently, platelet rich plasma (PRP). Advocates for the use of fillers in the breasts argue that it is ideal for women who wish to enhance their cleavage, correct minor asymmetries, or camouflage implant rippling. While fat injection has become a very commonly performed and is a well-studied procedure, the other techniques are highly questionable both in terms of their efficacy and safety.

Saline injections into the breast involve adding physiological fluid to temporarily swell the breast tissues, thereby enlarging and slightly lifting the breasts. The solution is typically absorbed by the body within three weeks, at which time the breasts return to their pre-injection size. While this technique is technically harmless, it’s unclear as to the benefit since the results are so short-lived.

The injection of free silicone into the breasts is condemned by the medical community. Free silicone injections have been associated with a host of issues, including migration of silicone to other parts of the body, inflammation, discoloration, and the formation of granulomas, ulceration and fistulae.

In fact, in 1992, the FDA issued a press release stating that “Physicians will no longer be allowed to use injectable silicone for cosmetic treatment unless the product is approved by the FDA for marketing or investigational studies”. Such studies have not been performed. Silicone breast implants, in contrast, contain medical grade silicone within a silicone shell, and their safety has been documented in hundreds of trials worldwide. They are FDA approved for use in breast augmentation in women aged 22 years or older.

Hyaluronic acid is a natural ingredient found in the human body. For medical use, it is derived from rooster combs or manufactured by bacteria. It is approved in the United States for injection into folds around the mouth and into the lips. It is not approved for injection in to the breasts. Were it to be used in the breasts, the patient would likely be disappointed, as the results last for only 12 months. The average breast implant contains 300 ml of silicone or saline. When one considers that a syringe of Juvederm or Restylane contains 1 ml, and that each one costs $600-800, the cost of a temporary breast augmentation becomes staggering.

The latest wave of hysteria stems from the use of growth factors and stem cells contained in platelet rich plasma, also known as PRP, to provide a “vampire breast lift”. The idea is derived from the “vampire facelift” in which injected material which stimulates cell regeneration in the face can also be used to promote hair growth if injected into the scalp. Several treatments are required, and results are reported to last 1-2 years. The cost issues aside, the technique has not been studied in regards to the stimulation of cancer cells in the breast.

When considering any degree of breast enhancement, it’s incredibly important to consider the long-term effects as opposed to short-term gain. Breast augmentation, fat augmentation to the breasts, breast lift, and breast reduction surgery should be performed only by board-certified plastic surgeons who have the necessary training to appropriately and safely care for this most sensitive of organs. If anyone else approaches your breasts with fangs and a funny-looking syringe, beware!


Breast Lift Surgery Before & After Photos

Breast Lift Before & After Photo - Nina S. Naidu, MD FACS

Breast Lift Before & After Photo – Nina S. Naidu, MD FACS


Related Procedures