By ALLISON GOODWIN
Like Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother granting a wish for just one night, the new cosmetic trend of “vacation breasts” bestows a woman with a trial pair of bigger breasts that last about a day. Is the procedure worth it? Or are they just another fairytale, waiting to turn into a pumpkin? Dr. Gordon Lewis, a trusted plastic surgeon in the Richmond area shares his insight with us as we take an in-depth look at this new, trending procedure.
The desire for fuller, larger breasts is a natural one. Some women genetically have a modest chest size than they would like because of their natural shape or congenital deformities (like Poland Syndrome). Other women have lost a bit of their size and fullness after pregnancy and breastfeeding. Women across the US agree that bigger breasts can help them feel more confident, more sexy, and more feminine.
The main function of the vacation breasts procedure is to temporarily increase breast size. The procedure uses a series of saline injections that cause the breast to look larger without implants or surgery. If it sounds too good to be true, remember that the result is very temporary. The technique is effective (in some cases it can increase breast size by a cup and half), but the results only last about 24 hours and then, like Cinderella, you turn back into regular you (smaller breasts included). Longer lasting vacation breast treatments are in development and may someday last for 2-3 weeks.
Many women hope that non-surgical breast enhancement options like this will give them a realistic idea of what they’ll look and feel like after surgical breast augmentation. If they are on the fence about whether or not they’d like implants, some women opt for vacation breasts to help make the augmentation decision. About 75% of those that test-drive vacation breasts decide to get implants in the end. And about 98% of all women with breast implants are glad they had the procedure done.
Vacation breasts are a new procedure and very expensive. ABC News indicates that the insta-breast procedure costs about $2500, a big investment for a single day of larger breasts. Some surgeons that offer the procedure credit a portion of it toward breast augmentation surgery should the patient decide to get implants. Financial cost isn’t the only thing to consider. There are also the short term risks associated with the procedure (risk of hitting a blood vessel during injections and risk of infection) and the potential unknown long term risks. Another downside is that the body could absorb the saline solution at different rates leading to uneven breasts until the saline is fully absorbed.
Dr. Lewis explains, “Women that are considering vacation breasts to try out implants should realize that there are easier, more affordable options. In my practice I use Vectra 3D Imaging to give my patients a look at their breast augmentation before results before surgery ever occurs. This system is completely non-invasive and gives a very realistic look of your body with larger breasts. Vacation breasts aren’t the only way to take implants for a test-drive.”
When it comes to lingerie, there are a few potential problems with vacation breasts as well. Bigger breasts means bigger lingerie sizes (and unless you have larger bras just waiting in your closet, that means investing in new lingerie that won’t fit tomorrow or going au natural for the day). Since the saline injections temporarily expand breast tissue, it can make your breasts a lot heavier. Bigger breasts tend to sag and the strain of unsupported, heavier breasts could potentially lead to sagging (and in rare cases stretch marks) from the procedure.
When it comes down to it, if you want larger breasts long term, implants are the way to go. Vacation breasts do serve a purpose, but shouldn’t be considered an alternative to surgical breast augmentation. One treatment lasts for a day while the other has the potential to last indefinitely. If you’re considering vacation breasts to help make the implant decision, consider trying less expensive methods like 3D imaging.