If you’ve ever considered a breast augmentation, it’s not hard to understand the appeal of “test-driving” a pair of implants for a day. One surgeon in New York offers a method to “try it before you buy it” with a procedure called InstaBreast.
The InstaBreast procedure takes about twenty minutes in office. A saline solution is injected into the breasts until they are enlarged to the desired size. Surgeons who offer the procedure claim that it takes the guesswork out of planning an augmentation by providing patients with 24 hours of experience with larger breasts.
Breast experts Dr. Robert Whitfield and Dr. Ned Snyder advise patients to steer clear of the InstaBreast procedure. Instead, they recommend patients stick to safer, more effective tools to aide in the breast augmentation decision making process.
While InstaBreast is touted as a 24 hour breast enhancement, the actual results may last much less than that. “Even within a few hours you’re going to have significant absorption of that saline within your body,” points out Dr. Snyder. From the moment the saline is injected, the body is working to absorb and remove the fluid from the injection site.
It’s also worth noting that the body may absorb the saline at different rates on each side of the body. As a result, while the breasts deflate over the following few hours, they may differ in size, producing a poor example of what implants might be like.
Saline Injection vs. Implant: Unrealistic Comparison
Implants, whether saline or silicone, come in shapes and sizes. Saline that is injected into the breast does not take any shape inside the breast. Injecting large amounts of saline may eventually result in a general inflation of the breast temporarily. Unfortunately, the size and shape of the breast can’t be compared to a result that would be obtained with an implant. “Although the concept behind the procedure may be appropriate for trying to give the patient an idea, it’s executed poorly,” says Dr. Whitfield.
“The procedure does have the potential for some negative sequelae,” points out Dr. Snyder. There are risks that accompany any injection, and the injection of a large amount of saline to the breast is no different. One common risk is some bruising that may occur at the site of injection. If bruising does occur, it could end up lasting longer than the results do. In addition to bruising, there is also a slight risk of infection with any injection procedure.
Better Alternatives to Preview Surgery Results
“We want to support our patients in giving them appropriate expectations,” says Whitfield. “In our practice we usually use 3D imaging.”
With three dimensional imaging and breast augmentation simulation software, patients can visualize their results with specific shapes and sizes of implants, as opposed to the general “swelling” of the breasts that InstaBreast offers. With 3D imaging, patients are able to compare their implant options from every angle on the screen. Patients can view the before and after side-by-side and can also view the result in clothing or a bikini top.
It may be fun to rock a bar of inflated breasts for an evening, or possibly just an afternoon if the saline dissipates quickly. If a patient is serious about breast augmentation and how results might look on their bodies, there are a variety of better solutions with extremely high degrees of accuracy.