Introduction If you could enhance any part of your body, what would it be? Many women would have a very clear answer to this question: the breasts. The breasts are representative of a woman’s anatomy from multiple points of view. They are both the symbol of motherhood and sex appeal. Round, big breasts are a dream for many women, a dream that can be easily achieved nowadays with the help of plastic surgery. Among the most popular plastic surgery procedures in the world is breast augmentation with implants. The procedure is safe and can deliver incredible results, especially when performed by an experienced, talented, board-certified plastic surgeon. However, there are women looking for alternatives to breast implant surgery, and this is what we will discuss in this article. Overview of breast implant surgery As the name suggests, the procedure entails the use of external prostheses to be inserted into the breasts to make them larger and improve their shape. Breast augmentation with implants can be performed in different manners, depending on the anatomy of the patient, the type of implants to be used, and the desired aesthetic result. General anesthesia is often preferred for breast implant surgery as it is more comfortable for the patient who will have no recollection of the surgical trauma. During the initial consultation with the plastic surgeon, certain decisions will be taken regarding the surgical plan. The plastic surgeon will explain different approaches and recommend the most suitable one for your particular case. The important things to discuss during the pre-operative consultation are related to the type of implants to be used, the location of the incision, and the placement of the implants. There are many different types of implants to choose from. Nowadays the implants are filled either with a saline solution or a highly cohesive silicone gel, have a round or anatomical shape, and a textured or smooth surface of the capsule. Moreover, the implants come in different volumes, and the plastic surgeon will recommend a minimum and a maximum according to your anatomy, expectations, and current breast tissue. The location of the incisions is important as the scars are permanent after this procedure. The incisions can be placed either around the areola (periareolar incision), in the fold between the breasts (inframammary incision), or in the axilla (transaxillary incision). The most popular incision type is the inframammary incision as it is well hidden in the natural folds of the body but also allows for the insertion of rather larger silicone implants. The placement of the implant is also important for the results of the procedure. The plastic surgeon might recommend the submuscular placement (under the pectoral muscle), subglandular placement (under the mammary gland) or the dual plane placement (half under the muscle and half under the mammary gland). The dual plane position is popular nowadays as it reduces the risks while delivering very natural-looking results. When not to have a breast augmentation with implants Generally speaking, patients benefiting from the procedure need to be in good health and emotional condition, with no strict contraindications and with a deep understanding of the details of the procedure. However, there are cases in which it might not be recommended to have a breast augmentation with implants, and these are: – You don’t want scars on the breasts Scarring is unavoidable when it comes to breast augmentation with implants and many other plastic surgery procedures. There are different placements possible for the incisions, and if the cicatrization process is normal, the scars are difficult to notice even when the patient is wearing lingerie or swimsuit. However, there will be scars, and if the patient doesn’t accept or want this, then breast augmentation with implants should not be performed. – You are put off by the potential complications of using implants Just like any other plastic surgery procedure, there are risks and potential complications associated with breast augmentation with implants. The complications that are common to all surgical procedures are deep vein thrombosis, infection, wound dehiscence, seroma, and hematoma, among others. However, when using external prostheses, there are other complications that can occur such as capsular contracture, rupture, leaking of the implants, implant rippling, and so on. If the patient is discouraged by the potential complications of using implants, then the procedure should be avoided. – You don’t like the idea of undergoing additional procedures later on Generally speaking, there are two reasons why patients might require additional procedures on the breasts later on in life. One would be to correct or fix a complication such as capsular contracture, and the second would be to remove and replace the implants when they get old. Breast implants are not permanent devices that can be kept inside the body for decades. The warranty for them is 10 to 15 years, depending on certain conditions and the manufacturer. Not all patients need to remove and replace their implants, but if you get them early in life, chances are you will undergo revision surgery later on. If this doesn’t sound like something you want to do, then it is better to avoid breast implant surgery. Alternatives to breast implant surgery Despite what some people tend to believe, the alternatives to breast implant surgery are not special diets, special massages, or special exercise routines. The alternatives are also not from pills and potions, and creams certainly won’t help you get bigger breasts. However, there is an alternative to breast implant surgery that has been quite in demand over the last few years. The procedure is called the breast lipofilling or fat grafting to the breasts and what it entails is the use of the patient’s own fat tissue to augment the breasts. The plastic surgeon will collect fat from one or multiple areas where there is an excess of adipose tissue such as the abdomen, flanks, thighs, and even the lower and upper back and inject this fat into the breasts to give them a more beautiful shape and a little more volume. You might have noticed we used the word “little”. This is something very important to keep in mind when looking for alternatives to breast implant surgery. While it is safe and efficient to use fat grafting to augment the breasts, it is essential to keep in mind that the results are not comparable with that of breast implant surgery. When using implants, we can control the level of augmentation and the patient can get from an A cup to a C cup after the procedure. This result can’t be achieved with breast lipofilling. The augmentation that is possible after fat grafting is half a cup to a cup. In other words, your breasts will be fuller and with a more beautiful projection, but they won’t be two bra cup sizes larger. The plastic surgeon can only inject a limited amount of fat in one session of lipofilling. Too much fat injected in one session can lead to the death of the fat cells and granulomas. It is also important to mention that not all the fat cells injected into the breasts will survive after the first three months. A certain percentage of the fat injected that can be up to 30% is reabsorbed by the body in the first months before developing a blood network that will ensure their survival in the future. Conclusion Nowadays many people want to know about the alternatives to breast implant surgery as they want to get bigger breasts but are not willing to face the consequences of using implants. It is important to understand that the type of augmentation that is possible when using implants can’t be achieved in any other way. Moreover, many of the methods advertised as reliable for breast augmentation hardly deliver any results. The only alternative that can be used for breast augmentation is a plastic surgery procedure called fat grafting or lipofilling. However, the augmentation achieved with this procedure is often no more than one bra cup. This means that patients desiring a moderate or discrete augmentation can choose this procedure and be satisfied with the results.