Can I Have a Breast Lift Without Surgery?

Technically, you can have a breast lift without surgery. That said, the results may not be as long-lasting or aesthetically pleasing as those seen with traditional breast lift surgery.

Here are some of the options that exist:

Botox Breast Lift

A Botox breast lift is essentially a breast lift without surgery. Your plastic surgeon injects the muscle-relaxing neurotoxin Botox into your pectoralis minor chest muscle, allowing the back muscles to compensate by lifting the breast. The lifting effect lasts only as long as the Botox — roughly three to four months. Because Botox has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for breast lifts, Botox breast lift involves an off-label use of this injectable.

Breast Boosting Creams

Many creams are touted as having the ability to firm your breasts, but most are nothing more than moisturizers. These wonder creams probably won't hurt you, but will they boost your breasts? Most experts say probably not.

Chest Exercises

Push-ups and other exercises that target your chest muscles may also help firm up your breasts. However, if the sagging and drooping are pronounced, exercise alone likely will not make the same difference as breast lift surgery.

A New Bra

The No. 1 non-surgical alternative to a breast lift is ... a well-fitted bra. If your bra is not supportive enough, all that bouncing around can actually loosen your connective tissues and encourage sagging. Getting properly fitted for a bra can make a big difference in how your breasts look and feel.

Other options for a non-surgical breast lift may include body contouring procedures, such as Thermage. This technique uses radio waves to tighten collagen layers in the skin, which has the effect of lifting and firming the sagging skin in this area.

About Breast Lift Surgery

When considering alternative, surgery-free breast lift procedures, it's important to understand what breast lift surgery does for ptotic, or "droopy," breasts.

Breasts may begin to sag due to the effects of gravity, massive weight loss (such as that resulting from gastric bypass), pregnancy and/or breast-feeding. A breast lift reverses this process by raising and firming the breasts. It can be performed with or without breast implants under local or general anesthesia in a hospital or office surgical suite.

Breast lift surgery takes about two to three-and-a-half hours to perform. As a general rule, the nipple and areola are moved to a higher point on the breast. Next, the underlying breast tissue is tightened and the sagging breast skin is reduced. The degree of lift needed generally will determine how many incisions are required and how long these incisions should be.

Following surgery, your breast lift recovery will require about one week off of work, depending on your vocation. Breast lift side effects can include infection, tissue death, breast asymmetry, unfavorable scarring and dissatisfaction with the aesthetic results.

If you are considering a breast lift, talk with your plastic surgeon about your options and your goals. He or she can help you make an informed decision and understand why breast lift without surgery may fall short. Start your search for the right surgeon now.