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Because we care about your health, this section is designed to help inform you of breast health issues and your options for breast enlargement. Below are important facts you should know regarding breast awareness and, if you are deciding which breast enlargement option is right for you, the following information may be helpful in making an informed decision.
1. What are my options for breast enlargement?
Truths & Myths of Breast Enlargement
2. What gives breasts their shape?
A. Breasts are made up of skin, milk ducts, glands, connective tissue and fatty tissue. The breasts are supported by your rib cage and your chest muscles (the pectoralis major and minor).
3. Is there a website where I can find more information on cosmetic breast surgery?
Yes, there are great free resources. The ASAPS (American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons) is a good place to start. Go to http://www.surgery.org/ Another is Mentor Corporation's web site. It is a very comprehensive. You can see a listing of frequently asked questions about surgical augmentation at: http://www.mentorcorp.com/cs/ba/cs_ba_aa_faq.htm To help you make an informed decision about breast augmentations, Mentor also suggests you visit: http://www.mentorcorp.com/pdf/FinalInformedConsent.pdf. You can also call MENTOR at: 1-800-MENTOR8.
To learn of the risks associated with breast implants, you can also see the complete report written by the US Food and Drug Administration by calling 1-888-info-FDA or by visiting: http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/breastimplants/
4. Why do our breasts sag anyway?
A. Breast sagging (drooping) or ptosis as it is commonly referred to, occurs for several different reasons - multiple pregnancies, breast feeding, rapid weight loss, genetics, gravity and age. Just as all body tissues are susceptible to the effects of gravity over time, the breast, because it is an external organ and not protected from external forces, also undergoes changes over time. The connective tissues supporting the breast are always under constant stretch due to the effects of gravity on the weight of the breast, this effect eventually causes the relaxation of these supporting ligaments creating the sagging effect.
5. Why should I do a self-breast exam?
A. By examining your breasts regularly, you will become familiar with what is normal for your body. By becoming familiar with what is normal, you will also be able to recognize changes promptly. Any change should be brought to the attention of your doctor. Please remember, breast self-exams are only one part of good breast health care. A regular yearly breast exam by a qualified physician is an important part of the screening process, as well as, indicated mammograms (see recommendations by the American Cancer Society).
6. When and how do I do a self-breast exam?
A. The most opportune time to perform a self-breast exam is when you are showering. First using a mirror and good lighting, perform a visual exam of both breast with your hands on your hips and then placed over your head. Look for any skin dimpling, discoloration, or abnormal skin growths. Look for symmetry. You may notice one breast larger than the other, this is considered normal for the most part. However if there is change from one month to the other please contact your doctor. Next, begin examining the breast with the flat portion of you fingers, Start by pushing the breast tissue down to your chest wall and in a circular pattern examine the breast from outside to inside feeling for any lumps or noticeable changes from the month before. You may use soap or skin lotion to enhance your exam. Next, check under the armpits for any lumps and then squeeze the nipples to check for any nipple discharge. Any abnormalities should be reported to your personal doctor immediately.
7. When should I begin mammogram screening?
A. Mammogram screening should begin when a woman is 40 years of age then every 1-2 years thereafter. At age 50 women should begin routine yearly mammogram screening. If there is a family history of premenopausal breast cancer, you may want to start mammogram screening at an earlier age.
8. Can supplements (pills) increase my breasts?
In November 2002, ABC TV Affiliates around the US reported on an independent study conducted to test the efficacy of three different herbal supplements that claimed to increase breast tissue up to three-cup sizes. Researchers found that none of the women tested showed an increase in breast size. It was also found that there are no herbal supplements registered or evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Computerlab.com located in White Plains, New York, which conducts tests on all kinds of supplements said that there was "NO HARD EVIDENCE" that any current breast supplement works. They also indicated that herbal supplements which often tout the "so-called estrogen effect of some herbs" are unlikely to provide any effect due to the fact that the dose is so small.
9. Are hormone supplements safe?
Here is a press release from the U.S. government released on December 11, 2002 entitled, "U.S. lists hormone therapy as carcinogen":
WASHINGTON, Dec 11 (Reuters) - Estrogen replacement therapy joined the official U.S. government list of cancer-causing agents on Wednesday, along with wood dust and ultraviolet light.
A big study published in July showed that hormone replacement therapy increases the risk of several kinds of cancer, including breast cancer, although it seems to lower the risk of colon cancer. It also raises the risk of heart disease.
The report also lists wood dust as a "known human carcinogen." The report, part of the National Toxicology Program's biennial report on cancer-causing agents, says unprotected workers in sawmills, furniture factories and similar places have a higher risk of cancers of the nasal cavities and sinuses.
And it lists broad-spectrum ultraviolet light, both naturally produced by the sun and the light made by tanning beds and lamps, as a known cause of cancer in people.
The various separate kinds of UV light, such as UVA, UVB and UVC, are listed as probable carcinogens because it is not clear whether each one on its own alone could cause cancer.
"This and 15 other new listings bring the total of substances in the report, 'known' or 'reasonably anticipated' to pose a cancer risk, to 228," the Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement.
The NTP, part of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, one of the National Institutes of Health, updates its list of known and suspected cancer-causing agents after lengthy study and scientific reviews by three expert panels of government and non-government scientists.
Also new to the list are nickel compounds and beryllium and its compounds commonly used in industry. Beryllium was previously listed as "reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen."
"About 800,000 workers are exposed via inhalation of beryllium dust or dermal (skin) contact with products containing beryllium," the department statement said.
"Workers with the highest potential for exposure include beryllium miners, beryllium alloy makers and fabricators, ceramics workers, missile technicians, nuclear reactor workers, electric and electronic equipment workers, and jewelers."
Joining the list of reasonable cancer suspects are IQ, or 2-amino-3-methylimidazo(4,5-f)quinoline, which is formed during direct cooking with high heat of foods such as meat and eggs and which is also found in cigarette smoke.
10. Is there anything I can do to help reverse the effects of gravity on my breasts?
A. Yes, in fact just by wearing a bra that offers good support or a sports bras while exercising can help reduce or even slow the downward pull of gravity. Gravity actually causes our breasts to grow downward. Stay in shape. Excessive weight gain contributes as well as genetic factors.
11. Are there any new clinical trials offering options for breast reconstruction following a mastectomy or lumptectomy?
Yes, The Brava System is presently being used in a major clinical study by leading Plastic Surgeons in the U.S. and Europe, to assist in the transfer of Autologous Fat from other parts of the body (e.g. stomach and thighs) to the breasts.
This revolutionary study is on-going with encouraging preliminary results. The scientific theory is that the Brava System helps enhance the endurance and the survival of the new cells that are grafted into the breasts from other parts of the body. The Brava System also allows for a greater size increase in the breasts by allowing a greater amount of cells to survive the fat transplant due to better blood circulation to the area and the expansion of tissue in the breast area that will accommodate the transfer of the new Autogolgous Fat cells.
The preliminary results have been presented at a major medical conference and the study is presently being submitted for publication in a major medical journal. To learn more about this clinical trial study, http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct/show/NCT00466765?order=1.
Learn more about Fat Grafting to the Breasts:
12. Are there any videos that I can watch to give me an idea of how Brava works and how to use it?
13. I saw the Evening News and a doctor named Roger Khouri, MD showed a device that grows breast tissue, was that Brava?
Yes. We found a copy of it on You Tube. It aired on CBS Channel 4 in Miami interviewed
Dr. Roger Khouri and one of his patients.
14. What do doctors say about Brava? Do they think it works?
In a Brava, LLC-sponsored study1, Brava was tested by a leading team of plastic surgeons in clinical trials across the U.S. and the results found Brava to be an effective non-surgical alternative for breast enlargement.
REALSELF.com asked some leading physicians, "Are there any alternatives to breast implants?"
For more physicians comments, see http://www.brava.com/what-leading-doctors-say.asp
15. Are there any new options being developed for breast augmentation?
Yes, there are many innovations that are being examined around the world as new alternatives for breast augmentation. Cosmetic Surgery Times (October 2008), offers an overview of these advances in the article, “A look at global trends in breast augmentation” authored by Karen Donley-Hayes. http://cosmeticsurgerytimes.modernmedicine.com/cosmeticsurgerytimes/article/articleDetail.jsp?id=553790
These developments include alternate types of implants, injectable products, stem cell alternatives and the use of a vacuum assisted device with fat injections to the breasts. (This technique is also referred to as Brava enhanced fat grafting to the breasts.)
In it, Dr. Eisenmann-Klein explains a new technique, pioneered by BRAVA developer Dr. Roger Khouri, which "combine the device (Brava) with fat injections into the subcutaneous tissue of the breast". Dr. Eisenmann-Klein notes that this technique offers “impressive results”. In this procedure small amounts of fat (only 3 cc or less) are injected into multiple channels in the subcutaneous tissue after gaining the fat by liposuction in the same session. Altogether, up to 300 cc of fat per breast can be injected in one session. The patient wears the BRAVA device for 12 hours per day, beginning 10 days prior to surgery and again from her first postoperative day for 10 days, 12 hours per day." The device increases the volume of the subcutaneous tissue and enables an 80 percent take of the fat grafts on average, Dr. Eisenmann-Klein explains. She notes that a collaborate exchange of ideas between Dr. Khouri and Dr. Rigotti has lead to the development of a “safe and effective technique” that “will be the future" of breast augmentation.
Also, in the The New York Times article by Catherine Saint Louis (December 3, 2009),"Your Own Fat Relocated', two leading physicians specializing in Fat Grafting to the breasts, Dr. Roger Khouri (Miami, FL) and Dr. Sydney Coleman (New York, NY) were interviewed. The article notes, fat grafting to the breasts is now considered a "safe method of augmentation" by the ASPS Task Force. Dr. Khouri's long term study results, presented at the October Meeting of The American Society of Plastic Surgeons, indicated that liposuctioned fat is "a viable alternative to breast implants". To read the complete article, go to http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/03/fashion/03skin.html.