With the recent surge in nonsurgical procedures to treat everything from lax skin to a double chin, it's no surprise that doctors have now found a way to also address sagging breasts without going under the knife.
Of course you could just throw on a push-up bra, but once it comes off, you're still seeing the same issue staring back at you in the mirror. For those who want longer-lasting correction, there's a minimally invasive way to fix the problem. ThermiTight, a heat technology that uses radio-frequency energy to stimulate the production of collagen, and therefore tighten skin), is now being used in a treatment on the breasts called ThermiBreast.
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"It works by tightening skin in a similar way to other Thermi procedures (you can also use the technology on the neck, arms, abdomen, thighs and knees)," says New York plastic surgeon Kevin Tehrani, MD. "But in addition to treating the deeper tissues, it also tightens the breast ligaments, thereby elevating them to a more youthful location."
According to Montclair, NJ, plastic surgeon Barry DiBernardo, MD, the ideal candidate is anyone with mild to moderate ptosis, which is falling of the breasts. "Anything beyond this would be more of a candidate for a surgical breast lift."
Dr. DiBernardo says the treatment is typically done under local anesthesia or sedation and lasts about an hour. "Four small incisions (little pokes about the size of a needle) are made around the nipple area and a tiny probe is inserted under the skin to deliver a controlled amount of thermal energy to specific tissues, which causes vertical fibers under the skin to tighten and shorten, delivering a lifting effect."
As far as pain goes, Dr. Tehrani says it's minimal and gives it a 2 on a scale of 1–10. "Depending on the extent of the area treated, there will be bruising and swelling for approximately one week, but no scarring. I recommend taking one or two days off work."
It's important to note that this is not a replacement for a traditional breast lift, but it can produce moderate lifting in the right patient (Dr. DiBernardo has seen anywhere between 1–5 centimeters lift or 1–2 inches of rise) and the results can last several years. "However, it is not recommended for patients who have prior breast implants," says Dr. Tehrani.