Saline breast injections: Are they safe?

Saline breast injections: Are they safe?
A quick way to temporarily expand one's breast size, saline injections are a newer method of breast augmentation that is awaiting approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

A quick way to temporarily expand one's breast size, saline injections are a newer method of breast augmentation that is awaiting approval from the Food and Drug Administration. According to The New York Times, the results last about 24 hours before the saline solution is absorbed into the blood. Because of its short shelf life, some patients seek the injections as a way to preview how they would appear after surgery. Others undergo the procedure before a special occasion to temporarily enhance their appearance, since the procedure is only a fraction of the price and void of any major commitment. However, the safety and effectiveness of the procedure is questionable.

Safety concerns
Saline injections, while a convenient way to enlarge a patient's breasts for a short period of time, are awaiting approval for several reasons. Although these types of procedures are often considered risk-free, no such treatment exists. Daniel Mills, M.D. told Yahoo Health that, as with all injections, infection and blood pooling under the skin are safety concerns that should not go overlooked. Plus, the procedure could cause stretching of the skin which, when the breast returns to its normal size, could alter its shape and support. Other concerns include interference with mammograms, which could prevent proper diagnosis of serious health issues.

However, Mills noted that, while concerns remain, seeking this treatment with a board-certified surgeon is the best way to proceed. He warned that any other method could be especially dangerous, as many underground mixtures might contain harmful ingredients that can lead to serious complications, as well as death.

Alternative methods
Breast augmentation surgery is a popular method for women to enlarge their breasts in a more permanent way. Data from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reveal that 313,327 of these surgeries were performed in 2013, making it the second most popular procedure of the year. Fat grafting can also be a way to enhance the size of one's breasts, though ASAPS noted that this method could be limiting to the size of the breast, and it requires the patient to undergo numerous procedures to reach the ideal appearance.

As for being an effective preview to breast augmentation surgery, Steven Teitelbaum, M.D. told the Times that bra inserts and 3-D imaging are better alternatives to the injections. Since the solution is injected into the tissue rather than the muscle, the results won't be an exact match. As a result, relying on the technology, rather than the procedure, is a more realistic approach.