Love the look of perky breasts, but hate wearing a bra? There's a surgery for that. British docs have successfully implanted three patients with internal bras, comprising hardened silicone cups placed under the breast tissue that are then lifted with silk straps that are screwed into your rib cage. (Ow?)
What I want to know is who are these ladies who want to wear a bra 24/7? Every woman knows the sweet release of coming home after a long day and ditching the Playtex for pajamas. And so what if your double Ds get a little droopy? That's just what breasts do! Eugene Elliott, a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon at Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley, CA, agrees, saying that in his experience, anything stiff enough to be supportive would likely be very uncomfortable (especially if you want to lie on your stomach). However, he hasn't seen the device in person.
But he's less worried about the cups than the straps. "Have you ever bruised your ribs? The pain is excruciating! Now imagine having titanium screws put in them," he says. In addition, Elliott points out that both your rib cage and overlying breast tissue move as you do. And having something—even a "thin silk strap"—tethering them together could be very uncomfortable.
The U.K. surgeons claim that the internal bra surgery is much less invasive and just as effective as a traditional breast lift. But calling it a breast lift is a bit disingenuous. A traditional breast lift is a three-hour operation that involves mathematically determining the new position and then cutting and tucking skin to create the desired placement. Often, an implant is necessary to fill out the shape. The internal bra is just lifting—so what happens to all the loose, stretched-out skin?
Additionally, while any surgical technique is risky, experimental procedures are even riskier. "A responsible surgeon would never use anything that isn't FDA-approved," Elliot emphasizes.
Then there's the nasty issue of extrusion. "When you put something unmoving under the skin, the pressure of the skin moving over the top the device can actually force it out of the body," Elliot explains. (Which is why butt implants are notoriously dangerous!) This is of particular concern, since the internal bra is designed to sit right under the skin rather than behind muscle. If you thought it was embarrassing when you missed a button and flashed your regular bra, imagine what it would be like if your bra popped out of your skin!
And all for what—to achieve the look of perfectly perky breasts even when you're 80? Why not just wear a normal bra that you can take off when you want to? Women's breasts aren't broken—and they don't need to be fixed.