There has been a lot in the media recently about the so-called vacation breasts and patients and friends have been asking my opinion on this trend.

First it’s important to establish exactly what we are talking about, and that is essentially pumping up to a litre of saline solution into each breast to make them larger and give the appearance of having had breast implants. This effect slowly disappears as the saline is absorbed by the body and is generally said to last up to 24 hours. It is used to give a fuller breast for a special event or to simulate what one might look like after having an augmentation to help them decide whether to proceed with surgery.

While it’s certainly an interesting concept, I have a few concerns about this. Most importantly when the breasts are inflated the skin gets stretched and may not recoil to where it was prior to the procedure. This would be worse the older the patient is and can result in a more deflated and droopy appearing breast than the patient started with.

Another concern I have is how well this would actually simulate what someone’s breast augmentation will look like. Volume of saline injected won’t translate directly into grams of silicone and probably won’t give an accurate picture of a final outcome after a proper augmentation. The implant companies spend a lot of R&D dollars developing proper sizers for patients to use with their bra to simulate the effects of their implant for a reason, so it is best to just use their sizers. Whether someone wants Allergan or Mentor implants, I have specific sizers for each brand.

Finally, for use at special events I would be very worried about having a “Cinderella” effect as the saline slowly absorbs over the course of the evening. This occurs at an unpredictable rate so I would personally be very concerned about showing up to an event with noticeably large breasts and then looking down at at midnight to find that I’d lost my pumpkins!