Liposuction of bra bulge deals with fibrous fats with deep compartments, making the surgery extra challenging unless the “right” approach is used. Leading Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Tarick Smiley says the tumescent liposuction combined with microcannula remains the most ideal technique to create a smoother back.
Tumescent liposuction has been the gold standard in fat removal surgery. It injects fluids into the fatty tissue that causes the fat cells to expand, leading to smoother results and less bleeding and surgical trauma as the “mixture” also includes epinephrine, a drug that constricts blood vessels.
To further promote “precision” during liposuction, Dr. Smiley says he uses microcannula, which is a hollowed probe with an outside diameter less than 2.2 mm—this is narrower compared with the standard cannula (4-6 mm). With this instrument, the risk of over-correction manifested by skin surface irregularities can be minimized, if not completely eliminated.
Liposuction of bra bulge typically involves the area between the armpit and “bra line.” In tight clothing or incorrect bra size, the “trouble spot” is further accentuated.
The success of surgery, particularly how “smooth” the results can be, depends on the patient’s skin shrinkage or elasticity. Hence, it is more commonly performed in women between 30s and 40s than those who belong in the older age bracket.
Past the age of 50, the skin does not snap back as easily as the young skin. And with this in mind, seniors and massive weight loss patients who generally have large redundant loose skin should expect no or little improvement from liposuction of bra bulge unless a concomitant skin excision surgery is performed.
Some patients want to avoid surgery and resort to non-invasive methods such as CoolSculpting that freezes and kills the target fat cells, which the body excretes gradually within a few weeks. The improvements are not drastic, reducing the fullness of bra rolls by only 20 percent and thus it only suits patients who require minimal correction in the first place.
Furthermore, CoolSculpting and other non-invasive alternatives require more than one session to appreciate the results.
Kybella injection is another possible alternative to reduce the unsightly bra bulge. While the US FDA has approved this drug to correct the double chin appearance caused by excess fat, using it outside of the submental area is considered an off-label practice.