If you’re not ready to commit to surgery but would like to find an option for enhancing your breasts beyond a padded bra, BRAVA — a form of augmentation that doesn’t involve implants — might be for you.

For many women, the desire to have fuller breasts is trumped by their fear of undergoing a surgical breast augmentation procedure. While advances in surgical breast augmentation have made the procedures easier and more accessible to patients than ever before, the fact remains that some women want to enhance their breast size without going under the knife. Enter BRAVA.

BRAVA Explained

The BRAVA technology is a bra that contains suction technology designed to be worn for hours a day, every day in order to produce results. According to the company's website, BRAVA can help with both the enhancement and shaping of the breast — a benefit for women who are also concerned about asymmetry or otherwise undesirable breast shape.

BRAVA can also be used to help women who are undergoing breast reconstruction and can even be recommended in conjunction with fat injections.

Who Benefits From BRAVA?

BRAVA is specifically designed for women who have smaller breasts — no larger than a small C-cup — and want natural breast enhancement. It can also be used by women who would like to alter the shape of their breasts, which can change as a result of factors like breastfeeding and age.

BRAVA is not recommended for women who already have significant breast scarring, who have had an irregular mammogram over the past 12 months or who are sensitive to silicone. Additionally, the product is best for women who haven't breastfed in at least six months.

Additionally, women who experience chronic dermatitis may not be the best candidates for BRAVA.

Drawbacks to Using BRAVA Technology

One of the truths women who opt to use BRAVA must consider is that the results will not be the same as those achieved through surgical breast augmentation. According to Joe Gryskiewicz, MD, a spokesperson for the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the change in breast size is "a minimal amount." For some women, this might be enough. For patients wishing to go from an A, B or small C-cup to something a little bigger may be pleased with their results. However, larger cup-size jumps are not likely to be successful.

BRAVA is also not for the impatient. Women who use BRAVA have to commit themselves to the process. The suction bra must be worn about 10 hours per day for 10 weeks in order for patients to have measurable results.

"It's a process that takes a long time to complete," says Alan Matarasso, MD, FACS, another spokesperson for the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Beginning the BRAVA Process

The BRAVA equipment is only available for use through your cosmetic surgeon. If you're interested in u