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Tuesday, 8 October, 2002, 14:25 GMT 15:25 UK
DIY alternative to breast implants
Bra
The bra uses suction to stimulate growth
A bra-type suction device that its makers claim can help to increase the size of women's breasts has been launched in the UK.

The Brava system is designed to increase breast size by using vacuum pressure.


Some get results faster than others, but if you use it correctly, you grow

Dr Roger Khouri
The theory is that subjecting the breast to sustained tension stimulates the cells to multiply, and to grow new breast tissue.

Suction is controlled by a microcontroller which is fitted to a sports bra.

The makers say that for the device to work it must be worn for at least 10 hours day - usually overnight.

It was invented by Dr Roger Khouri, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon in the US.

Dr Khouri claims that women who use it properly can expect to go up one cup size.

Natural process

Essentially, the device mimics the natural process of growth during childhood, when the skeleton pulls on surrounding tissue.

Dr Khouri said: "The device is the first that enables women to enlarge their own breasts without drugs or surgery.

"Some get results faster than others, but if you use it correctly, you grow, there is no exception."

However, he stressed that unlike breast implants, Brava was not not a quick fix.

"This is something women have to work for and be disciplined and determined to use."

Dr Khouri insisted the device was safe, and that stimulation of tissue growth in no way increased the risk of developing cancer.

The total force applied by Brava is similar to that which gravity pulls on breasts weighing 3-4 lbs during a woman's lifetime.

Dr Khouri said: "This is not a gimmick. There is a lot of quackery around but the system has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration."

Mr Christopher Khoo, a plastic surgeon at Wexham Park Hospital, Slough, agreed that the technology was safe.

He said vacuum technology was already used to help clear wounds of infected tissue.

However, he told BBC News Online that Brava would have to be used for at least 600 hours before it had any effect.

"It is safe, the side effects are not dangerous, but determination is required to achieve the desired results."

The Brava system, expected to cost just under 2000, is initially available in the UK through the Harley Medical Group in London.

More information can be found at www.brava.com or by calling 0870 8509444.

See also:

23 May 01 | Health
27 Apr 01 | Health
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