We're keeping you abreast of the times with details of the latest beauty fad.
The vampire facial—the scary-looking treatment that went viral in 2013 after Kim Kardashian posted several selfies with blood splattered all over her face—now has a sister procedure taking the cosmetics industry by storm: The vampire breast lift.
Similar to the popular facial, the chest-enhancing treatment uses a person's own blood, called PRP, to create a smoother, firmer and fuller effect. However, there are several caveats to consider before you decide to book this treatment.
Below, they both shared their breast advice on everything to know about the buzzy beauty trend, including if it's worth giving a shot, the potential side effects and more.
What is a vampire breast lift?
"The vampire breast lift is based on the concept of using PRP, which is platelet-rich plasma," Dr. Cohen put it simply. "Platelets, when they're activated, they're one of the body's greatest mechanisms for healing. What we do is take advantage of that and concentrate them to get collagen growth."
As for how it actually works, Dr. Koo explained that a person's own blood is spun at a high speed in a very specific test tube that concentrates the platelets. "It's used to create more fullness," she said, "and to minimally lift the breast."
What is the difference between a vampire breast lift and a traditional breast lift?
Since the vampire breast lift is done by using PRP, it's considered a non-surgical, non-invasive treatment. It's a particularly desirable option for those who don't want to go under the knife. A traditional breast lift, on the other hand, is a surgical procedure that involves changing the shape of the breasts with implants or a person's own fat tissues. "In experienced hands," Dr. Koo noted, "this is a very minimal risk in non-smokers. A surgical lift is predictable, and the outcome can be quite aesthetically pleasing with significant shoulder and back pain relief."
In addition, whereas a traditional breast lift generally lasts between 10 and 15 years, a vampire breast lift requires more upkeep. And as Dr. Cohen pointed out, it can take anywhere from one to three sessions for patients to receive the desired results. "When my patients get it," he said, "I separate them out for two months because it takes two months for the full results to show."
In regards to how long the lift holds up, he added that it usually lasts for a year and a half.
What can you expect during and after the treatment?
Unlike a traditional breast lift, the vampire breast lift is fairly simple. Much like getting bloodwork done at a physician's office, your blood is drawn from your veins and then, as Dr. Koo noted above, processed with a special test tube in a centrifuge that separates the plasma. The PRP is then isolated and injected into the patient's breast area.
As for the recovery period, it's actually quite minimal. "You'll be a little sore for maybe two or three days," Dr. Cohen shared. "If you bruise, I always tell my patients to take Arnica before. Bruising usually resolves within a week."
The key is to take it easy following the procedure, so Dr. Cohen recommends skipping the workouts and wearing a comfortable sports bra.
What are the pros of the vampire breast lift?
One of the biggest perks, Dr. Koo noted, is that you're using your own tissues such as fat and your own plasma to enhance the chest area.
Additionally, Dr. Cohen says many of his patients have noticed breast volume, as well as softening of their stretch marks and dimples. "It stimulates more sensitivity in the nipple area," he explained. "It's a great procedure for those that are not ready for breast implants or a lift, but they want to get back some of the youthfulness and perkiness."
However, it's important to have realistic expectations when it comes to the results. While the vampire breast lift does add fullness, don't expect to see drastic changes. "You'll get some volume," Dr. Cohen said, "but it's not going to be the same as going two cup sizes."
What are the downsides of the vampire breast lift?
Not to be deflating, but there are several cons to this procedure. For one, breast size matters.
"If you have larger breasts and they're drooping way down there, this is not the procedure for you," Dr. Cohen said. "You'd need to have it surgically repaired and bring that ligament up. For smaller-chested women, it's better because it's going to look a lot bigger."
Appearances aside, Dr. Koo gave insight into other potential risks with the treatment.
"The complications are not well-studied, as this is an off-label application of PRP," she explained. "The longevity and efficacy of this procedure for improving stretch marks or thinning skin are not known or proven. PRP is extremely effective for healing degenerative tendon issues—plantar fasciitis and tennis elbow—degenerative arthritis conditions and wound healing created by dermabrasion or deep skin penning in the face."
She also noted the possible side effects that could arise from injecting the breast tissue, adding, "As a plastic surgeon, I worry for the breast changes that potentially can occur for future mammograms."
What are the takeaways?
All in all, the vampire breast lift can be a desirable option for people who want to add volume to their chest and smooth out their skin texture. But as Dr. Koo and Dr. Cohen have illustrated, it's the most beneficial for certain types of people, like those with smaller cup sizes.
And when it comes to this treatment, there are also other factors to consider. For example, as Dr. Koo mentioned, the vampire breast lift is blazing through uncharted territory, as the long-term effects are still unknown.
What is certain is that technology is continuously evolving and so are the treatments offered in the beauty space. In the wise words of Dr. Koo, "Let's follow the science and common sense."
(This article was originally published June 10, 2023 at 4:00 a.m. PT)