The inner bra is a surgical technique to permanently tighten the breast shape. The surgical technique was described as early as 1999 (Frey MA, 1999, Brit J Plast Surg).
The technique can be used for breast lifts and for breast reductions. The internal bra technique requires a vertical (Lejour method, I method, or vertical method) or a T-shaped approach (Strömbeck method). In patients after severe weight loss, the technique is said to produce a fuller décolleté.
Conventional breast reduction or breast lift involves the removal of excess skin and breast tissue. With an inner bra, the lower layer of excess skin (dermis) between the areola and the underbust crease is spared. In this area, only the epidermis and, if necessary, excess mammary gland tissue is removed. Deepithelialized skin (skin without epidermis) is fixed to the chest to support the overlying breast tissue like a rib cage.
The benefits of this method are poorly studied. There are only two studies that have compared breast reductions in patients with internal bras and in patients without internal bras. Unfortunately, only a few patients (maximum 25) were studied over a short period of time (maximum 16 months). The satisfaction of patients with or without an internal bra is comparable.
The lower area of the breast appears to be minimally smaller after the internal bra technique (Menderes A et al, 2005, Br J Plast Surg). A significant influence on the fullness of the décolleté could not be demonstrated (Eisenhardt SU et al. 2013, Aesthetic Plast Surg).