Healthy Breast Bondage
by Susan Wright (6/98)
This document brings together information available on breast trauma
and hypoxemia, usually quoting verbatim from the sources. Most of the
information in Healthy Breast Bondage was found on the internet and
is accessible by everyone (check the footnotes for the URL of the
original source). Sources include: medical doctors who perform
breast reductions, breast implants and plastic surgery; FAQs from
the National Cancer Institute and Long Island Breast Surgery; and
study notes from Cornell University and Emory University.
As a disclaimer, I donít have a medical degree. I am a researcher
and I write nonfiction books on science and culture. I am grateful
to several medical doctors in the scene who took the time to edit
Healthy Breast Bondage, giving me valuable suggestions. If you
have any questions about the following material, please contact
your doctor or consult the Kink Aware Professionals list for a
scene friendly referral
Fat Necrosis is the destruction of fat cells in the breast due to
trauma (injury) or hypoxemia (deprivation of oxygen). Special care
must be taken with fatty breast tissue because the blood supply
to fat is always poor. Lack of oxygen or an inadequate blood
supply causes the cells to die and release particles of fat.
The remaining tissue may become hard or calcified. (1A)
The breast is not all fat, it also has supporting structures
and milk ducts. Other areas of the body have large fatty areas,
such as the buttocks, which can experience trauma-induced fat
necrosis. However, the breasts are the only largely-fat area
that can be isolated and tied up, restricting necessary blood
Fat Necrosis mimics breast cancer both clinically and
mammographically. There is no way to tell a cancerous lump
from fat necrosis without a biopsy, so the lump must be
surgically removed. (3, 16) Fat necrosis doesnít cause breast
cancer, but you canít assume that a lump in your breast was
caused by scarring - it must be removed in order to be sure
itís not cancer.
One woman reported that fatty tissue in her breast had been
ruptured during a minor car accident, in a line that was caused
by her safety belt. The accident had happened 4 years prior to
her mammogram and had been so minor that neither the cars or
the people were hurt, and she had experienced no pain and had
no bruising. Yet the doctor explained that the milk ducts
and supporting structures in the breasts form scar tissue
very easily. This makes the detection of breast cancer more
difficult. Since 1 in 9 women get breast cancer (some doctors
say 1 in 11) and early detection means the difference between
life and death, you must get regular mamograms and monthly
breast exams to discover any lumps in your breasts. (13)
Symptoms of Fat Necrosis:
The lumps are painless, round and firm, formed by the
damaged and disintegrating fatty tissues.
The skin around the lumps can look red or bruised.
The area may or may not be tender.
One of the common symptoms of both fat necrosis and
breast cancer is dimpling in the breast.
Severe scarring within the breast may cause
A clear liquid with a yellow or brownish color
may drain from the nipple.
Large breasts have more of a tendency to form fat
necrosis when traumatized than smaller breasts.
Trauma, which is a blow to the fat tissue, can occur under a
variety of circumstances. The degree of injury depends on the
force of the blow and its direction. Trauma can also be caused
by twisting the tissue, which may happen when rope is being wound
around the breast.
Pain is probably the best indicator that
damage is being done.
Hypoxemia, too little oxygen in the blood caused by poor
circulation, is a leading cause of cell death and fat necrosis.
The point of no return is difficult to define at the level
of the cell. On the most basic medical level, the point of
irreversible damage in fat cells occurs in as little as 15-60
However, recognizable morphologic changes may not be apparent
for a few hours. It requires 8 to 24 hours for the nuclear changes
to occur. Meanwhile, the cytoplasm has passed through the stages
of swelling and becomes transformed into an acidophilic, granular,
Since itís difficult to tell by observation alone when the "point
of no return" has been hit, a reasonable rule of thumb is: with
tight bondage (i.e.. a finger canít easily be inserted between the
flesh and the rope) leave the rope tied for less than 15 minutes.
Then fully release the rope to allow the blood to re-oxygenate the
fat tissue (this may take ten to fifteen minutes because the blood
supply to fat is very poor.)
Trevor Jacques in "On the Safe Edge" recommends that you
should always able to put a finger between the rope and the skin to
prevent cutting off the circulation during bondage.
If the rope is loose enough to insert one index finger to the knuckle
(your choice, male or female finger!) then you should be able to
safely leave the rope on for 30 minutes.
If the rope is loose enough for two or three fingers, you can go
up to 45 minutes. Itís best not to tie the breasts for more than
an hour before releasing the rope to allow thorough circulation
1/4 inch rope and up is usually recommended for any type of
bondage where the rope touches the skin. Pat Califia advises
in "Sensuous Magic" that narrower material than 1/4
inch (like string or cord) shouldnít be used because it can cut
Race Bannon in "Learning the Ropes"
reminds us that breathing should never be restricted by rope,
so ask the bottom take a deep breath before tying the anchor
rope around her chest.
Most leather-s/m technique books advise against suspending a
body with rope. Ideally, if rope is to be used for suspension,
a web is created so the body is supported in numerous places
and care should be given so the knots don't put pressure on the
skin. Thus, it is not possible to safely suspend someone from
their breasts. The cut-off in circulation is exponentially higher
because of the added weight of the body during suspension, and
there is a significant potential for damaging the fragile
supporting structures and the milk ducts of the breasts.
AA hematomas is a swelling filled with blood that is caused by
trauma. Hematomas can cause scarring in the breast.
A small hematomas usually absorbs on its own but a large one
Hematomas most commonly form when the skin has been broken. A
hematomas is an excellent medium for the growth of bacteria.
The inflammatory response results from traumatic rupture of
adipocytes which release their contents, often followed by fat
necrosis that causes scar formation.
Symptoms of Hematomas:
Bruising or contusion is followed by swelling caused by
the passage of fluid through the walls of damage
Bacteria can cause infected fat tissue to appear black
because of deposits of iron sulfate from the degraded
You may have a fever as a sign of infection.
AA hematomas is usually caused by broken skin, yet it is possible
for a blow to cause a hematomas. Like fat necrosis due to trauma,
the degree of injury depends on the force of the blow and its
direction. A hematomas can also be caused by twisting the tissue,
which may happen when rope is being wound around the breast.
Pain is probably the best indicator that damage is being done.
Fibrocystic Breast Disease
Fibrocystic breasts are prone to the formation of both
fluid-filled cysts and fibrous tissue. Typically the
breasts have a lumpy feel, and both lumpiness and
tenderness increase in the week prior to menstruation.
Tight, frequent breast bondage or long painful stimulation
should be avoided, as these can increase the formation of
Fibroadenomas are benign breast growths which usually occur in
young women. They are a very common cause of breast masses in
the 15 to 25 age group. Fibroadenomas also account for 15% of
all palpable breast masses in women 30-40 years of age. Clinically,
these growths are smooth, firm and easily movable masses. It is
generally accepted practice that suspected fibroadenomas should
be removed in women over the age of 25. These growths are not
associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.
Breast cancer is a complex and devastating disease, and the most
frequently diagnosed cancer in American women. In 1995, there will
be an estimated 182,000 new cases of breast cancer diagnosed in
this country and an estimated 46,000 deaths. The cause of cancer
is not known at this time.
Fibrocystic breast disease, fibroadenoma, fat necrosis and
hematomas are all benign breast conditions that may lead to
biopsy due to the fact that cancers cannot be identified by
That's why it is common sense to get
anything usual checked immediately by a doctor. If it isn't
cancer your mind will be put at rest. If it is, it can be
treated as quickly as possible.
Questions to Ask:
The following questionnaire was taken verbatim from "Breast
Lumps, Cancer & Self-Exam," 1996, by the American
Institute of Preventive Medicine. (14) If you answer yes to
any of these questions, go see a doctor:
Do you see or feel any lumps, thickening or changes of any
kind when you examine your breasts? For example, is there
dimpling, puckering, retraction of the skin or change in
the shape or contour of the breast?
Do you have breast pain or a constant tenderness that
lasts throughout the menstrual cycle? If you normally
have lumpy breasts (already diagnosed as being benign
by your doctor), do you notice any new lumps or have
any lumps changed in size or are you concerned about
having benign lumps?
Do the nipples become drawn into the chest or are they
inverted totally, change shape or become crusty from a
Is there any non-milky discharge when you squeeze the
nipple of either breast or both breasts?
Do you have a family history of breast cancer which
leads you to be concerned, even if you donít notice
any problems when you examine your breasts?
Have you had recent trauma which resulted in a breast
lump being formed?
Patrick Hudson MD PA, Plastic Surgery, 505/880 0779
National Cancer Institute (NCI),
Women's Diagnostic Cyber, Breast disfigurement,
The Cancer Information Service (CIS), a program of the National
Cancer Institute, 1≠800≠4≠CANCER (1-800≠422≠6237).
FFIBROCYSTIC BREAST DISEASE, What is It?
RxMed: Illness Information
Section: Letter of the Week, Heme/Onc, Ob/Gyn; Subject:
Atypical Cells on Breast Biopsy and Breast Cancer
© 1997 Applied Medical Informatics Inc.,
Principles of Drugs and Disease, PHAR 603; Team Leader: Richard
Stull, Ph.D., Cell Death, Autolysis, Necrosis
PPosted by Anoria on February 05, 1998 at 01:09:10,
The Salon WWW Board
Breast Lumps, Cancer & Self-Exam, 1996, American
Institute of Preventive Medicine,
TThe Asean Journal of Radiology; 1995; 1:25-30,
Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Emory
University, Atlanta, Ga., USA,
Encyclopedia Britannica, 1984 and 1997
William Henkin, PhD., "Consensual Sadomasochism."
New York, Daedalus Publishing, 1996.
Trevor Jacques, "On the Safe Edge." Toronto,
WholeSM Publishing, 1993.
Pat Califia, "Sensuous Magic." New York,
Race Bannon, "Learning the Ropes." California,
Daedalus Publishing, 1992.
You can send email to
, the author of Healthy Breast Bondage.