Web Site Offers Free Breast Implants

For those women whose cups do not runneth over, there is a Web site that promises to pay for a new pair, free of charge.

Women who sign up on MyFreeImplants.com earn the money for their breast augmentation surgery through donations from men who peruse their MySpace-like profiles.

"I figured why not," said Lindsay, a 22-year-old from Columbus, Ohio. "I honestly didn't think it was real at first. It took me a good day of really being on the site and researching it before I really was like 'OK, I'm going to make this work for me.' It totally seems too good to be true, but it works."

Jason Grunstra, a Web developer in Los Angeles, founded the site in July 2005 after brainstorming the idea during a bachelor party in Las Vegas. A small-breasted friend was the site's test subject.

"She agreed to try it out, just to see what would happen, and sure enough, in about 4 1/2 months, she raised about $5,000," Grunstra said.

"So at that point I decided, 'Well if it works for one, let's bring it to a wider audience and expand it and see if it works for many ladies, and sure enough it did."

MyFreeImplants.com operates much like a social-networking site. Women 18 and over can sign up for free and create a profile with photos and the type of implant they desire: silicone or saline. Men — they're called "benefactors" — can also sign up for free, but then they must purchase credits, which can be used to send messages to the women.

For each message a woman receives, she gets a dollar toward her new chest.

Lindsay, who declined to give her last name, signed up in February 2007, and by June she had the $4,000 she needed to transform from a 34A to a 34D-DD. She is one of 103 women who have had new implants courtesy of the site's benefactors.

Jessica Levine, a 27-year-old marketer from Tampa, Fla., got her new silicone breasts on Nov. 13, 2007 after raising $7,500 online.

"It's free, but you do have to put a lot of time and energy into the Web site — contacting friends, writing the people on the site," she said.

Grunstra estimates that thousands of women have signed up for the site and tens of thousands of men have contributed.

"The guys and girls love it," Grunstra said. "Occasionally, we'll get a feminist here or there that is outraged by the idea and can't believe that sex sells. We tell her to wake up and join reality. It's 2008."

Grunstra said MyFreeImplants.com raised more than a million dollars toward surgeries in 2007, and he expects that figure to double in 2008.

He said the Web site takes a percentage of the money raised by the sale of credits to run its operations; it also earns money from advertisers. Grunstra said he doesn't earn money from the endeavor.

And the site pays surgeons directly for the procedures.

"We pay the doctors directly to make sure that the surgery actually happens and the girls don't go on some shopping spree," he said.

At first the site offered to pay for other surgeries, but they found men weren't interested in paying for anything but breasts.

"Guys aren't really interested in paying for liposuction or a nose job," Grunstra said, adding "it's kind of like you're creating the perfect woman in your eyes and at the same time you're making pretty good friends."

Dr. Theodore Diktaban, a board-certified plastic surgeon in New York, said the site seems like a novelty.

"It's an interesting twist," Diktaban said. "It's not the way I think most people would do it."

Diktaban said there are other ways to finance breast augmentation surgery, including a service called CareCredit, which offers loans for procedures not covered by medical insurance.

Finding a doctor to perform the surgery should start by word of mouth, he said.

"The best way to go is speak to friends of yours that have had it done. Are they happy? And who was the doctor that did that," Diktaban said. "You want to get a board certified plastic surgeon. You can always go to the American Society of Plastic Surgery and get a list of doctors in your area."

Though it's been months since Levine has had the surgery to make her chest a 36D, she still chats online with the benefactors who helped her get her new breasts.

"We keep in touch," she said, adding they "talk about things that have nothing to do with implants."