Injectable Breast Augmentation – The ‘Boob Jab’

In this month’s online version of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery is a preliminary publication of a study from Sweden involving Macrolane, an injectable hyaluronic gel from Q-Med (the manufacturers of Restylane), injected into the breasts for cosmetic augmentation.  The product is available in Europe, but not in the U.S. as of yet.  In Europe, the product has been used for body contouring applications, hence the term ‘boob jab’, for the injection of Macrolane into the breast.

The study focused on 24 women over a period of a year, who had Macrolane injected into their breasts, up to 100cc per side, in a subglandular position under local anesthesia.  As Macrolane is gradually broken down and absorbed, it was expected that the results would change over time.  At 6 months post-injection 83% were pleased with the improvement, and at 12 months 69% were still considered improved.  There were no major complications or systemic issues, but capsular contracture around the Macrolane was still the most common reported adverse effect, with 25% of the women reporting undesirable firmness around the breast.

The bottom line for patients in the U.S., is that the gel needs further study, and may be an option for women in the future (after FDA approval) that want a non-surgical augmentation with mild to moderate improvement in breast volume.  However, the 25% reported incidence of capsular contracture is disturbing, significantly higher than rates seen with saline or silicone breast implants.  Read the full article here.

– Samuel M. Sohn, MD