It was inevitable, when you think about it. Wrinkle fillers like JuvedermTM and Restylane® have become popular to the point where facial injection treatments are considered more or less routine these days. It makes sense, then, that the next step for manufacturers would be to create similar products for use elsewhere in the body.
That’s just what happened as MacrolaneTM, a new product from Q-Med AB, the Swedish company that produces Restylane, was launched last year. The company’s Web site touts the new filler as, “an innovative product indicated for breast enhancement, volume restoration and shaping of body surfaces.” Like Restylane, Macrolane is a viscous gel based on manufactured hyaluronic acid, a substance also found naturally within the body.
Macrolane is not yet approved for use in the U.S. and Canada, but it’s gaining popularity quickly in Europe. It’s not hard to imagine why: just as many women interested in facial rejuvenation choose fillers over traditional facelifts, many who would like bigger breasts stop short of committing to the knife but will consider what’s come to be known as a “boob jab.”
Breast augmentation via a thick needle? Is this the wave of the future? To date, reaction to Macrolane is all over the map.
Commenting on the probable drawbacks of Macrolane, a U.S. plastic surgeon, Dr. Steven Williams, pointed out a few reasons why the filler may be unlikely to give breast enhancement with implants a serious run for the money. One of the most obvious issues is the cost. First time treatment in Europe seems to run from about $3000 to about $6000, and according to Q-Med’s own Web site, “Macrolane is intended to last 9-12 months.” As the manufacturers term it, annual “top-up” is required.” Over a few years of use, a woman can easily spend several thousand dollars on Macrolane, outstripping the cost of surgical breast enhancement.
Another area of possible concern to some U.S. surgeons also relates to the amount of product needed to make breasts noticeably larger. Typically, 1 to 2 cc’s of hyaluronic acid-based wrinkle fillers are used for facial injections.