A recent study published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery journal examined whether an injectable gel could be an alternative to surgical breast augmentation. The hyaluronic acid-based gel Macrolane was assessed for the safety and efficacy of the procedure and the gel for breast enhancement.
Macrolane is make by Q-Med, which also makes Restylane, and the gel adds volume to tissues and can be used for restoring and enhancing body contours or for filling concave deformities and scars. Q-Med says that it provides results without open surgery, and the scarring at the injection site is minor and is likely to become less noticeable with time.
Macrolane is currently used in Europe but is not yet approved for use in the U.S. It has been well established for use in aesthetic facial procedures, according to the study, and a new formulation may make it suitable for breast enhancement as well.
The study was conducted in Sweden with twenty women who received injections of the gel under local anesthesia. There were high subject improvement rates (83%) for breast appearance at 6 months post-treatment, and at 12 months after treatment, 69% of breasts were still considered improved. The decline in satisfaction after a year is related to the fact that results with the gel are not permanent.
The highest levels of satisfaction were observed in relation to the shape and general appearance of the breast, although comparable trends were also noted for size and firmness, according to the study.
The researchers concluded that the “gel is a new option for the patient population who desire aesthetic improvement of the breast but who do not want to undergo surgery.” They stressed that further studies with larger numbers of patients are warranted.