Breast Enhancement by Macrolane injection to be discontinued

Breast surgeons back withdrawal of ‘lunchtime boob job’ jab

So-called ‘lunchtime boob jobs’ were believed to be less invasive than other augmentation procedures.

21 April 2012 Last updated at 14:42

Plastic surgeons in the UK have welcomed the decision to discontinue a treatment used in breast enhancements.

Macrolane, an injectable filler used for “lunchtime boob jobs”, is to be withdrawn for such purposes this week.

A survey by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) found that 25% of its members noticed patient complications from the filler.

Experts warn it could affect breast cancer screenings but manufacturer Q-Med said there was a lack of consensus.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said Macrolane could effect mammogram readings and make diagnosis more difficult.

A spokesman said there were no safety concerns with the product itself, and it could still be used for other purposes such as “augmenting body contour” and correcting soft tissue defects.

‘Caution urged’

“If women have been injected with Macrolane and subsequently had a mammogram, they should contact their GP to see if they need to be referred for further screening,” he added.

A “lunchtime boob job” enhances breast size by injecting filler such as Macrolane and does not require the use of implants.

It was believed to be much less invasive than other breast augmentation procedures.

In 2009, more than 1,000 women in the UK opted for this treatment, according to BAAPS figures.

BAAPS president Fazel Fatah said: “Any treatment can only be considered safe once it is known what long-term effect it has on cancer screening as this can affect such a high proportion of women.

“We have urged caution in the past against the use of fillers in the breast, especially when there is a lack of peer-reviewed results from controlled clinical trials.”

Mr Fatah added that BAAPS had previously expressed concerns regarding lump formation and capsular contracture – the hardening of breast tissue around the implant – arising from the use of Macrolane.

A spokesman for Q-Med, which makes the product in Sweden, said all breast augmentation procedures, including those involving Macrolane, could interfere with mammograms.

“At present, there is a lack of consensus amongst radiologists regarding radiology examination of breasts treated with Macrolane,” he said.

He said the decision to discontinue the product for breast enhancements followed consultation with regulatory authorities.

Earlier this year, silicone breast implants manufactured by French company Poly Implant Prothese (PIP) caused an international health scare when it was discovered that they have a high risk of rupturing in the body.

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