A new injectible filler called Macrolane is creating some buzz, but not for the usual reasons that fillers make the headlines!
Macrolane is an HA (hyaluronic acid) filler that is similar to popular products like Juvederm and Restylane, but has been developed for use in larger volumes on the body. Juvederm and Restylane are used to treat smile lines (nasolabial folds), under-eye bags (lid-cheek junction), and to re-contour the chin and jawline. These procedures require about 1-5cc of product depending on the area(s) being treated. Macrolane is meant to be used in much larger volumes (20-150cc) for procedures like breast augmentation.
While there’s no doubt that Macrolane breast augmentation sounds like a good idea, it may not be worth all the hype.
Keep Reading to find out why…
What is Macrolane?
Macrolane is an injectible soft tissue filler that has been developed for use in larger volumes in areas other than the face. It is a Hyaluronic Acid (HA) filler, just like Juvederm and Restylane, but the size of the HA particles are much larger. Physicians in Europe and Asia are using Macrolane as an alternative to surgical breast augmentation, but the safety and effectiveness of the procedure is still in question in the United States.
What are the advantages of a Macrolane Breast Augmentation?
- It doesn’t require surgery or anesthesia. Since Macrolane is an injectible, the procedure can be done in the office setting using only local anesthesia. This may not always be an advantage though since many patients describe the procedure as “uncomfortable”, and the injector isn’t required to be a surgeon.
- It’s less expensive than surgery (but not much!). Macrolane injections cost $4000-5500, while surgical breast augmentation ranges from $6500-10,000. This isn’t a tremendous savings, especially if you factor in the cost of repeating the Macrolane procedure once or twice a year, and the travel expenses to Europe or Asia.
What are the disadvantages of a Macrolane Breast Augmentation?
- It’s temporary. This is a major disadvantage of Macrolane. It has been reported to last as little as 4 months, which is comparable to fillers like Juvederm and Restylane. Macrolane was initially reported to last 12 months or more, but it seems to be falling short of those expectations.
- It’s painful. Many patients describe the procedure as “uncomfortable”, so it may not be as much of an advantage as you think to be awake during the procedure.
- It’s a “blind” procedure. During a surgical breast augmentation, your surgeon has a direct line of vision into the area where the implant is being placed. Because Macrolane has to be injected, the needle is being inserted blindly into a space between the rib cage and the breast. There isn’t much room for error here since the lungs are very close to the rib cage, and even the smallest misjudgment of the needle position could have very serious consequences (such as a collapsed lung). The problem of a blind injection is also compounded by the fact that not all Macrolane injectors are plastic surgeons. Many injectors are general practitioners with no surgical training, which increases the risk exponentially.
- The recovery is not always less than surgery. Many Macrolane patients report extreme soreness and pain that last up to several weeks (and sometimes longer), while most surgical breast augmentation patients are pain-free in less than one week.
- The long-term results and safety are still being investigated. Breast cancer surveillance is a very important topic of discussion when it comes to breast injections of any kind (including Fat Transfer for Breast Augmentation). At this point in time, there is no conclusive evidence to support the fact that breast injections are 100% safe when it comes to breast cancer detection.
- It’s not available in the United States. If you want Macrolane, you will need to travel… far. The original studies on Macrolane were performed in Japan and Europe, so be prepared for the additional travel expenses on top of the cost for the procedure. Also be prepared for having difficulty evaluating the credentials of the practitioner you choose overseas since international credentialing can be quite different from the United States.
- Only small breast augmentations are possible with Macrolane. Breast implants come in a huge range of shapes and sizes, so pretty much any look is a possible. This isn’t the case with Macrolane. Most Macrolane breast augmentations are quite small, and the results can be disappointing, especially when the product start to dissolve.
Is a Macrolane Breast Augmentation better than getting breast implants?
The short answer is no. Surgical breast augmentation with silicone or saline breast implants is still the gold-standard for breast enlargement. Breast augmentation with implants is a quick procedure (1-2 hours) with excellent, long-lasting results, and an unsurpassed safety profile. Surgical breast augmentation also has one of the highest satisfaction rates of any cosmetic procedure. You know the old saying “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it”? Well, that just might be the case with breast augmentation!
Click here to view Before & After Breast Augmentation Photos.
Photo Credit: ManhattanAestheticSurgery.com
NOTICE: None of the celebrities or individuals discussed here have ever received treatment, surgery, medical advice, or evaluations from any author, physician, surgeon, or representative of this blog. All images and photos in this article represent models only. No actual patients or clients are shown.