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Macrolane Gel Could Cause Breast Cancer, Study Says

Apr 30th 2012 at 10:43 PM

Technological advancements in the field of cosmetic surgery are happening almost every day. Through time, the actual procedures have changed from being invasive to the most conservative means as possible. Now, the use of non-invasive procedures is preferred over invasive ones because of the many benefits it offers. But one exemption remains – it is the use of Macrolane gel as breast implants, which may mask signs and symptoms of breast cancer.

Known as a ‘lunchtime boob job,’ this breast filler is injected near the breast tissue in a procedure that usually lasts for 45 minutes, hence the famous name. It can increase a woman’s cup size by one cup in that span of time. With it being non-invasive, the advantages include less post-operative trauma and faster healing time. However, doctors expressed their concern since using Macrolane gel might cause difficulty in locating lumps or tumors using standardized mammogram scans. Almost 5,000 women have already chosen this as an alternative to surgery despite its unregulated use in the field of medicine. To cite an example, Macrolane caused a delay in a 45-year-old’s cancer treatment because it was able to mask the tumor that has been growing for quite some time. Needless to say, it had its implications on the health of the patient.

At least 65 clinics found in Britain are already offering Macrolane gel as an injectable treatment but its manufacturer, Q –Med, asked them to stop using Macrolane as breast fillers. This is because of the finding that a significant number of patients developed small tumor growth and swelling after having the fillers. This then caused a need for corrective surgery, which brings more trauma and stress to patients in the long run. In a pilot study conducted, 16 patients reported to have 44 side effects after using Macrolane as breast filler. This included tenderness at the injection site and tissue hardening.

Macrolane is a hyaluronic acid based gel that naturally breaks down in the body. This means that the effectiveness of this gel is only up to 18 months since it disintegrates and the body then absorbs it for circulation. The acid has been found to be safe and effective to be used as filler in other body parts. In 2008, it has been the CE mark which means it was able to comply with the minimum efficacy and safety standards to be used as an ingredient in products like kettles or children’s toys. With these data available, a number of British clinics are pushing Macrolane as the solution for women who do not want surgery.

Though the thought of having a simple injection as a means of augmenting breast contour is quite appealing, it is still subject to much study. In a study done in the International Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery, Macrolane has been found to interfere with breast cancer screening and must not be recommended for women who have a personal or familial history of cancer. British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons president, Fazel Fatah, went on and stated that for a treatment to be considered safe, its long term effect on cancer and cancer screening must be known. Since Macrolane has not been studied for 5 to 10 years, insufficient evidence exists as to its effectiveness and thus, been withdrawn from the market as breast filler.

For patients who already have Macrolane breast implants, it’s recommended to inform their physicians about it so that mammogram and ultrasound can be done as monitoring measures. Despite being withdrawn as breast filler, with sufficient studies and enough time, Macrolane may just be the future breast filler.


NOTE : This Article Is originally posted by cosmeticsurgerynews.

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