A new study assesses the safety and efficacy of an injectable gel for breast enhancement as a non-surgical alternative to breast augmentation. Published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery journal, the study used the hyaluronic acid-based gel Macrolane to add volume to breasts.
Macrolane by Q-Med, the makers of Restylane, is a gel that adds volume to tissues and can be used for restoring and enhancing body contours or for filling concave deformities and scars. It provides results without open surgery, and the scarring at the injection site is minor and is likely to become less noticeable with time, according to Q-Med.
While not yet approved in the U.S., currently Macrolane is used in Europe, and it has been “well established for use in aesthetic facial procedures” according to the study. 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. The study found high subject improvement rates for breast appearance (83 percent) at 6 months post-treatment. A year after treatment, 69 percent of breasts were still considered improved. The decline in satisfaction after 12 months is related to the fact that results with the gel are not permanent, so those looking for permanent enhancement may be better off considering traditional surgical enhancement with breast implants.
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, the study said.
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 also wrote that further studies with larger numbers of patients are warranted.
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