"Lunchtime Boob Job" Banned in Britain

K. Mathews on 23 May 2012 at 12:00pm

Macrolane breast enhancement

The injectable filler Macrolane has been banned for breast enhancement in the UK. Once making headlines as the "Lunchtime Boob Job" or the "Boob Jab", there was a lot of excitement about this non-surgical breast enlargement. Now health and safety concerns have prompted officials to revoke approval of the procedure.

Apparently, Macrolane sometimes left women’s breasts with lumps, which interfered with mammogram findings and consequently led to incorrect cancer diagnoses. As many as 25% of patients injected with Macrolane later reported some type of complication stemming from the filler.

The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) agrees with the decision to put a halt to Macrolane use. In a press release, BAAPS president Fazel Fatah notes that a significant number of patients needed to undergo corrective surgery after their procedures. “Without good long term studies over 5 to 10 years, it is wise that Marcolane has finally been withdrawn for breast use,” he says.

Macrolane has never been FDA approved for use in the U.S., so it doesn't change much for American women. There have been some clinical trials, but there appears to be no major cause for alarm for women who have already had Macrolane injections. The ban is mainly the researchers uncertainty over how such high quantities of Macrolane could affect the body over a prolonged period of time, and because it makes cancer screening tests less accurate -- far different than saying it causes illness. Still, be sure to discuss your procedure with your doctor, particularly during a mammogram or after noticing any irregularities.

It’s hard to imagine that former patients will be upset they cannot get "top ups" anymore. Those who have posted on RealSelf after having Macrolane have been – in a word – disappointed. Though the filler is advertised to last for over a year, reviewers report their breasts returning to a normal size in a much shorter time. RealSelf community member Mushi liked the “fullness” of her breasts, but was upset when it disappeared after three months. “I feel silly and frustrated that I have spent that amount of money for such a short time,” said Mushi. Added First1, “Might as well throw all the bras I had to buy away! Ladies, go for the implants [instead].”

Women who want larger breasts without surgery still have another (FDA-approved) option: fat transfers. However, while the procedure may be growing in popularity it's still not widely accepted by plastic surgeons. Many of the RealSelf doctors caution that fat transfer is not an option for all women, and that the results will not be as dramatic as breast implants. If you're looking for a significant bust-boost, implants are still seen as the most reliable option.

To see photos of Macrolane breast enhancement, skip to :25 in this video:

Photo credit: Pavel Yakovenko/Deposit Photos