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Be Careful About the Lunch Time 'Boob Jab' Procedure

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risks-of-the-lunch-time-boob-job-jab Hemera/Thinkstock

Lunch time boob job jabs have become the latest fad in Europe. Some cosmetic and plastic surgeons offer this lunch time service for women who want a quick fix for their breasts.

Essentially the procedure involves injection of filler directly into the breast in the presence of a local anesthetic. The filler used is known as macrolane and marketed by Q-Med. Macrolane can also be injected in many other parts of the body that require enhancement, like the buttocks and cheeks.

The breast procedure takes about 30 minutes and the consumer gets to go back to work. The product has been widely available in the U.K. for more than 4 years but is not available in the United States.

However, this quick fix boob job has not been welcomed by all plastic surgeons. The French have already banned its use for breast enlargement. In the U.K., plastic surgeons have asked the government to ban this type of breast enhancement treatment. (1)

Recent surveys in Britain have found that close to one-quarter of women injected with macrolane have developed a variety of complications. Besides pain, changes in breast contour, asymmetry, fibrosis and hardening of the breast have been common complaints. (2)

In addition, experts indicate that injection of this filler may also affect breast cancer screening, making diagnosis of breast cancer more difficult.

However, the manufacturer Q-med maintains that the product is safe and is unlikely to affect breast cancer screening.

The benefits of macrolane are that the filler can rapidly augment breast size and there is no need for major surgery or use of implants. Many women seem to be attracted to the non-invasiveness of the procedure. The effects of macrolane are only for 6-12 months and repeat injections are required.

Unfortunately, no one really knows what the long term complications of macrolane might be. The British Council of Plastic Surgery has advised women against the use of macrolane for enhancing their breasts until more studies are available.

Women should remember that just a few months ago, the French company Poly Implant Prosthesis (PIP) which made silicone breast implants has created an international scene, after it was discovered that the implant was of inferior quality and prone to rupture.

For women who want to have breast enlargement, the best method is to see a reputable cosmetic surgeon and have an implant placed. When done well, the results are appealing and satisfying.


1. Chaput B France Prohibits the Use of Macrolane in Aesthetic Breast Augmentation for Reasons Similar to Criticisms of Autologous Fat Grafting to the Breast. Aesthetic Plast Surg. 2012 Mar 22. [Epub ahead of print] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22437334

2.Breast surgeons back withdrawal of 'lunchtime boob job' jab. BBC News Health. Web April 23, 2012.

Reviewed April 23, 2012
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

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