Publish date: Dec 1, 2011
By: Ilya Petrou, M.D.
- In Europe, Macrolane is commonly used to contour and sculpt the breast, buttocks and calves
- Macrolane can be used to correct, camouflage aesthetic imperfections from breast implant surgery
- France has banned Macrolane for breast augmentation
Body shaping and contouring as an alternative to surgery is booming in the cosmetic arena. Macrolane (hyaluronic acid, Q-Med) is one noninvasive technique that can be used for several aesthetic contouring indications without the need for patients to undergo more invasive procedures.
Similar to the way Restylane (hyaluronic acid, Q-Med) is used for the aesthetic correction and improvement of facial wrinkles and folds, Macrolane is commonly used in Europe to contour and sculpt the breast, décolletage, buttocks and calves, as well as to restore volume and smooth skin contour irregularities.
Macrolane uses the same patented NASHA (nonanimal stabilized hyaluronic acid [HA]) technology as Restylane and is characterized as a thicker, more viscous HA gel, which can be an ideal nonsurgical tool for body sculpting, according to Béatrice Lafarge, M.D., a cosmetic surgeon at Clinique Alphand, Paris.
Procedures are easy to perform, can be done under local anesthesia and are tolerated well by patients, she says.
"I have been using Macrolane for about three years now, mostly for the volumetric augmentation of the breasts and buttocks in my aesthetic patients. The cosmetic outcomes I achieve using this noninvasive technique are truly remarkable and can be a treatment solution for those patients who prefer not to undergo surgery for their desired cosmetic ends," Dr. Lafarge says.
IDEAL PATIENTS According to Dr. Lafarge, Macrolane can increase the size of the breasts by approximately one cup size and is well-suited for those patients who only desire a mild-to-moderate change in the appearance of their breasts and décolletage.
Additionally, the HA gel can offer cosmetic patients a quick treatment alternative to breast implants, as well as fat transfer techniques that are typically associated with longer procedural times.
"Many cosmetic patients who want a little more volume in and around the breasts do not want implants because they consider them as a foreign body and unnatural. These patients often prefer to have Macrolane injections instead, placed at the upper part or pole of the breast to better enhance the décolleté, resulting in a more natural appearance of the breast," she says.
Macrolane can be used to correct and camouflage aesthetic imperfections resulting from breast implant surgery as well, Dr. Lafarge says. In thinner patients who have larger breast implants that do not "fit" their stature, the borders of those implants often can be seen.
In such cases, Macrolane can be used around that visible border to hide the silhouette of the implants, she says.