01 June 2020
Increasing the volume of the chest by hyaluronic acid injections or lipofilling begins to spread. Natural and adjustable results or no hospitalization are attractive. But are these methods medically reliable and financially advantageous? This is the question.
Breast augmentation with hyaluronic acid injections
Will women be tempted by the injection of hyaluronic acid to increase their breast volume?
In any case, it is likely that they will be interested because, on paper, the technique has certain advantages that have already seduced Japanese women:
- No work stoppage or hospitalization since the session, which lasts about an hour, takes place in a doctor's office, under local anesthesia.
- The result could be easily readjusted either by reinjecting hyaluronic acid or by removing it.
- The result is quite natural.
However, on closer inspection, this method does not only have advantages. Far from it! Here are a few points to consider:
- Depending on the type of hyaluronic acid injected, the location of the injection and the amount injected, it can interfere with breast cancer screening by ultrasound or mammography. In case of doubt one is then obliged to turn to MRI. This inconvenience and the lack of precise consensus among radiologists has prompted the firm producing the macrolane to make its product "off label" for breast augmentation.
- This technique would require the injection to be made between the muscle and the gland but, from a medical point of view, is this really the right place given its impact on cancer screening?
- This injection is performed blindly. Since it is close to the gland, it can simply end up in the gland and have deleterious effects.
- Injecting a foreign body is not without risk if the doctor's office does not meet strict conditions of asepsis. Without impeccable hygiene, infections can occur.
- The price also argues against this technique. For if we count 500 € for 20 cc of hyaluronic acid, we arrive at 5,000 € for an injection of only 100 cc per breast! In other words, at this price, only very small breast augmentation is possible!
- It is important to remember that this is an absorbable product. This means that the volume of the breast will gradually decrease over time and require new injections every 12 to 18 months!
Would lipofilling offer the alternative?
Breast augmentation by fat transfer could be a serious alternative. Here too, the technique is very attractive: a small bulge is removed and the fat collected is used to increase the volume of the breasts. A nice double shot. Except that, here again, the technique has its limits.
First of all, the fat reserve (stomach, waist, hips, buttocks, knees) of a thin person is often insufficient and does not allow a breast augmentation of more than one cup.
Then, 10 to 20 % is reabsorbed, sometimes revealing irregularities or an imperfect shape. This sometimes requires a second operation but the technique still requires two weeks of social withdrawal.
Finally, a fat transplant reveals microcalcifications on medical imaging which could, if the examination is carried out by an operator with little or no knowledge, be difficult to distinguish from those emanating from cancer.
Faced with the many weak points of these two techniques, the installation of a breast prosthesis therefore seems to have many good days ahead of it. And for good reason!
- Breast implants today are of excellent quality.
- They respect the integrity of the gland
- They offer a permanent result without disrupting cancer screening when used by experienced radiologists.