Boob Jab or Bust?


The Boob Jab is a new procedure which is gaining popularity outside the United States. Apparently it is a nonsurgical method of breast augmentation, where a hyaluronic acid injectable filler called Macrolane is injected via a 20 cm needle into the breast to augment it. The procedure costs $4000-7000 and lasts approximately 12-18 months.

What do I think of this? There are some very important questions to consider with it:

  1. To my knowledge, hyaluronic acid is not FDA approved for injection into the breasts.
  2. In the US, the major hyaluronic acid fillers are extremely expensive. They typically cost the surgeon upwards of $250 per 1 cc syringe. When one considers that the smallest breast implants are typically about 200cc, this can really add up in cost.
  3. When massive amounts of a foreign substance are injected into the body, the body can react by creating a shell of inflammatory tissue around it, called a granuloma. This can even get infected in certain instances and create large wounds as the substance is expelled from the body.
  4. With 1 in 9 women getting breast cancer in the United States, it is important to make sure that this treatment doesn’t interfere with cancer-detecting mammograms.
  5. Hyaluronic acid products have been proven to last 6-12 months in the face. How is it that it lasts up to 18 months in a breast?
  6. Who wants to spend $4000-7000 each 18 months for a single added cup size?

With the amount of fake plastic surgeons in this country, I would not be surprised if some of them tried to use this procedure to promote themselves as being new and innovative. The whole thing sounds like a crock to me.

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Click here for a clip from my appearance on Fox News discussing this procedure.

Thanks for reading.

Michigan-based Plastic Surgeon

Anthony Youn, M.D

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Posted in: Plastic Surgery News


  1. I think you are way too pessimistic about the prospects for Macrolane.

    If you start to re-think and consider that Macrolane is adding something new to the market instead of only seeing it as a competitor to standard silicon implants, then maybe you will come to a more balanced view on the product?

    A lot of women wouldn’t even consider having surgery ( implants ) and are not only aiming for larger size.

    Early reports from mainly UK and asia suggests that the respons so far is very positive.

    Probably re-fill pricing will come down over time , I belive main reson for Macrolane lasting longer than Restylane is that particle size is larger.

    Kind regards!


    Comment by Anonymous on March 20, 2008 at 4:04 am

  2. I love it when you talk about new things in the surgery world. I also really appreciate the honesty and cantor in which you discuss the new procedures. Most injectable substances scare me because I am one of those people whose body rejects foreign substances. I would be one of those people with the scar tissue and large wounds. You always bring a little reality to the constant fantasy world that Hollywood throws at us.

    Comment by Carmen on March 20, 2008 at 7:19 pm

  3. I’m old enough to remember reading about the days when they injected silicone directly into the breasts. There was a pretty good track record for the substance, but not for the substance in that particular use. I agree with your caution on this. After all, how many women will be meaningfully held back by waiting for bigger breasts? I think that not one the topless performers profiled by Tom Wolfe in the late Sixties is currently alive and healthy.

    It’s medicine, not makeup.

    Comment by on March 21, 2008 at 4:18 am

  4. It’s medicine, not make up

    Precisely. It’s always best to err on the side of caution.

    Comment by Gorgeous Black Women on March 21, 2008 at 6:47 pm

  5. I went ahead with the procedure and wished I had access to more critical feedback which is very hard to find – I have come across only rave reviews up until here and am skeptical that I am the only one who wishes to express a negative review.
    In magazines, blogs and even in my consultation, the procedure is treated as a very light and easy and painless procedure that can be expected to be repeated over the years…true the area was numbed, however the distribution of the macrolane was no easy injection but rather a constant internal jabbing to create cavities to fill – this felt like the removal of wisdom teeth and I was repulsed and couldn’t help flinching at the physical violence (internal wounding) of this act that left me feeling I had violated my body. The exterior wound was relatively small. I was told it would be nothing and I shouldn’t think about scarring, but it was actually nearly a centimeter and needed a couple stiches… perhaps relatively small for a one time go, but I expect these blobs/dot of scar tissue will be noticeable if repeated.
    Yes, there is pain in the several days that follow. I was perscribed pain killers and antibiotics in advance and needed them. The tenderness, swelling and throbbing pain is comparable to post-operative pain…afterall there is internal cutting of tissue and a lot more than I expected…so one is sold the illusion of this being a non-operative procedure when it actually resembles one, the only difference being the size of the external incision.
    Not what it’s written up to be. Beware!

    Comment by Anonymous on July 11, 2008 at 6:33 pm

  6. I think the follow-up to this story may be of interest!

    ‘My 30-minute scalpel-free boob jab turned into a year-long nightmare’

    Comment by Anonymous on March 19, 2009 at 10:29 pm

  7. […] 2008 brought us such plastic surgery oddities as cosmetic leg lengthening, the G Shot, the Boob Jab, and the Acupuncture Facelift. I expect fringe medical practitioners to do the same in 2009. Can we […]

    Pingback by Dr. Youn’s Top 9 Plastic Surgery Predictions for 2009 on September 7, 2010 at 9:49 pm

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