Macrolane is a minimally-invasive material used for breast and buttock enhancement, and for filling unevenness and defects all over the body. Macrolane is based on non-animal-stabilized hyaluronic acid. The effect of the treatment lasts from 9-18 months, though generally it will last for approximately 12 months.

Macrolane contains hyaluronic acid in two different densities: Macrolane VRF20 and Macrolane VRF30. VRF stands for Volume Restoration Factor and describes the dimensional stability of the product. Macrolane was approved in Europe for aesthetic volume restoration and body shaping in 2006 and received a CE Certificate. However, it was not approved in the US.

Who will benefit from Macrolane?

Macrolane body-contour filler is ideal for the following types of people:

  • Young women, pre-pregnancy, who wish to increase their breasts by one cup size.
  • Women who, after breastfeeding, have slightly saggy breasts and wish to attain a fuller shape.
  • Individuals who wish to increase the size of their buttocks and/or calves.
  • Men who wish to fill their pectoral area or an unevenness of the chest.


The application

The application of Macrolane is an invasive procedure; therefore, all principles of sterility must be adhered to. The procedure should be carried out at a surgical practice with sufficient equipment to resolve any potential complications. The product must be applied into the subcutaneous layer of tissue. The minimum layer of tissue above applied-Macrolane VRF20 is 1 centimeter. The minimum layer of tissue above applied-Macrolane VRF30 is greater. For breast enhancement, it is recommended to apply Macrolane between the mammary gland and the pectoral muscle. The amount of Macrolane used is approximately 100-150 ml for each side. For the buttocks, 200-250 ml in total (for both sides) is injected between the muscles. For breasts and buttock enhancement, Macrolane is applied in a bolus (into one spot), where it forms a pocket. The pocket varies in size depending on the amount of Macrolane used. The material remains in the tissue for approximately 12 months.


After the application of Macrolane, extreme care should be taken of the injection site to prevent infection. A support bra or elastic underwear should be worn at all times for at least one week after the procedure in order to prevent filler migration, or the unwanted moving of the material. Antibiotics are recommended for at least three days.

Side effects and potential complications

As with any filler, side effects can occur after application. The most common side effects include: redness, swelling, itching and/or hematoma. The majority of these side effects will spontaneously disappear within two weeks.

Further complications include: infection of the injection site, potential abscess formation, fistula with product leakage, migration to a different location, palpable and visible unevenness or lumps, capsular contraction with deformity and premature absorption (within six months of application). Approximately 12% of patients experience lumps, 30% experience capsular contractions and 25% experience soreness. The most common complication with breast enhancement is encapsulated lumps, mammary gland fibrosis and/or infection. The general rate of complications is estimated at 25-30%. It has been reported that breast enlargement using Macrolane has caused pneumothorax – a puncturing of the chest wall resulting in the collection of air in the pleural space, leading to lung collapse.

Even though there is no evidence suggesting Macrolane has a negative effect on the mammary glad, it is not recommended for women with high-risk parenchymal patterns, anamnesis with breast carcinoma, unexplained focal process in the breasts, or even larger benign cysts. Women should be examined at a mammography facility in order to eliminate the possibility of a pathological process in the breasts prior to the application of Macrolane.

Breast and buttock enlargement using Macrolane

Breast and buttock enlargement using Macrolane is technically simple; however, there are more and more objections to its use. From the clients’ perspective, provided we omit complaints resulting from complications, the most significant reason leading to dissatisfaction is the price of the procedure. It is comparable to the price of a standard breast or buttock enlargement using silicone implants, but the effect is only temporary. Moreover, the claimed 12-month duration is not always accomplished, and the product is often absorbed sooner.

Joint client and doctor complaints refer to the high incidence of complications, which are difficult to resolve and take a long time to treat. Mammography experts have strongly expressed their objections to the usage of Macrolane for breast enhancement. Aside from shadows created by the encapsulated material, there are significant changes in the parenchyma of the breast which prevent adequate evaluation of the glands. Experts are rightfully concerned that pathological findings could be overlooked.

Further objections refer to the unexplored influence and belated effects of the application of large quantities of hyaluronic acid on the body. For these reasons, the use of Macrolane has been officially banned for breast enlargement in France and Great Britain since 2012. In other countries, plastic surgeons are also increasingly wary of using the product.

Updated: 2013-07-22

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