“Boob jabs,” the kitschy name given to Macrolane injections for breast augmentation, will be phased out for the time being due to concerns that they may inhibit breast cancer detection on mammograms, according to Macrolane manufacturer Q-Med.

At present, there is a lack of consensus among radiologists regarding the best way to examine Macrolane-enhanced breasts. Q-Med will discontinue this indication until experts agree on the best way to screen for breast cancer in women who have been treated with Macrolane. They do plan on re-introducing the product in the future once a consensus is reached. This product was never available or approved for use in the United States or Canada.

According to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the discontinuation “is not because of safety concerns with the product itself but because the product may interfere with the reading of mammograms and could make diagnosis more difficult. The product can still be used in its other indications, such as augmenting body contour and correcting soft tissue defects.”

Importantly, “there are no safety concerns with the product. However, if women have been injected with Macrolane and subsequently had a mammogram, they should contact their general practitioner to see if they need to be referred for further screening.”

Q-Med will be informing its customers of its discontinuation in a letter and will make consumer information available on the websites.

The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeon (BAAPS) lauds the decision. A survey among BAAPS members had shown that one in four surgeons were seeing complications in patients who had been injected with Macrolane.

[Source: Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency]