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Polyacrylamide Hydrogel Injection for Augmentation Mammaplasty: Loss of Ability for Breastfeeding

Wang, Zhen-Xiang MD*; Luo, Dong-Lin MD; Dai, Xia MD*; Yu, Pan MD*; Tao, Ling MD*; Li, Shi-Rong BC*

doi: 10.1097/SAP.0b013e318225931c
Aesthetic Surgery

Polyacrylamide hydrogel (PAAG) has been widely used for injection augmentation mammaplasty in Russia, China, and Iran for more than 2 decades. In recent years, it has been advocated as a safe permanent filler for soft-tissue augmentation. However, the complications associated with PAAG injection in soft-tissue augmentation have not been extensively investigated. Augmentation mammaplasty through PAAG injection is associated with some complications. The incidence of infection during breastfeeding was reported to be higher than 50%. Herein, we report 58 cases of infection in breastfeeding women receiving PAAG injection, including 50 with unilateral injection (36 on the right, 14 on the left) and 8 bilateral injection. They experienced large breast autoinflation and some severe symptoms, such as local and systemic fever, breast swelling, nipple bulging, tenderness, and pain, which lead to surgical removal of galactocele or intraprosthetic collection of sterile pus resulting in deformity. Operation and comprehensive measures including removal of the injected material, clearing residual cavity, and pharmacotherapy were carried out to control infection and inflammation for 1 to 2 weeks. In the following 12 months, no relapse or recurrence of residual cavity was noted. Therefore, we do not recommend PAAG injection for augmentation mammaplasty, especially in women intending to breastfeed. Patients undergoing PAAG injection for augmentation mammaplasty should avoid breastfeeding. PAAG injection will cause serious consequences resulting in tissue atrophy and breast resection if inappropriately handled.

From the *Department of Plastic and Aesthetic Surgery; Southwest Hospital, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing, China; and †Department of General Surgery, Institute of Battle Surgery Research, Daping Hospital, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing, China.

Received March 21, 2011, and accepted for publication, after revision May 20, 2011.

Conflicts of interest and sources of funding: National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 81071563).

Z.X.W. and D.L.L. contributed equally to this study.

All authors have complied with the ethical consent policy set forth by the institution and journal.

Reprints: Shi-Rong Li, BC, Department of Plastic and Aesthetic Surgery, Southwest Hospital, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing 400038, China. E-mail:

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.