Stem Cells Could Revolutionize Breast Augmentation
In light of research that shows human body fat to be rich in stem cells, cosmetic surgeons have been working toward a new method of breast augmentation; using transplanted fat to reshape the breast.
The procedure is not an entirely new concept. New York surgeon Sydney Coleman has supposedly been doing it for years and even published an article detailing the process in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, a popular publication for physicians in the trade. However, the technique hasn’t been adopted by many other surgeons due to the risks involved.
When raw fat is transplanted or grafted to another part of the human body, it has a tendency to die, calcify and harden. The body rejects the reintroduced tissue. With the introduction of stem cells, the hope is that those risks become a thing of the past.
Japanese surgeon Kotaro Yoshimura has supposedly been using stem cell-fortified fat to perform breast augmentation procedures. The fat supply comes from another area of the patient’s body. The supply then gets supplemented with stem cells using a device from Cytori Therapeutics Inc., a San Diego based company. With the introduction of stem cells, a new blood supply can form and blood vessels will bond with the reintroduced tissue, creating a wholly natural implant.
The stem cells are harvested from body fat, so ethical considerations, (like those surrounding embryo stem cell research) for the process and procedure are mostly irrelevant. However, FDA approval would be necessary for this biological product of stem cell fortified fat to be used by surgeons in the U.S.