New advances have been made in breast enlargements which allows stem cells taken from a patient’s stomach or thigh to grow new breast tissue and create a natural breast implant. At present, the patient can only go up by one cup size however as the surgery develops, it is expected that bigger augmentations will be possible in the future.
About a dozen British women have already had their breasts repaired using the stem cell technology after they have had cancerous cells removed. Professor Kefah Mokbel, a consultant breast surgeon at the London Breast Institute is now planning to test the procedure on 30 healthy volunteers to evaluate the procedure.
Surgeons are excited about the prospect of this cosmetic surgery as it is believed that the stem cell technique will produce a more natural look than a breast implant using silicone implants. The breast tissue itself will also feel more natural. There are also the health implications – there are some questions over many implants as they are associated with long-term complications and may need replacing over time; there is also a chance the implants might leak and also cause scarring.
The downside of the stem cell technique is that it can only produce volume and not lift or firmness hence why patients are currently only being offered a one cup size increase.
The technique itself involves removing fat from the stomach and/or thigh and extracting the stem cells in it. These stem cells are then mixed with other fat and injected into the breast. The breast then starts to increase in size over the next few months.
In the past, plain fat has been injected into the breasts to try and increase their size however it was found that it was difficult to maintain a good blood supply to the fat. By using stem cells, new blood vessels are encouraged to grow, thus this problem is overcome.