Breast implants have been a subject of controversy for decades, from the silicone implants that were originally used to the saline and cohesive silicone implants of today. Complications abound and many women end up having additional surgeries to fix complications from their breast augmentation.
Using Stem Cells
Now, a new stem cell therapy suggests that ‘natural’ breast implants may be more feasible than we think – without the complications of traditional breast implants. The treatment is hoped to provide an increase of a full cup size to women who choose to have stem cells injected from one part of their body into their breast tissue.
Reducing Stomach Fat
The treatment is considered particularly beneficial for women who want to increase their breast size because it also can reduce stomach fat. The procedure entails removing stem cells from stomach fat and then growing the cells in the woman’s breasts.
For now, researchers think the treatment will work well for an increase of one cup size, although they are hopeful that as they learn more about how to ensure the treatment is successful, greater gains will be possible eventually.
British Trial for Breast Enlargement
Britain is leading the way in the new research, where a clinical study is already underway to investigate how stem cells can help to repair breasts for women who had a lumpectomy to remove cancer. Another study is also aiming to look at how this technique can work in healthy women who have not had cancer but are wanting to have their breasts enlarged.
Costly Breast Enlargement
One thing that may limit the procedure if it does eventually become commercially available will be the cost. Privately, it is anticipated that the cost will be around £6,500, which is certainly steep but may be worth it if the procedure proves to be significantly safer than traditional breast implant procedures.
Breast Augmentation Advancements
Researchers are quite excited about the potential for this treatment because the breast tissue with stem cell treatment feels more realistic and similar to natural breast tissue. It was found that the tissue had the same kind of softness as the natural breast tissue, which makes it far more appealing.
Current methods of breast augmentation can result in complications such as capsular contraction, where the breast tissue around the implant hardens when it ‘detects’ the foreign object in the breast. With stem cell breast enhancement, this is not expected to be a side effect because the cells are extracted from the woman’s body and then transferred to the breasts.
The downside is that the treatment won’t help improve firmness nor will it lift the breasts. But, the fact that it provides volume will still be an attractive aspect of this procedure for many women, particularly those who have undergone breast surgeries to treat cancerous lumps.
Months of Treatment
The treatment does take more time than the one-off surgery that is used for traditional breast augmentation. Cells are isolated from fat around the stomach or thighs and then the stem cells are injected into the woman’s breasts. It typically will take a number of months for the woman to obtain a sufficient increase in breast size.
The technique has already been successfully used in Japan for half a decade, generally used on women who have undergone breast cancer treatments but more recently on healthy women who want to increase their breast size.
Future of Breast Augmentation
While the treatment is not yet commercially available, it is expected that it could be available as early as six months from now in the UK. There are still more safety tests that need to be conducted but for now, the treatment looks to be a promising alternative to traditional breast augmentation and reconstruction.
Source: Explore Stem Cells
“Breast Implants from Stem Cells” by Ian MurnaghanBSc(hons), MSc