“Why can’t you just take this stuff from down here and put it up here?”
In a perfect world, plastic surgeons wouldn’t have to use synthetic materials in their procedures. Instead, a surgeon could simply transfer the fat from an unwanted area such as the hips or thighs, making them smaller, and place the liposuctioned fat into the breasts to make them bigger. Not long ago, any plastic surgeon could have told you that this method simply would not work. But with the advent of stem cell technology and the work of some creative surgeons it seems that what some doctors are calling “natural breast enlargement” may soon become a reality.
By combining liposuctioned fat and purified stem cells harvested from the patient’s own body, the fat can be injected into a new area of the body where it will not only be retained (hopefully), but continue to grow (hopefully) thanks to the reassigned stem cells. This is the simplified theory of how this procedure should work, but because this is all new and without long term cases to be studied, it’s impossible to say for sure how permanent the fat transfer would be or if there could be any other complications that could arise such as interference with mammograms or other types of breast cancer screening. Right now, it’s only experimental.
Surgeons in Japan are experimenting with the technique as well as several across the country here in the U.S. There have been several news appearances by surgeons and some buzz on the internet, but don’t expect it to replace implants any time soon.
But why isn’t everyone isn’t tripping over themselves to run out and get this “natural breast enhancement” from their friendly neighborhood plastic surgeon? One answer is that it’s very expensive. Another is that very few surgeons are performing these surgeries. And because stem cell research has been a contentious issue since it first came into the public eye, the relevant technology has not been well refined or broadly distributed. Even though the stem cells come from the patient’s own body, many people seem to be afraid of the term itself.
Stems cells have the opportunity to create great advances in medicine, both for treatment of disease as well as improvement of aesthetic concerns. These therapies are in their infancy now and will require considerable time, effort, and research to refine the technique so that when used, they will deliver consistent, predictable results. As this therapy continues to evolve, we’ll keep our readers posted on the latest advances.