Skip to Content

Stem Cells for Breast Augmentations

Women in Britain will soon be able to get a treatment for breast enhancement derived from their own fat cells.
April 6, 2009

Women who think their derriere is too big and their chest is too small might soon have an option to reverse that equation. Fat cells are sucked out of adipose tissue, then filtered using technology developed by Cytori Therapeutics to increase the ratio of fat stem cells, and then injected into the breast. The treatment, being commercialized in partnership with GE Healthcare, is currently in limited use among women who have lost breasts to cancer. But it is about to undergo testing in healthy women in the United Kingdom.

Previous attempts to use unfiltered fat cells for breast augmentation were not long lasting: the fat tissue appears to be reabsorbed by the body, probably due to a lack of blood vessels feeding the injected cells. By increasing the number of stem cells in the mix to be injected, Cytori says that its approach allows both fat and vasculature to take root in the breast tissue.

According to an article in the Times,

“This is a very exciting advance in breast surgery,” said [Kefah Mokbel, consultant breast surgeon at the London Breast Institute at the Princess Grace Hospital]. “They [breasts treated with stem cells] feel more natural because this tissue has the same softness as the rest of the breast.” He said the treatment offered the potential of considerable improvement on implants: “Implants are a foreign body. They are associated with long-term complications and require replacement. They can also leak and cause scarring.” Although the stem cell technique will restore volume, it will not provide firmness and uplift.

Mokbel believes the stem cell treatment may be suitable only for modest increases in breast size, but will conduct research to find out whether larger augmentations can be achieved: “We are optimistic we can easily achieve an increase of one cup size. We cannot say yet if we can achieve more. That may depend on the stem cells we can harvest.”

… The same technique has been used in Japan for six years, initially to treat women with breast deformities caused by cancer treatment and, more recently, for cosmetic breast augmentation in healthy women.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

open sourcing language models concept
open sourcing language models concept

Meta has built a massive new language AI—and it’s giving it away for free

Facebook’s parent company is inviting researchers to pore over and pick apart the flaws in its version of GPT-3

transplant surgery
transplant surgery

The gene-edited pig heart given to a dying patient was infected with a pig virus

The first transplant of a genetically-modified pig heart into a human may have ended prematurely because of a well-known—and avoidable—risk.

Muhammad bin Salman funds anti-aging research
Muhammad bin Salman funds anti-aging research

Saudi Arabia plans to spend $1 billion a year discovering treatments to slow aging

The oil kingdom fears that its population is aging at an accelerated rate and hopes to test drugs to reverse the problem. First up might be the diabetes drug metformin.

Yann LeCun
Yann LeCun

Yann LeCun has a bold new vision for the future of AI

One of the godfathers of deep learning pulls together old ideas to sketch out a fresh path for AI, but raises as many questions as he answers.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose WongIllustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.