‘Spare fat’ technique to replace breast implants

Natural enhancement uses stem cells from spare fat

A stem cell technique that can enlarge breasts while reducing the waistline is to be made available to British women.

The treatment involves taking stem cells from excess fat on the stomach or thigh, and then ‘growing’ them in the breasts. Surgeons say the result gives a more natural look than many synthetic implants.

The process can only make breasts one cup size larger at this time, but it is expected bigger augmentations will be possible as the technique develops. The technique was developed in Japan and has been available there for six years.

Professor Kefah Mokbel, a consultant breast surgeon at the London Breast Institute at the Princess Grace hospital, will test the procedure on 30 volunteers from May. By the end of the year he says he should be able to offer it to private patients. He expects the cost to be around £6,500.

‘This is a very exciting advance in breast surgery,’ he said. ‘Breasts treated with stem cells feel more natural because this tissue has the same softness as the rest of the breast.

Implants are a foreign body. They are associated with long-term complications and require replacement. They can also leak and cause scarring.’

During the procedure surgeons take fat from a woman’s stomach or thigh, extract stem cells from it and mix the stem cells with other fat before injecting the cells into the breast.

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