Surgeons grow breasts from stem cells

A “natural” form of breast enhancement that uses stem cells and fat from a woman’s own body may soon be offered by cosmetic surgery clinics.

Women in Japan have already had breast enlargements using the technique in trials. The breasts which are smoother and more natural are made from a person’s own stem cells extracted from their fatty tissue – usually from the thighs. The stem cells grow to become part of the breast.

The process has already been given approval in Germany which means, according to European law, it is legal in the whole of Europe including the UK. As well as cosmetic surgery the procedure has the potential to be used for victims of breast cancer and other disfigurements.

Stem cells are already being used to repair hearts and other organs in experimental procedures. It also has the potential for degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s Alzheimer’s, muscle wasting and motor neurone disease.

The new breast augmentation uses an extraction method developed by Californian company, Cytori, which is able to extract and concentrate cells in hours making it more available to more people. The process concentrates the number of stem cells.

This particular procedure has been pioneered by Tokyo surgeon, Kotaro Yoshimura, a surgeon at Tokyo University medical school.

It gets over current disadvantages of silicon and water implants which can leak. Another method which uses fat alone does not last as the cells die.