Stem Cell Breast Augmentation Approved in Europe
This February of 2009 marks a potentially remarkable transformation in the field of breast augmentation. We are familiar with the many advantages of breast implants and the plastic surgery industry has continued to explore the use of fat transfers for cosmetic purposes since having success for imperfections from breast reconstruction. However, few expected the use of stem cells for cosmetic breast augmentation to erupt so soon.
Recently, German authorities have endorsed the use of stem cells techniques and 27 member states in the European Union are expected to approve the use of stem cell techniques for cosmetic breast augmentation. To date, it is estimated that 26,000 women in Britain had achieved breast enhancement through stem cells.
Clinical trials had been held in Japan using a technique that is touted to optimize stem cell breast augmentation outcomes, resulting in cosmetic breast enlargement for women. Over the past several years, the use of stem cells in breast augmentation has been explored in the U.S. The results in the early testing in stem cell applications demonstrated that stem cells may be potentially useful for breast reconstruction patients, but the advantages for cosmetic patients had not been fully exposed. In breast reconstruction, some women require extensive breast tissue removal which may be difficult to improve through traditional methods alone. Breast implants offer a complimentary solution for breast reconstruction patients, but severe deformities may be further improved through adjunct procedures such as fat transfer or stem cell injection.
Fat transfers and breast implants have been successfully used in the U.S. for women undergoing breast reconstruction. In fact, last year a study commenced to evaluate the safety and efficacy of cosmetic breast augmentation through fat transfer. This was due, in part, because the success of a fat transfer is highly dependent upon the technique used to prepare the fat tissue. In fact, up to 40% of the transferred fat will die over time.
The success of stem cell transplantation does partially rely on a process as well. The process used in the Japan clinical trials was stem cells that were procured by Cytori, a California based company that has a method of extracting tissue and developing new stem cells from the tissue. Japan’s clinical trial results have shown promise in the delivery of new cells that are able to enlarge breasts for enhancement. In 2004, the first stem cells for cosmetic use were placed in a woman located in Tokyo.
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