Monday, February 1, 2010

Stem Cells in Breast Augmentation?

Updated 3/2017-- all links (except to my own posts) removed as many no longer active. and it was easier than checking each one.

There is a short article, Using Stem Cells in Breast Augmentation, in the January 2010 issue of the PSP Newsletter.  It is more an interview of Todd Malan, MD by Connie Jennings than a scientific article (and that’s okay). 
It is an interesting read which includes some of the history of fat grafting for breast augmentation, particularly in the United States but also world wide.  It will be interesting to watch as this procedure/method evolves.  I hope it will be done with scientific protocol that really looks at how it works, if it works, the risks, etc.
Dr. Malan quotes the costs:
Cost wise, liposuction with fat transfer to the breasts is only about $5,000 over the cost of just liposuction.  It is comparable in cost to a breast augmentation with implants and liposuction.
However, adding stem cells to the mix adds an additional $5,000 to the procedure.  This is because the procedure for processing and extraction of the stem cells is very time consuming and expensive.  The disposables that are required for the 3-hour procedure cost around $2,800.
The automated processing is faster and cheaper than the manual extractions, which are popular in Japan and Korea.  Using the latest automated devices saves time and money, but is still more costly than implants.  However, if you look at the lifetime cost of implants based on published statistics on complications and reoperation, then fat transfer is actually less expensive.

From the UK Times article last March:
A STEM cell therapy offering “natural” breast enlargement is to be made available to British women for the first time.
The treatment could boost cup size while reducing stomach fat. It involves extracting stem cells from spare fat on the stomach or thighs and growing them in a woman’s breasts. An increase of one cup size is likely, with the potential for larger gains as the technique improves.
A trial has already started in Britain to use stem cells to repair the breasts of women who have had cancerous lumps removed. A separate project is understood to be the first in Britain to use the new technique on healthy women seeking breast enlargement.
Professor Kefah Mokbel, a consultant breast surgeon at the London Breast Institute at the Princess Grace hospital, who is in charge of the project, will treat 10 patients from May. He predicts private patients will be able to pay for the procedure within six months at a cost of about £6,500.

Other related articles:
Breast Augmentation Via Fat Grafting:  The History and the Controversy  by Sydney R. Coleman, MD; PSP January 2008
Stem Cells May Fix Breast Defects; PSP December 2007
Stem Cells to Grow Bigger Breasts by Jeffrey Frenzen; PSP April 2009
Stem cells to grow bigger breasts; (UK) Times Online article, March 2009

Previous related blog posts:
Recent NPR Stories on Plastic Surgery (June 3, 2009)
Complications After Autologous Fat Injections to the Breast – an Article Review (April 2, 2009)

Fat Injections for Breast Augmentation (November 6, 2008)

1 comment:

StorytellERdoc said...

Very impressive post...great information. I just hope that stem cells for breast augmentation are used for the best of reasons and not the Hollywood reasons.