Friday, April 3, 2009

Stem Cells + Breast Augmentation = What??

Some of you might have caught our own Dr. Walden on Fox news this week. She had the opportunity to speak about a very new and interesting topic. It appears that in the very near future British woman will be able to get a "natural" breast implant of sorts that is made from harvested fat with stem cells added. This is a procedure that is already being performed in Japan and other countries in Asia. As with any other medical use of stem cells there is much controversy. Although, this procedure uses adult stem cells from the host itself versus embryonic stem cells. The idea is that a doctor can harvest a portion of fat and add stem cells to it (obviously the process is more complicated than that, but you get the picture) and the stem cells are able to grow blood vessels and additional fat to form a stable "natural" breast implant that can be implanted into the breast. On the surface this sounds like the perfect answer to any concerns about putting a foreign object like a silicone or saline breast implant in the body. As you will hear in Dr. Walden's Fox news clip above, the use of stem cells in this way can have some dangers. Stem cells are amazing in the way they can "duplicate" or "match" the tissue and or fat they are placed next to. This is the major plus in this situation, but think for a moment perhaps at some point you get diagnosed with breast cancer....would you want an abundance of stem cells that could possibly add more cancer cells to your vote is no. Also, there is a possibility that the fat could continue to grow and give a much larger look than the patient wants. I know that stem cells are amazing, but how do they know to stop growing when they reach a 34 C. I am definitely not a doctor but these would be major concerns for me as a patient. Another down side that has been reported is that in some cases lumps or bumps in the fat can appear. It would be a shame to go through a major surgery to end up with lumpy breasts. I am always excited to see what new advances are made in the medical field, but if it were me I would stay with something that is tried and tested. I think for the time being I would stick with a traditional silicone/saline implant until all the kinks get worked out of this idea! Of course this is all my opinion....Dr. Walden explains it so much BETTER! Don't forget to check out the clip above!!!


  1. Nice blog post, Olivia! You have presented important information from a lay perspective very concisely!