Monday, February 12, 2007
I'm a big Drudge Report fan and I check it once or twice a day to survey the wonderful mix of important or interesting things on the newswire. One of the stories featured today was this from the UK Daily Mail about how fat stem cells have potential to graft or grow new breast and could be used for implants to replace current saline or silicone versions.
This is really an idea not ready for prime-time in the near future. We don't have the technology to grow or implant these cells predictably. Still to be answered are what (if any) effect on the development of breast cancer these cells could have or whether their presence would affect screening mammograms. Fat grafting of the breast, a once seriously taboo topic in Plastic Surgery, has been readdressed in a number of journal articles as a way to fill in some contour irregularities in breast reconstruction.
The problem with fat is that the take of it as a graft material is historically cited as only ~50%, so getting predictable results when large volumes are required cannot be achieved. This has limited interest for it as an augmentation material. The amount of size added from these stem cell was very modest and could not achieve a useful size for most cosmetic cases where we would currently use an implant.
Despite the sexy headline, don't expect anything like this to be widely used in the near future. If you looking for the next big advance for breast surgery in the United States, look forward to the approval of the real high-cohesive form stable implants like the Inamed 410 & Mentor CPG devices.