There might be a new reason (or two) to support stem cell research.
British scientists are testing a treatment using adult stem cells to enhance breast size, the British newspaper, The Times reported.
The technique takes stem cells from the spare fat on a woman's stomach and thighs and grows them in the breasts. It has already been used to repair the breasts of women who have had mastectomies.
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By using cells from a woman's own body, the procedure could offer more natural results than artificial implants.
Breasts treated with stem cells "feel more natural because the tissue has the same softness as the rest of the breast," Mokbel said. "Implants are a foreign body. They are associated with long-term complications and require replacement. They can also leak and cause scarring."
At a cost of a little over $9,200, the stem cell treatment could lead to modest increases in breast size.
"We are optimistic we can easily achieve an increase of one cup size," ” Mokbel said. "We cannot say yet if we can achieve more. That may depend on the stem cells we can harvest."
In the procedure, doctors mix stem cells with a batch of fat before injecting them into the breast. It will then take several months before the breast achieves the desired size and shape.
Mokbel will treat 10 patients beginning in May. After 30 procedures have been safely completed, the London Breast Institute hopes to offer the service to private patients.
Recently, scientists in Japan have also started to use the procedure for cosmetic breast enhancement.