New technologies and procedures that make use of human fat and stem cells to either make breasts larger or repair them after cancer surgery has appeared on the mainstream media’s radar—a Wall Street Journal news article this week branded the topic as one of the hottest, and most controversial, corners of aesthetic medicine.
The "genie is out of the bottle," says Grant Carlson, MD, a plastic surgeon and surgical oncologist at Emory University in Atlanta. He worries that commercialization of the procedure is moving too fast, before data are collected about long-term consequences.
In addition, the FDA says fat augmented with stem cells creates a "biologic product" that would require regulatory approval.
Work on the use of stem cells in aesthetic medicine is well under way. Cytori Therapeutics Inc offers a device in Europe and Japan that combines fat with a mixture of stem cells and other regenerative cells. Jafar Koupaie, a cosmetic surgeon in Brookline, Mass, says he has performed breast surgeries using a Korean cell-processing device that uses a patient’s own stem cells.
[Source: The Wall Street Journal]