When Will Stem Cells Be Available for Breast Reconstruction?

I had my mastectomy operation in 2003. Still waiting for this wonderfull stem cell.

Doctor Answers 21

Stem cell breast augmentation

Stem Cell Breast Augmentation is an investigational concept at this point but we're definitly will one day be the new solution. Nobody is doing it now in the US for breast reconstruction.

Doctor Meade

Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 100 reviews

Stem cells are a Long way off!

Stem cells are still in the early experimental stages.There are a lot of issues to be answered including the fact that some stem cells may stimulate tumor cells! This would certainly be counter productive! The model to rebuild a breast, with these cells, is not at all refined. This area does show amazing potential but I do not see it being used yet for many years!

Michael S. Beckenstein, MD
Birmingham Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Post Mastectomy Stem Cell Breast Reconstruction

Stem cells are here!  Fat grafting, depending on the technique incorporated, includes adult stem cells.  Although future developments will most certainly improve upon current methods, you can have the breast reconstructed by serial fat grafting, including stem cells, provided you have sufficient donor fat elsewhere on your body.  Cytori of San Diego markets a device that purifies harvested fat and isolates contained stem cells.

Steve Laverson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Stem Cells for breast Reconstruction: Many Years in The Future

Stem cell research and the potential applications are tremendously exciting and will certainly revolutionize medical and surgical care!

Practical applications as for breast reconstruction are still at least a decade into the future.

Paul C. Zwiebel, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Stem cell research for breast replacement

Stem cell research for organ replacement is decades away. Right now the majority of the work is being done with skin, nerve regeneration and blood cell regeneration following radiation.

Gary H. Manchester, MD (retired)
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

It will likely be awhile

Some of the recent research out of areas like Brazil is very exciting, but until more institutions have more familiarity with the process, you'll probably need to wait.  My guess is that you'll likely find academic/training institutions more likely to develop this line of treatment because of expense.

Brian K. Brzowski, MD
Ogden Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Stem cells for breast reconstruction

There is a great deal of research currently underway to use stem cells in various types of reconstruction. The availability of this type of technology is probably still a few years away at best.

Olivia Hutchinson, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Stem cells are present in fat used for breast reconstruction.

Stem cells are present in fat used for breast reconstruction.  "Growing" a breast from stem cells is a fabulous concept, but is still many years before that may even become possible in laboratories, let alone in a clinical setting. 

Fat grafting is currently being used in some forms of breast reconstruction to help even out contours and add small amounts of volume.  The stem cells that researchers are studying are present in the fat which is used for grafting.  Not all fat cells used for grafting are stem cells though -- only a very small percentage.,

Richard H. Fryer, MD
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 213 reviews

Stem Cell Breast Reconstruction

Stem Cell use for Breast Reconstruction is in its very early stages.  Fat grafting for breast augmentation is slowly gaining popularity and it is in this grafted fat that we're finding stem cells.
We perform fat grafting in breast reconstruction to correct the imperfections of the initial breast reconstruction.  Stem cells are thought to be responsible for the improvement in the quality of breast skin after radiation.  Fat grafting is also used to smooth out the breast shape in breasts where implants were used for reconstruction.  But the use of fat grafting and stems cells alone to recreate a breast is not a well established procedure yet.

Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 359 reviews

Stem cells for breast reconstruction - a long way off

Stem cells seem to be the hot topic in medicine these days. The ability of a omnipotent cell to transform into any cell type of the body holds wonderful potential. Unfortunately, the reality is that currently we have a very limited understanding of how these cells do this, let alone the ability to "grow" tissue with them. For breast reconstruction options, these cells are currently not an option to regrow a breast. There has been some success in animal models using stem cells to grow vascularized adipose tissue (fat), but this is far away from human studies.

The most promising data we have involves fat transfers. There is some preliminary data to show that fat transfers performed in women with previous radiation to the breast may help radiated tissue recover. This effect is attributed to the action of stem cells in the transferred fat, but even this is up for debate. I've included a reference to this article from the Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery if you are interested.

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.