Stem Cell Enriched Fat Grafting to Correct Ptosis

Can stem cell-enriched fat grafting (moderately!) correct breast ptosis?! I do not want perfect breasts, just better breasts, and frankly the scaring from a traditional mastopexy just doesn't seem like a worthwhile tradeoff. I would probably have to travel to a specialist in Europe, but this seems like an amazing prospect: better, although not perfect breasts, and no scarring at all. Plus some of the fat from my rear end gone in the process.

Doctor Answers 11

Breast ptosis and fat grafts

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Adding volume, whether it be with breast implants, fat grafts, or fillers, do not lift the breast.  Adding volume increases the size of the breast but does not lift it.

Some skin tightening procedures with ultrasound, laser, or radiofrequency may minimally tighten the skin around the breast but the results are typically not long lasting and you could be very disappointed.  Also, it is not known what effects these treatments may have on the underlying breast tissue.

I wish you well.

Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 221 reviews

Breast Ptosis Requires Breast Lift or Mastopexy NOT Stem Cell Enriched Fat Graft

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There is no FDA approved clinically effective method for Stem Cell Grafting to the Breast. Fat Grafting of the Breast for Augmentation is a new and promising technique, but Fat Transfer to the Breast will not correct Breast Ptosis.

Correction of Breast Ptosis, that is sagging of the Nipple Areola and Breast tissue requires a Breast Lift or Dermal Mastopexy. The Nipple Areola Complex must be lifted to a more normal, youthful position.

Do not be mislead by questionable advertising and misleading claims especially about Stem Cell Grafting.

It is true that after some advanced Centrifugation techniques using Fat, that Stem Cells can be found in the harvested fat. However Stem Cell ENRICHMENT requires very specific complicated chemical techniques that to my knowledge are only done in one or two specialized research laboratories in the world.

"Stem Cell" grafting will NOT correct breast ptosis!

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If you examined women who have had had this procedure 1 or 2 years previously, you would see a majority of patients with little if any retained volume from the grafting operation, and the droop (ptosis) still there. The problem in actually obtaining this valuable information is that after all of the excitement (re-read the last two sentences in your question!), the anticipation, the travel, the cost, and the initial waiting and hopefulness, (did I mention the COST?), you end up with nothing but an empty promise, an empty bank account, and you feel so stupid and gullible that you don't want to admit this folly to anyone!

Implants do not correct ptosis, so neither will fat grafting (of any kind). "Stem cell enrichment" is at best an investigational process that has not yet withstood peer-reviewed studies and literature review, so must be regarded with caution and a very healthy skepticism! At worst this is pure hogwash marketing hype used to lure patients searching for "no scarring at all . . . better . . . amazing . . . and fat from my rear end gone."

Your decision at this point would be to look at patients who have had breast lift operations (with or without implants), observe their scarring, and decide if you can live with this--for a breast lift is what you need! Best wishes!

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

Only Breast Lift Procedures will Lift the Breast... And "Stem Cell" procedures are currently marketing hype

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Hi there-

There is no way to lift a breast that is sagging that does not involve a breast lift.

Furthermore, there is currently no such thing as "stem cell enriched" when it comes to fat grafting. ALL fat harvested from normal individuals will contain a few stem cells, but there is no safe and practical way to isolate them or concentrate them.

What does this mean?

Well, for starters, it sounds to me like you have seen one of the more unethical doctors practicing cosmetic surgery... Think about this:

This doctor gave you the impression that he can do something with stem cells...Why would he do so if it is actually not possible? And what does this (IMO) unethical behavior say about his overall decision making and the level of trust you can place in him? What does it say about him that he also gave you the impression that your breasts could be lifted without a lift? 

European surgeons are not privy to magic that we don't know about in the United States. Similarly, South American surgeons are not better just because they are South American. The same could be said of those of us in the US- we are not better BECAUSE we are American. This is silly.

A good surgeon is a good surgeon. An ethical surgeon is always going to be better than one who compromises his morals and ethics to lure patients with shady marketing and false promises. Beware procedures with cute names, and run from the doctors who advertise them.

Fat injections (even with "stem cells") will not lift droopy breasts

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Any volume filler, breast implants, fat cells or super-charged stem cell rich fat, etc., will not lift the descended nipple-areola complex or appropriately address considerable skin excess. They provide for volume - not lift. Therefore, if you have substantial, true drooping, a lift would need to be performed whether or not you also added volume.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Stem cell enriched fat will not lift your breast

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I have done more than 269 cases of fat grafting to the breast during last 5 years and would say that fat grafting does not replace the need for the breast lift. The concept of enriched fat with stem cell is not shown to be superior to the fat without stem cell enrichment. There are doctors that use the appeal of stem cell to claim superior results without scientific proof.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Fat grafting is not a breast lift technique

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Just as implants do not lift the breast, they just add size, so do fat grafts.  Only lifts lift the breast.

Breast ptosis and fat grafting

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Fat grafting with or without purported sem cells can definitely improve volume, but in my humble opinion it will not change the position of the nipple areolar complex on the mound and frankly will not move the mound.  Please be careful of grandious promises.   See a board cerified surgeon locally before embarking on a search for a procedure/technique abroad. Good luck.



Stem Cell Enriched Fat Graft for Breast Ptosis

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Adding volume to a breast with an implant or fat grafts may improve breast ptosis in selected patients. Adding stem cells has not been shown clinically to improve the results. Be careful with anyone who tells you that the stem cells will do a better job.

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

Fat grafting is designed to increase volume, ptosis is more of a position/laxity issue

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True breast ptosis is related to the position of the nipple to the fold but really describes excess skin/soft tissue laxity of the breast.  Excess laxity can be corrected by large volume increases but the position of the nipple will not be addressed.  The only way that fat grafting can correct the nipple to breast fold relationship is if it is used to lower the fold.  This would only be indicated in constricted breast syndrome or tubular breast shape.  Otherwise I do not recommend it.

All the best,

Dr Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 173 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.