'Stem cell' breast surgery warning3rd October 2011
The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) have warned women against having a stem-cell breast enlargement procedure.
Senior plastic surgeons speaking at the BAAPS yearly conference said proof of the procedure's effectiveness had not been established and the operation should not be offered to paying patients.
The procedure uses fat taken from the stomach or thighs by liposuction and transfers it to the breast to add volume.
Before the fat is injected into the breasts, around 50% of the cells are processed to improve their stem cell content.
The aim of the surgery is to see the stem cells helping to fuel the regeneration of the fat cells in their new location.
While NHS clinical trials are being carried out in Glasgow, London, Norwich, North Tyneside and Swansea, surgeons said more tests needed to be carried out to be sure the procedure was safe and it worked before it was offered for sale.
Former BAAPS president and consultant plastic surgeon Adam Searle told the BBC: "To think that this unproven research is hijacked and used in the commercial sector is really an appalling thought. Not least when it's being utilised by inadequately trained practitioners."
Dr Valentina Petrone of the The Private Clinic, one of the clinics which offer the procedure on a commercial basis, said in a statement: "The Private Clinic is confident in respect to the safety of this treatment. Furthermore ongoing studies reassures us even more. We have strict patient selection criteria and clinical protocols in place."
"We, of course, look forward to completion of studies and any other findings as they become available over time and will, if necessary, adapt our protocols accordingly."
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