Breast cancer is very often treated with lumpectomy or mastectomy, both of which necessitate breast augmentation. Breast augmentation by way of plastic surgery is a very common method of breast reconstruction.
But many women just simply cannot stomach the idea of a synthetic implant inside their body. And alternatives to plastic surgery breast augmentation have been extremely limited, that is up until just a few months ago.
In August of 2011, thanks in large part to actress Suzanne Somers, CAL trials began in the United States. Somers had been searching for her own alternative to plastic surgery following a lumpectomy and radiation back in 2001.
CAL stands for cell-assisted lipotransfer, and is a type of stem cell therapy for breast reconstruction. This procedure was developed by Dr. Kotaro Yoshirmura, surgeon and professor at the University of Tokyo, in 2003.
Yoshimura’s procedure begins with taking stem cells from a woman’s fat cell sources such as her hips or thigh, and mixing those stem cells with additional fat cells. The mixture is then injected into the woman’s breast replacing the lost tissue and restoring her breast in a natural way.
The doctor tested his procedure on more than 400 Japanese women, but it wasn’t until Somers pushed for U.S. trials that the innovative breast augmentation technique caught the attention it deserved.
Somers could have easily had the procedure done in Japan, but “Suzanne insisted on doing this in America so it could be available to American women,” according to daughter-in-law Caroline.
The lack of an implant and thus the associated typical problems such as leakage and rupture are just a few of the upsides of CAL. Since the injected fat tissue is taken from the woman’s body, the lipo from typical trouble zones is another added bonus for many.
Though CAL is still technically considered a surgery, it is no plastic surgery and requires no cutting or slicing, and therefore leaves no scarring.
Perhaps the most exciting part about the stem cell therapy procedure is that it gives women a brand new option when considering breast reconstruction.
The only downside so far to CAL is that nobody really knows what the downsides might be, as it is such a new procedure. It is still too soon to know if there are any long term side-effects from CAL, but doctors and professionals involved are all very optimistic about the future of CAL.
Dr. Joel Arnowitz, who also had a hand in getting CAL trials to the U.S., says “I would expect that this procedure will be welcomed as a very positive development and a viable choice for women.”
Talk to a plastic surgeons regarding your breast augmentation options.Sources
The information on this site is not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment from a licensed medical practitioner. If you are experiencing a serious medical condition call your local emergency services or your doctor.