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Aesthet Surg J. 2010 May-Jun;30(3):381-7. doi: 10.1177/1090820X10373063.

Fat grafting to the breast and adipose-derived stem cells: recent scientific consensus and controversy.

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Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Nippon Medical School, 1-1-5 Sendagi Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Japan.


Recent technical advances in fat grafting and the development of surgical devices such as liposuction cannulae have made fat grafting a relatively safe and effective procedure. However, new guidelines issued by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons in 2009 announced that fat grafting to the breast is not a strongly recommended procedure, as there are limited scientific data on the safety and efficacy of this particular type of fat transfer. Recent progress by several groups has revealed that multipotent adult stem cells are present in human adipose tissue. This cell population, termed adipose-derived stem cells (ADSC), represents a promising approach to future cell-based therapies, such as tissue engineering and regeneration. In fact, several reports have shown that ADSC play a pivotal role in graft survival through both adipogenesis and angiogenesis. Although tissue augmentation by fat grafting does have several advantages in that it is a noninvasive procedure and results in minimal scarring, it is essential that such a procedure be supported by evidence-based medicine and that further basic scientific and clinical research is conducted to ensure that fat grafting is a safe and effective procedure.

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