Coming Soon: Bigger Boobs Made From Your Liposuctioned Fat

Illustration for article titled Coming Soon: Bigger Boobs Made From Your Liposuctioned Fat
Illustration for article titled Coming Soon: Bigger Boobs Made From Your Liposuctioned Fat
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Would you trade hip, butt or belly fat for somewhat larger breasts—if safe and "natural" feeling? The discovery of stem cells in fat tissue could make this more than hypothetical, and implications go beyond the beauty myth.

Sure, putting a pair of bare breasts on the cover of Wired is a transparent ploy. And you could be forgiven for feeling like this is yet another message about how your boobs aren't good enough and plastic surgeons are more than happy to relieve you of your dollars to "fix" that.

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And yet as the Wired story shows, lumpectomy and mastectomy patients stand to benefit from the discovery. Moreover, the same technology developed to try to capitalize on the market for breast "enhancement" could end up having life-saving uses far beyond it. And, you know, some women just want bigger boobs and don't find silicone implants appealing.

So how does this work exactly? Doctors experimented with injecting liposuctioned fat directly into other parts of women's bodies in the 80s and 90s, but the effect would be temporary as the body gradually absorbed that fat. According to Wired's Sharon Begley, it was a female post-doc, Min Zhu, who made the key discovery that if you use blood as feeder cells, you could get adipose tissue to differentiate into bone and cartilage, muscle, or neuron.

Illustration for article titled Coming Soon: Bigger Boobs Made From Your Liposuctioned Fat

That was in 2001, and since then, a plastic surgeon and a medical device maker teamed up to create the Celution, a sort of magic box that centrifuges fat cells and readies them to be injected back into the body in pearl-like droplets. "Within 48 hours, new capillaries and blood vessels entwine through the injected cells, supplying oxygen and nutrients to the now-stable tissue," according to Wired.

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That integration into the body means the procedure could be ideal for women who have had lumpectomies; currently, it's far harder for plastic surgeons to "fill in" a partially removed breast than it is for them to start over entirely.

The story makes clear that the massive market for changing women's boobs was more than enough incentive to start there, as was the fact that breasts just aren't as essential to functioning as other organs, so messing with them potentially carried less risk.

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About that risk: The procedure's already been successfully tested in Europe and Japan, and now the company behind it is trying to convince the FDA to let them conduct a clinical trial here. The FDA isn't thrilled about injecting "blood-vessel promoting cells into patients who have had breast cancer," though animal trials have so far shown no adverse effects. But it's all happened incredibly fast by scientific standards, so who knows what the long term effects might be.

If all goes well and the procedure is used not only on breasts but to regenerate organs, it would be a unexpected social reward for both the vanity industry and those extra pounds we're carrying around. Hooray for the free market?

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The Future Of Breasts [Wired]

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DISCUSSION

boxspelunker-old
boxspelunker

WARNING, BITTERPANTS AHEAD

Now that you've been fairly warned:

I love all the pink comments on this thread. Seriously, dudes, it is not about you and what you like. I don't care if you like Giant Jugs or you're a subscriber to Itty Bitty Titty Committee Monthly. That is not what the point is here. Also, the whole hur hur hur, I'll test them out for science shit is old and played out. I realize you're all probably new to this Jezebel stuff (pink comments and all), but come on, you can do better than that.

That said, this is a really interesting development. I personally can't wrap my mind around wanting bigger breasts, since I'm pretty much FTM and half-dream about a dramatic reduction. But the implications for safer surgery are important. A lower chance of rejection, possible infection, or other issues that come with foreign bodies or donated tissue is a plus, especially if someone's getting multiple surgeries, I would think. I am not a doctor, so anyone please feel free to correct me.

It's also exciting for reconstructive surgeries. Being able to kindof grow back some of that tissue is probably very appealing to some patients. Also, the possibilities for MTF patients! I'm not usually so excited about these kinds of things, but... well, there's a lot of information here :D