These are some of the recent advancements in the field of breast augmentation surgery:
- Fat grafts and stem cells. While fat grafting has already been used for decades to add volume to certain areas of the body, recent advances in stem cell technology have allowed surgeons to further achieve consistent and long-lasting results.
The procedures starts with a gentle liposuction of the donor sites to collect fats, which are then sorted, washed, and purified to eliminate biomaterials such as blood. The stem cells from the fat are also separated, concentrated, and then recombined to “supercharge” the grafts.
Stem cells are also referred to as “mother cells” due to their ability to turn into many different cell types.
- Large volume fat grafting. The use of BRAVA, which is a bra-like device that releases negative pressure, can allow surgeons to inject more fat grafts into the breast without worrying about low survival rate.
If BRAVA is used a few weeks prior to fat grafting, it can expand the breast tissue and increase the blood supply. With the device, 250-300 cc of purified fats can be injected in one session, compared to just around 150 cc without such “preparation.”
- Lighter breast implants. B-Lite Implant is currently not available in the US, although in other countries it is gaining popularity due to its perceived benefits.
The implant is about 30 percent lighter than a silicone breast implant of the same size; it uses microsphere technology or “hollowed beads,” which do not leak or separate in case of implant rupture.
Proponents suggest that the reduced gravitational effects allow the breasts to age more “gracefully.” Nevertheless, long-term studies are still needed to demonstrate this perceived benefit.
- New type of saline implants. The standard saline implants fall short in giving natural feel and look (especially in thin and small-breasted women) because they are only filled with sterile salt water. However, they are perceived to be safer than silicone implants in case of rupture because the surrounding tissue will simply absorb the filler material.
But in November 2014, the US Food and Drug Administration approved IDEAL IMPLANT, which is a saline-filled implant with multiple shells and internal structures designed to control movement of the water.
With multiple inner shells, the IDEAL IMPLANT has solved the “splashing” and “swooshing” tendency of standard saline implants.