Progenitor-Enriched Adipose Tissue Transplantation as Rescue for Breast Implant Complications


Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Kotaro Yoshimura, MD, Department of Plastic Surgery, University of Tokyo School of Medicine, 7-3-1, Hongo, Bunkyo-Ku, Tokyo 113-8655, Japan, or e-mail:


Abstract:  Breast enhancement with artificial implants is one of the most frequently performed cosmetic surgeries but is associated with various complications, such as capsular contracture, that lead to implant removal or replacement at a relatively high rate. For replacement, we used transplantation of progenitor-supplemented adipose tissue (cell-assisted lipotransfer; CAL) in 15 patients. The stromal vascular fraction containing adipose tissue progenitor cells obtained from liposuction aspirates was used to enrich for progenitor cells in the graft. Overall, clinical results were very satisfactory, and no major abnormalities were seen on magnetic resonance imaging or mammogram after 12 months. Postoperative atrophy of injected fat was minimal and did not change substantially after 2 months. Surviving fat volume at 12 months was 155 ± 50 mL (Right; mean ± SD) and 143 ± 80 mL (Left) following lipoinjection from an initial mean of 264 mL. These preliminary results suggest that CAL is a suitable methodology for the replacement of breast implants.