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Newly Developed Cell-friendly Surface Could Make Breast Implants Safer

Breast augmentation is one of the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures as most women consider larger, well-proportioned breasts as a desirable trait. In the U.S. alone, about 400,000 cosmetic breast augmentations and reconstructions are performed every year, and the number continues to grow. Augmentation is typically done using breast implants. Silicone implants are a popular option.

While the physical and emotional benefits of this plastic surgery procedure are quite significant, implants pose certain risks and complications. Now, scientists at the University of Manchester report that they have developed a cell-friendly surface that will make silicone breast implants safer, lessen complications and reduce risks of rejection.

According to the report, around one in five women who have breast implant surgery experience capsular contracture, as the body tends to reject the insertion of a foreign body. This in turn causes issues such as

  • Post-surgical scar tissue and shrinking
  • Leaks in the implant due to scar tissue
  • Pain and deformity
  • Need for additional surgery
  • Fluid build-up or seroma

The University of Manchester researchers have come up with a solution to address these problems. They developed a cell-friendly surface for silicone breast implants that they claim will reduce post-surgical complications. According to them, their new “pattern” that mimics the body’s surface will provide a better environment for the cells to grow and thereby reduce the amount of scar tissue formation around the implant. This, in turn, will help reduce the chances of capsular contracture.

The problem with breast implants currently in the market is that they do not have the biological features required for cells to interact with. This led the scientists to come up with this novel solution. The newly created surface, which mimics the basal layer of the skin, is expected to provide the ideal microenvironment for the breast tissue cells to adhere to it and grow on, reducing the chances of inflammation and post-surgical scarring.

With the rising demand for safe and effective breast augmentation, this innovative option needs to be clinically tested, approved and practically implemented.