Australian researchers are testing a technique that may lead to the ability to re-grow breasts in women who've had a mastectomy, offering them an alternative to breast implants.
The procedure involves implanting a chamber beneath the skin and connecting a blood vessel to fat tissue in order to help it grow. The idea is to use a biodegradable chamber that dissolves inside the body after it fills with fat tissue, a process that would take about 24 months, CBS News reported.
So far, tests have been limited to pigs, but the team at the Bernard O'Brien Institute of Microsurgery in Melbourne plans clinical trials on women who have lost breasts to cancer.
"We are starting what is called a prototype in the next three to six months -- a proof of principle trial with about five to six women, just to demonstrate that the body can re-grow its own fat supply in the breast," Dr. Phillip Marzella told Sky News, CBS News reported.
The procedure may be ready for use within three years.