It is as close to natural as prosthesis can go. Out goes silicon by the window. Now women are to be offered 'natural breast enlargements' using unwanted fat from other parts of their bodies.
The technique will be made available 'early next year', according to the Harley Medical Group.
The procedure is likely to cost around £8,000 when it becomes commercially available.
Harley Medical Group chairman Mel Braham said: 'This is the most exciting breakthrough in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery that I have seen over the last two decades.
'It amounts to two beneficial procedures in one - taking unwanted fat from one or two areas of a patient's body and transferring it into the breast area.
'We have now completed a study of the results of UK and US patients who had the procedure four and five years ago, to confirm that the results are lasting.
'Following some final reviews by our Medical Board, we should be in a position to launch this procedure in the UK early next year.
'Within 10 years, breast enhancement, through fat relocation, will dominate the breast enlargement market - although for patients who are happy with their body shape, aside from the breast area, or those with low body fat, will still opt for traditional breast enlargement with the use of implants
The procedure is of such interest that it will be high on the agenda at the annual meeting of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) this week. Doctors believe the technique will avoid the problems associated with some artificial implants, which can harden and change shape and may need to be replaced. Scarring can also form in the surrounding tissue.
Trials of the new operation have found that the improvements are lasting, with the fat remaining in place. According to Zdenek Pros, one of the surgeons who will be carrying out the operations, breasts enlarged through fat redistribution also have aesthetic advantages. "Natural breast enlargement using fat grafting, in addition to increasing the size of the breast, has a more natural look and feel," said Pros.
"This type of augmentation technique is very effective in enabling surgeons to shape the breast and achieve smooth, natural-looking contours."
Surgeons say an increase of up to three cup sizes can be achieved by the redistribution of body fat.
A 34-year-old woman from Northampton had fat removed from her waist and transplanted to her breasts four years ago as part of the British pilot study by the Harley Medical Group. The woman, who did not want to be named, said: "I would never have considered having a breast implant, but a natural way of increasing my bust size was like a dream come true.
"I wanted a very natural increase of just one and a half cup sizes, which returned my breasts to their pre-childbirth form. Getting rid of my muffin top [fat around the waist] and getting my breasts back in one operation was incredible."
British doctors are also studying growing breast tissue using stem cells extracted from a woman's own fat. A study of the procedure will begin shortly at the London Breast Institute at the Princess Grace hospital, Times reported.