The Behavior of Fat Grafts in Recipient Areas with Enhanced Vascularity

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Abstract

Fat grafts are used for soft-tissue augmentation of various anatomic regions, most frequently for the improvement of facial contours. Resorption of the graft is the main problem, and several different procedures have been described to minimize this phenomenon. Using 25 New Zealand rabbits, the behavior of fat grafts in a highly vascularized recipient site was studied. The recipient sites prepared on the backs of the rabbits were divided into four regions. A capsule formation with silicone sheet application was accomplished in two of these recipient areas before the transplantation of the fat grafts. Fat grafts were placed in the other two recipient areas without any prior preparation. We prepared two types of fat tissue; in one the lobular structure was preserved and in the other it was manually crushed and rinsed with lactated Ringer's solution. The fat tissues with preserved lobular structure were placed in area I and area III. Manually crushed and rinsed fat tissues were placed in area II and area IV. In areas III and IV, a capsule formation with silicone sheet had been accomplished 3 weeks before grafting. Biopsy samples were obtained from these sites at the end of the first, third, sixth, and tenth months. Our aim was to observe the histologic fate of fat tissue in different recipient areas. The macroscopic and microscopic evaluation of the fat grafts in areas with silicone sheet indicated significant differences in the resorption time of the fat grafts; however, it was concluded that the significant resorption of the transplanted autologous fat tissue grafts at the end of the first year was an inevitable consequence of fat grafting. (Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 109: 1646, 2002.)

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