Pedicle Fat Grafts for the Prevention of Scar Formation After Laminectomy: An Experimental Study in Dogs

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The formation of scar tissue always follows lumbar disc surgery and usually causes no difficulty. Reoperation may be necessary because of disc reherniation or because of the scar tissue itself. Reoperation is tedious and dangerous because of the presence of scar formation. Beginning in February 1975, the authors performed laminotomies in 107 dogs in an attempt to study the possibility of prevention of scar tissue formation about the dural sac and nerve roots. Gelfoam and Gelfilm were found to increase scar formation. Micropore tape and plastics such as polyethylene, mylar, and woven and smooth silastic were tried without complete success. Free fat grafts gave better protection than other substances, but it was found that pedicle grafts of fat gave more complete prevention of scar. The living pedicle fat grafts also prevented the usual closure of the laminotomy. The technique of pedicle fat grafts has also been used with success in 36 human patients to date.

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