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Lipotransfer: The Potential From Bench to Bedside

Tocco, Ilaria MD*†; Widgerow, Alan David MBBCh, FACS, FCS, MMed*‡; Lalezari, Shadi MS; Banyard, Derek MD, MBA*‡; Shaterian, Ashkaun MD*; Evans, Gregory R.D. MD, FACS*‡

doi: 10.1097/SAP.0000000000000154
Review Article

The development of autologous fat grafting to augment or reconstruct tissue defects has become an increasingly popular modality among plastic surgeons. Despite its popularity, a standardized fat grafting protocol has yet to be developed. Great variations exist with regard to almost all the technical features, yielding a reported fat graft survivability that ranges from 40% to 80%. Recent bench approaches have been proposed to improve the long-term viability of fat grafts: although promising results have been shown, empirical evidence has yet to prove the superiority of one particular method. Nevertheless, currently available literature still provides some evidence for optimal results in differing clinical scenarios, in the wait of validating and ultimate studies.

The issues of enriched fat grafting techniques and variations in harvesting and delivery in the background of US regulatory constraints demand alterations and variations in techniques. These only complicate the process of validation of any single technique. However, recent studies have brought us closer to making informed decisions on technical choices in lipotransfer. These are elaborated on in this review.

From the *Aesthetic and Plastic Surgery Institute, University of California, Irvine, CA; †Clinic of Plastic Surgery, University of Padova, Italy; and ‡Laboratory for Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine, University of California, Irvine, CA.

Received September 8, 2013, and accepted for publication, after revision, December 30, 2013.

Conflicts of interest and sources of funding: none declared.

Reprints: Alan David Widgerow, MBBCh, FACS, FCS, MMed, Aesthetic and Plastic Surgery Institute, University of California, Irvine, 200 S. Manchester Ave, Suite 650, Orange, CA 92868-3298. E-mail:

© 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins