Decantation of the lipoaspirate is one of the most common techniques used to prepare the fat graft. The aim of the study was to determine the ideal time of decantation that provides the best separation of the components without compromising the viability of the adipocytes.
Thirty milliliters of fat were obtained from 11 healthy adults and decanted at room temperature for 0, 30, and 60 minutes. After decantation, the infiltration liquid and the remnant fat were measured with a volumetric pipette. Once the solution was removed, the remnant fat was centrifuged at 3000 rpm for 5 minutes to separate any residual solution, to measure the amount of actual fat obtained at that time point. Viability was determined with trypan blue staining for all the samples.
After decantation, 9.4 ± 0.79 mL of fat was obtained at time 0, whereas 7.7 ± 1.56 mL was obtained at 30 minutes and 6.9 ± 0.92 mL at 60 minutes. Actual fat volume was 6.6 ± 1.56 mL, 5.5 ± 1.39, and 5.26 ± 1.3 mL, respectively. Viability at time 0 was 73.33 ± 0.06%, 72.57 ± 0.1% at 30 minutes, and 59.3 ± 0.09% at 60 minutes (P = 0.004).
The fat grafting, processed by decantation, will have the best performance within a period of 30 minutes after harvesting, where the best rate of viability and separation of components will be achieved.