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Fat Cylinder Transplantation: An Experimental Comparative Study of Three Different Kinds of Fat Transplants

Fagrell, Dan M.D.; Eneström, Sverker M.D., Ph.D.; Berggren, Anders M.D., Ph.D.; Kniola, Barbara Ph.D.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: July 1996 - Volume 98 - Issue 1 - p 90–96
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In an experimental comparative study, fat cylinders harvested with a new instrument were compared with excised fat and aspirated fat. In 12 New Zealand White rabbits, fat grafts of about 1 ml were transplanted from the fat pad between the shoulders to the scalp and rear side of the ears by three different fat harvesting techniques. After 6 months, the change in the weight of each of the 36 specimens was measured. All specimens were freeze-cut after fixation and stained with Sudan IV, a fat-specific stain. They were examined under a light microscope and evaluated by computer-assisted image analysis. There was no statistical difference in the percentage change in weight between the excised fat and the fat cylinder groups (2 and 1 percent, respectively). For aspirated fat, however, the difference was significant (−59 percent). There also were significantly more surviving mature adipocytes in the fat cylinder group than in the aspirated fat group.

We conclude that fat cylinders harvested with the new instrument are as good grafting material as excised fat, while aspirated fat in this study was clearly inferior for grafting.

Göteborg and Linköping, Sweden

From the Department of Plastic Surgery at Sahlgrenska Sjukhuset and the Departments of Pathology I, and Plastic Surgery, Hand Surgery, and Burns at the University Hospital, Linköping. Received for publication February 28, 1995.

Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Scandinavian Association of Plastic Surgery, in Abo, Finland, in 1992, and at the EURAPS Meeting, in Strasbourg, France, in May of 1993.

Dan Fagrell, M.D.

Department of Plastic Surgery Sahlgrenska Sjukhuset S-413 45 Göteborg, Sweden

©1996American Society of Plastic Surgeons