Monday, December 1, 2008

Free Fat Grafting


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Grafts of small pieces of fat removed from one area of the body and placed in another area was first attempted in the late 1800s and early 1900s. These were used as padding between 2 surfaces in the body, plugs to stop bleeding, to fill out indented areas for cosmetic reasons, etc. The main difficulty was getting the fat to survive as larger blobs of fat would die before any blood vessels could grow into them. More than half of the implanted fat would disappear so early proponents of this would put more fat in place than they needed. That way they would end up with the right amount of fat after blood vessels finished growing into the fat and no more fat would die. In order to make the fat easier to work with (structurally more durable) and add some bulk to the graft a thin layer of deep skin layers were left attached to the fat grafts. These are called dermal fat grafts. Unfortunately this does not make more of the graft survive. Also those grafted tissues that do not survive tend to turn into scar tissue that may be seen and/or felt leading to a poor cosmetic result.


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