BACKGROUND: The use of autologous fat for augmentation has become common practice among plastic surgeons for both cosmetic and reconstructive procedures. Previously reported data suggest that the method of fat extraction can have profound effects on adipocyte viability and subsequent fat graft survival. OBJECTIVE: The authors describe a pilot study comparing a new tissue liquefaction liposuction device (TLL; HydraSolve Lipoplasty System; Andrew Technologies, Irvine, California) with a standard syringe aspiration method with respect to adipocyte viability, fat graft survivability, and fat graft quality. METHODS: Lipoaspirate from 5 patients was harvested using either TLL or the standard method. Samples were centrifuged and assayed for cell viability. All lipoaspirate samples were grafted into nude rats and harvested 42 and 84 days later. Graft survival and quality were assessed. RESULTS: There was no difference in adipocyte viability between the lipoaspirate conditions. At 42 days, there was no significant difference in fat graft weight and the TLL grafts were more fibrotic than the standard control grafts, but this was improved with the increased centrifuge rate. At 84 days, fat grafts were equivalent with respect to graft weight and histology. CONCLUSIONS: Lipoaspirate harvested with the TLL device and centrifuged at 3000 rpm resulted in fat grafts that were equivalent in weight and histology to those from lipoaspirate harvested with the standard syringe aspiration technique.
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