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Background

Numerous methods have been proposed to enhance the survival of fat grafts, but no definitive treatment is available. Stromal vascular fraction (SVF)-assisted cell therapy offers new perspectives for improving fat graft survival.

Objectives

To determine whether SVF supplementation could improve graft retention in patients undergoing autologous fat grafting for cosmetic improvement of facial contour.

Methods

We retrospectively analyzed data from 38 women who underwent fat transplantation with SVF (n = 26) or fat grafting alone (n = 12) between October 2010 and January 2012. Each patient underwent computed tomography, and photographs were taken before and 6 months after surgery. The Philips Extended Brilliance Workspace was used for analysis of volume augmentation.

Results

All patients showed cosmetic improvements, but the degree varied. No complications were evidenced during follow-up. Fat survival was higher with SVF (64.8 ± 10.2%) than fat grafting alone (46.4 ± 9.3%) (< .01). SVF supplementation resulted in better clinical improvement than fat grafting alone.

Conclusion

Supplementing fat grafts with SVF for cosmetic facial contouring can improve the survival of fat grafts over fat grafting alone and provides satisfactory outcomes without major complications. Autologous fat grafting has been used for various cosmetic treatments and difficult reconstructive indications such as temporal depression, wrinkles of nasolabial folds, and hemifacial atrophy, with no incisional scar or complications associated with foreign materials, although problems such as a low rate of graft survival because of early resorption remain. (Aesthet Plast Surg, 14, 1990 and 127) Despite many innovations to overcome these problems, (Dermatol Surg, 26, 2000 and 1159); (Ann Plast Surg, 60, 2008 and 594); (Dermatol Surg, 27, 2001 and 819); (Dermatol Surg, 28, 2002 and 987) we lack a definitive method of fat processing that ensures maximal graft take and viability. (Plast Reconstr Surg, 115, 2005 and 197); (Dermatol Surg, 37, 2011 and 619)