Injection of autologous fat obtained by liposuction has been reported as an augmentation technique for vocal fold paralysis. Unfortunately, it is not known whether this technique is associated with long-term graft survival.
The purpose of this study, using a canine model, was to determine the volume of viable injected fat grafts when the tissue was harvested and processed by two different methods: 1. by liposuction alone, and 2. by “purification,” i.e., excision of adipose tissue, followed by tissue homogenization and centrifugation in a buffering solution.
The results of this study confirm that injected fat grafts survive long-term; however, the average volumetric “take” was only about 20%. Surprisingly, significantly more liposuctioned fat survived than grafts prepared by the purification method (P<.05). At 12 weeks, there was relatively little inflammation present in the tissues surrounding the injected fat, suggesting a stable fat graft volume.