Fat grafting has become common in plastic surgery practices, and plastic surgeons are seeking new ways to classify the procedures. Their effort to put the proper technique with the right medical situation is fueling the endeavor, according to September’s Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery medical journal—the official publication of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).
The increase in fat grafting procedures, transferring harvested fat from one part of the body to another through techniques like liposuction, has coincided with the rise in clinical choices. Doctors Daniel Del Vecchio and Rod Rohrich believe that it is a varied practice, saying that it “is a much more complex procedure with at least four definable subtypes.”
The classification proposed by the doctors has four factors best matched to the patient’s situation: the method of harvesting fat; the method of cell processing; the method of fat transplantation; and management of the recipient site. This is based on the individual, the need for varying amounts of fat to be removed, the need for reconstructive surgery, the state of tissue in the recipient area.
The boost in fat grafting options and positive clinical results with the techniques and products offers “a confusing picture as to which fat grafting technique is best,” said Drs. Del Vecchio and Rohrich. The doctors hope that a new classification system offers a genesis for realizing the powerful potential of fat grafting for reconstructive and cosmetic procedures. They believe that the “choices for technical solutions will better fit the clinical problems we face.”