Currently, fat transplantation occurs immediately after harvesting procedures. Because low rates of fat graft take are well reported in the literature, many patients require multiple surgical procedures for fat graft harvest. These subsequent procedures lead to increased cost, donor-site morbidity, and patient discomfort in the long term. The ability to preserve our patients' own adipose aspirate would allow us to counteract these shortcomings and ultimately improve the clinical outcome after fat grafting. Unfortunately, there is no optimal and practical adipose tissue cryopreservation protocol for use by the plastic surgeon at the present time. Because of this dilemma, the senior author (L.L.Q.P.) has investigated this concept in an effort to create a protocol that is both technically sound and clinically achievable to allow for the long-term preservation of adipose tissue. In this article, the authors aim to outline this effort, review current clinical applications that have been reported in the literature, and detail exciting future perspectives in the use of preserved lipoaspirates for repeated fat grafting procedures or in the form of cell-based therapy engineered for reconstructive endeavors for their patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas