In the historical search for soft-tissue augmentation techniques, fat has seemed a natural choice to physicians on more than one occasion. Attempts at fat transplantation are not new.1 At several points in the surgical literature, rudimentary experiments in autologous fat grafting are noted, beginning in the 19th century and proceeding to the present day. Most of the early attempts at grafting fat involved the sharp dissection of bulk fat in pieces that were then placed into prepared pockets of subcutaneous tissue. The fate of these packets of fat was almost invariably, but not uniformly, ischemic necrosis, liquefaction, and absorption. In Peer's2 oft-cited studies in the late 1950s, it was observed that small pieces, properly placed, lost at least 50% of their volume. At the time, surgeons looking for a higher volume survival rate were dazzled by the initial promise of silicone, and Peer's work slipped into medical obscurity.
Glogau RG. MicrolipoinjectionAutologous Fat Grafting. Arch Dermatol. 1988;124(9):1340–1343. doi:10.1001/archderm.1988.01670090010002
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.