This week, the FDA approved the PureGraft device, made by Cytori Therapeutics. This device greatly simplifies the collection, processing and re-injection of fat. It could be a major “game-changer” for both cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery.
Until now, one of the major issues with fat grafting has been that it is a slow and tedious procedure with an unpredictable outcome: it’s hard to know how much of the transferred fat will actually survive the move to the new location, even with the use of the specialized techniques developed by Dr. Sidney Coleman and others. We liposuction out the fat with specialized instruments, centrifuge it, reload the good quality fat into small syringes, then inject it slowly and carefully, just a little bit at a time, into the desired area. Then we hope and pray that the injected fat will survive in its new location. Sometimes, we watch as it melts away almost totally in several months – and that’s so frustrating for both patient and surgeon!
The Cytori device should allow more predictable, less laborious fat fat grafting procedures. The PureGraft device not only purifies the fat, but increases the number of the patient’s own stem cells in the material to be re-injected. This “turbo-charging” effect of the stem cells seems to lead to better outcomes, in recent research studies, with a higher rate of fat survival and less fat necrosis.
I’m very excited by this new technology. I think it’s the next big thing.