PURPOSE To perform a quantitative analysis of adipocyte viability after fat processing during autologous fat transfer, comparing the processing methods of washing, centrifuging, and sedimentation.
METHODS An experimental study was conducted in which 24 fat samples were obtained after processing from 22 patients undergoing autologous fat transfer. Histologic analysis of periodic acid-Schiff-stained specimens was then performed.
RESULTS Cell counts per high-powered field of intact adipocytes and nucleated adipocytes and adipocyte cross-sectional area were significantly greater in samples processed by sedimentation, compared with those by centrifuging or washing.
CONCLUSIONS Of the various processing techniques currently used during autologous fat transfer, sedimentation appears to yield a higher proportion of viable adipocytes than does washing or centrifuging.