In-Vivo Study of Gluteal Vein Caliber & Anatomy to Improve Safety in Gluteal Augmentation Print

The ASERF Scientific Research Committee and Board of Directors are pleased to announce the following grant award:

Researcher: John Y.S. Kim, MD

Grant Award: ASERF Interim Grant

Amount Awarded: $20,600

Project Name: In-Vivo Study of Gluteal Vein Caliber & Anatomy to Improve Safety in Gluteal Augmentation

Project Summary: Fat grafting for gluteal augmentation has become a very popular procedure. Unfortunately, there have been a number of deaths due to fat emboli associated with this surgery. The root cause is hypothesized to be laceration of the gluteal veins in the deep submuscular plane, allowing the surrounding fat graft to enter the lumen. This event is rare, and practitioners (both board-certified plastic surgeons as well as other medical professionals) continue to perform the procedure. Our goal is to improve the safety of the procedure by examining the gluteal vein.

The specific aims of this study are to conduct an in-vivo evaluation of gluteal veins and their large tributaries in different body positions (prone, supine, lateral decubitus) using MRI to determine whether positioning has any significant effect on their caliber. We also aim to describe the locations of the large tributaries and the course of the main trunks of the gluteal veins in relation to the bony landmarks to assist in avoiding these structures during large-volume gluteal lipofilling.

We hypothesize that lateral decubitis positioning may be associated with a decrease in gluteal vein caliber for the non-dependent side.

We have already completed data acquisition to map the caliber and location of the large gluteal veins in a series of 10 patients who had previously undergone MRI in the supine position. While data on the relative sizes of the branches and their locations should be accurate, the absolute caliber measurements are likely to be confounded by the supine positioning. There, this child study will allow us to accurately measure both the caliber of the gluteal veins in the surgical position as well as the changes in their size with position changes.