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The Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation

Correlating Technique with Proximity to Anatomic Danger Zones in Gluteal Fat Transfer: A Patient Safety Study Print

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

Researcher: Peter Rubin, MD

Grant Award: ASERF Interim Grant

Amount Awarded: $115,100

Project Name: Correlating Technique with Proximity to Anatomic Danger Zones in Gluteal Fat Transfer: A Patient Safety Study

Project Summary: Gluteal fat grafting is growing in popularity. Along with this rise in case numbers, serious safety issues are evolving, with morbidity and mortality publicized in the media. Although gluteal fat grafting (GFG) has been performed for decades without safety concerns raised, recent expansion in case volume broadened the cohort of surgeons performing this procedure.  Moreover, clinicians not trained in plastic surgery are performing GFG. A recent published study by the ASERF task force suggests that the rate of mortality from GFG may be many times higher than other plastic surgery procedures. Autopsy findings indicate that the key technical problem is fat graft material entering major blood vessels, including the iliac veins. This proposal by the Multi-Society Gluteal Fat Grafting Task Force, seeks to mitigate the risk of the procedure through key anatomic studies and education of plastic surgeons. Our central hypothesis is that safe approaches for buttock fat grafting can be delineated by modeling the operation in cadavers. 

Aim 1: Determine proximity to iliac veins and gluteal venous trunks with varying cannula angles from common incision/port sites.

Aim 2: Model the operation in the same 5 cadavers with 5 experienced buttock fat grafting surgeons.

Aim 3: Create an educational tool to teach the safety lessons obtained from the study and make it available through a central portal. 

Impact:  This work will directly impact patient safety by mapping safe and dangerous cannula approaches during gluteal fat grafting, and creating a strong educational program for plastic surgeons.


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