Scar tissue graft as a filler for soft tissue augmentation

Aesthetic Plast Surg. 2007 Nov-Dec;31(6):692-6. doi: 10.1007/s00266-006-0008-9.


Soft tissue augmentation with autogenous tissue has been used to correct various defects during aesthetic facial contouring and reconstructive procedures. Although dermal grafts have longer survival rates, fat grafts always have been more popular because of the simple harvesting and grafting methods used. The authors aimed to use existing scar tissue as an injectable graft and to compare its effectiveness as a soft tissue filler substance with that of dermal grafts. In this study, scar tissue was created on 24 male Wistar rats. The created scar and normal healthy skin were removed from the rat dorsal scapular donor site. After depithelialization, the harvested tissues were minced until they were thin enough to pass through a 16-gauge needle. The grafts then were injected into the recipient site between the abdominal muscles. Volumetric analyses and histologic evaluation of the grafts were performed 1, 3, and 5 months after transplantation. The first month after the injection, the amount of remaining dermis graft was more than the scar graft, and this difference was statistically significant. However, at the end of months 3 and 5, there was no marked difference between the groups. The remaining volume of injected scar tissue graft was comparable with that of the dermis graft. The scar grafts were composed mainly of dense connective tissue during all the evaluation periods. In this study, scar tissue provided results comparable with those of dermal grafts up to 5 months when used as a soft tissue filler. It seems that neovascularization of the scar graft may be inadequate for maintenance of graft viability, as compared with dermis grafts. On the other hand, the scar graft formed fibrous tissue, which may be responsible for providing adequate volume as a filler. This may have clinical implications for the patient who needs both scar revision and soft tissue augmentation procedures simultaneously.

MeSH terms

  • Adipocytes / cytology*
  • Adipocytes / physiology
  • Adipose Tissue / transplantation*
  • Animals
  • Cicatrix / surgery*
  • Dermis / physiology
  • Dermis / transplantation*
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Tissue Transplantation / methods*
  • Tissue and Organ Harvesting / methods*
  • Transplantation, Autologous