Objective: To evaluate the initial clinical performance of a prototype injection control device (ICD) to facilitate fat grafting by injection.
Methods: An ICD, which mechanically couples the act of withdrawing the cannula with the act of depressing the plunger, was fabricated for the purpose of facial fat grafting. The action of the device results in deposition of consistent threads of fat having a volume of approximately 33 uL per cm that the cannula is withdrawn, which is slightly less than the internal volume of a 12-gauge cannula. A total of 26 patients underwent 30 procedures, and the results were subjectively evaluated using pre- and postoperative photographs, with a minimum follow-up of 4 months.
Results: The desired degree of correction was more consistent, recovery was faster, and procedural efficiency was improved when performing the procedure with the ICD compared to historical use of the manual method of injection. Minor irregularities were the only complications encountered.
Conclusion: The ICD optimally distributes fat as a uniform thread along the withdrawal tract of the cannula, thereby eliminating clumping and minimizing tissue trauma, resulting in reduced recovery time as well as more consistent and predictable clinical results. Since the ICD automates the injection process, it provides a notable and easily attainable efficiency in procedural time and minimal learning curve for the user.
Keywords: dermal fillers; facial rejuvenation; liposuction; threading.