Background: The aim of this study was to investigate the maintenance of volume as a spacer by comparing vascular supply and apoptosis in an implanted autologous-free dermal fat graft (FDFG) and free fat graft (FFG). An autologous FDFG is a material used in plastic surgery and oncoplastic breast surgery that is ideal for immediate volume replacement after partial mastectomy because of its easy availability and minimal invasion of the donor site; however, immunohistochemical findings and survival procedures have not yet been reported. Methods: An experimental protocol using a unique animal model was designed for the present study. The expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) was measured in FDFGs and FFGs implanted onto the pectoral major muscle of Wistar rats. Thirty Wistar rats were divided into two groups and postoperatively 1, 2, 4, 8, and 16 weeks (POW1, 2, 4, 8, 16). Six samples from three rats in each group were used as control samples (POW0). Results: The thickness of the implanted FDFG was not significantly different from the control sample at POW1, 2, 4, 8, and 16 between FDFG and FFG group; however, the thickness at POW8 and 16 was significantly lesser in the FFG group than in the control samples. The average proportion of fatty tissue to whole tissue ranged from 34.2 to 48.6 % in the FDFG group and from 57.2 to 76.7 % in the FFG group during the observation period; however, there was no significant difference in the proportion of fatty tissue between these two groups. There were no significant differences between the average number of VEGF-positive cells in the FDFG group and the FFG group at POW1, 2, 4, 8, and 16. The average number of TUNEL-positive cells in the early period at POW1 was significantly lower in the FDFG group than in the FFG group. Conclusions: This rat model was useful for investigating the mechanisms of angiogenesis, apoptosis, structure maintenance, and fibromatous changes. From the present experimental study, we believe that FDFG is one of the most convenient materials currently available to repair small defects at the time of BCS even in the clinical field.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Pharmacology (medical)