Viability of fat obtained by syringe suction lipectomy: effects of local anesthesia with lidocaine

John H. Moore, Jerzy W. Kolaczynski, Luz M. Morales, Robert V. Considine, Zbigniew Pietrzkowski, Penny F. Noto, Jose F. Caro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

130 Scopus citations


The results of transplantation of free autologous fat obtained by blunt syringe suction lipectomy are unpredictable. We examined if adipose tissue viability is compromised by using syringe suction lipectomy and by infiltration of the tissue with local anesthetics. As reference, we used adipose tissue samples excised during elective surgery. Fat obtained intraoperatively and by lipectomy was digested with collagenase to isolate adipocytes. The mechanical damage associated with sample handling and cell isolation in both procedures was similar and did not exceed 6% of the total cell mass. In addition, cells isolated from intraoperative and lipectomy samples did not differ functionally, responded similarly to insulin stimulation of glucose transport and epinephrine-stimulated lipolysis, and retained the same growth pattern in culture. Since during fat transplantation the graft is exposed to local anesthetics at both the donor and the recipient sites, we reexamined adipocyte function in the presence of lidocaine. Lidocaine potently inhibited glucose transport and lipolysis in adipocytes and their growth in culture. That effect, however, persisted only as long as lidocaine was present; after washing, the cells were able to fully regain their function and growth regardless of whether the exposure was as short as 30 minutes or as long as 10 days. These results indicate that adipose tissue obtained by syringe lipectomy consists of fully viable and functional adipocytes, but local anesthetics may halt their metabolism and growth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)335-339
Number of pages5
JournalAesthetic Plastic Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 1995



  • Adipocyte
  • Body contouring surgery
  • Fat graft
  • Suction lipectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

Cite this

Moore, J. H., Kolaczynski, J. W., Morales, L. M., Considine, R. V., Pietrzkowski, Z., Noto, P. F., & Caro, J. F. (1995). Viability of fat obtained by syringe suction lipectomy: effects of local anesthesia with lidocaine. Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, 19(4), 335-339.