Fat Transfer for Compound Fracture Scar?

I have a compound fracture scar to the inner part of my lower right leg from an accident which occurred when I was 11 (I am 28 years old). I've been able to see a plastic surgeon who advised me that he can take some fat from my stomach and put this into the indented area of the scar. However, he said that there was a risk that the fat could seep through the scar tissue and cause an ulcer (20% chance). I wonder what your views are on this and whether you have performed this procedure yourself and its success rate.

Doctor Answers 3

Fat Transfer for Scar Tissue

Fat transfer can effectively replace needed volume on the face, body, and along areas of scar tissue. The recipient site vascularity plays a large role in fat grafting and scar tissue has impaired vascularity. Fat grafting will be effective in this area but may require several sessions.

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Fat grafting may be a good option to correct your scar deformity

The scar deformity has two components:

1-The loss of volume from the area after orthopaedic procedures

2-Scar bands that form in the deep plane and tether the skin

To properly correct the deformity, it may be necessary to release the tethering and then add the fat grafts. It may take more than one attempt to get good results. Knowing that one can add more fat later, will remove the impetus to put too much fat and risk ulcerations, etc

Reza Nabavian, MD
Santa Monica Plastic Surgeon

Scars are poor recipient sites for fat grafts.

Fat transfers depend on the recipient site for vascularity and noursihment. Generally scars have a poor blood supply which makes them a relatively unfavorable area to accept a graft.

An oversimplified analogy will make the point. If you transfer a plant (fat graft), placing it in the desert (poor blood supply) will likely lead to death of the plant (failure of graft take).

Dead fat grafts can form scar tissue with possible cyst formation that may become secondarily infected or ulcerated.

There is no easy solution. Discuss your options with your surgeon. Sometimes a flap, which brings its own blood supply, is a better choice.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.