McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine faculty member J. Peter Rubin, MD (pictured), co-director of the University of Pittsburgh Adipose Stem Cell Center, recently published data that showed a surgical adhesive, TissuGlu, was effective in preventing the formation of seroma in an animal adominoplasty model. Summarized in the paper titled "Lysine-Derived Urethane Surgical Adhesive Prevents Seroma Formation in a Canine Abdominoplasty Model," the results demonstrated that the surgical adhesive successfully prevented the formation of seroma in a novel large-animal model designed to evaluate seroma formation. While the control side in all seven animals used in the study demonstrated large, clinically significant seromas, the side treated with TissuGlu showed little or no evidence of fluid accumulation. In addition, histologic analysis of tissue samples from the animals showed no signs of inflammation or foreign body reaction associated with the adhesive.
"I am impressed with the experimental data that demonstrate a clear ability of the adhesive to control seroma formation in this animal model," said Dr. Rubin. "This adhesive shows strong potential for widespread applications in many surgical specialties."
Surgeons have expressed a strong need for a product that adheres tissue flaps to help prevent the fluid accumulation that occurs between tissue layers after surgery. Surgical adhesives available today fall into two categories: "superglue"-type products that are strong but cannot be used inside the body because they break down into toxic byproducts and "fibrin sealant" products that are biocompatible but create a weak bond and are expensive and difficult to prepare during surgery.
"Seromas have been a major problem for post-surgical patients," said Susan E. Downey, M.D., a board certified plastic surgeon at the Pacific SurgiCenter in Santa Monica, Calif. "This study demonstrates a great animal model and the efficacious use of an adhesive to address this difficult problem."
Seroma formation is a frequent complication of plastic surgery procedures such as abdominoplasty, with complication rates ranging from 15 percent to 52 percent. In 2007, approximately 148,000 abdominoplasty, or "tummy tuck," procedures were performed in the United States, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Human clinical studies of TissuGlu are expected to be initiated in 2009.
Other McGowan Institute faculty member authors on the study include Drs. Thomas Gilbert, Stephen Badylak, and Eric Beckman. Dr. Rubin is also an assistant professor of surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Director of the Life After Weight Loss clinical program, Director of the Adipocyte Biology Laboratory, and Co-Director, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Aesthetic Surgery Center.
Illustration: McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine
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Abstract (Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery. 122(1):95-102, July 2008.)