Dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) for human single-stage intraoperative tissue expansion and circulatory enhancement

Charles A. Vinnik, Stanley W. Jacob

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) has been in clinical use since the early 1960s. In 1967 the discovery that DMSO can greatly reduce ischemia in experimental pedicle flaps stimulated its use in plastic surgery by the authors since 1976. In 1987 its ability to soften collagen, thus permitting degrees of immediate intraoperative tissue expansion hitherto unknown, was applied clinically for the first time. Evolving use of topical 70% DMSO alone, in combination with intravenous DMSO, and intravenous DMSO alone with greater efficacy is discussed. Cases of intraoperative tissue expansion for large lesion excision and use in abdominoplasty to maximize skin resection are discussed. In breast reconstruction, maximal tissue expansion in minutes with immediate placement of large permanent prostheses ends the delay of reconstruction and problems of chronic tissue expander capsule formation and gives this technique a clear advantage over other reconstructive techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)327-337
Number of pages11
JournalAesthetic Plastic Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1991


  • Abdominoplasty
  • Breast reconstruction
  • Controversies
  • DMSO
  • Preliminary report
  • Suction lipoplasty
  • Tissue expansion
  • Toxicity studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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