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Concept: Skin grafting

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Chronic leg ulcers remain a challenge to the treating physician. Such wounds often need skin grafts to heal. This necessitates a readily available, fast, simple, and standardized procedure for grafting.

Concepts: Grafting, Transplantation medicine, Chronic wound, Skin grafting

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The objective of this study was to evaluate the use of Afp1m as a cryopreservative agent for skin by examining the transplanted skin histological architecture and mechanical properties following subzero cryopreservation. Thirty four (34) rats with an average weight of 208 ± 31 g (mean ± SD), were used. Twenty four (n = 24) rats were equally divided into four groups: (i) immediate non-cryopreserved skin autografts (onto same site), (ii) immediate non-cryopreserved skin autografts (onto different sites), (iii) skin autografts cryopreserved with glycerol for 72 h and (iv) skin autografts cryopreserved with Afp1m for 72 h at -4 °C. Rounded shaped full-thickness 1.5-2.5 cm in diameter skin was excised from backs of rats for the autograft transplantation. Non-cryopreserved or cryopreserved auto skin graft were positioned onto the wound defects and stitched. Non-transplanted cryopreserved and non-cryopreserved skin strips from other ten rats (n = 10) were allowed for comparative biomechanical test. All skin grafts were subjected to histological and mechanical examinations at the end of day 21. Histological results revealed that tissue architecture especially the epidermal integrity and dermal-epidermal junction of the Afp1m cryopreserved skin grafts exhibited better histological appearance, good preservation of tissue architecture and structural integrity than glycerolized skin. However, there was no significant difference among these groups in other histological criteria. There were no significant differences among the 4 groups in skin graft mechanical properties namely maximum load. In conclusion, Afp1m were found to be able to preserve the microstructure as well as the viability and function of the skin destined for skin transplantation when was kept at -4 °C for 72 h.

Concepts: Statistical significance, Skin, Skin grafting

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In clinical practice, split-thickness skin graft (STSG) transplantation remains the gold standard for covering large skin defects. Currently, there is no consensus on the optimal thickness of skin grafts. The purpose of our study was to compare the early healing processes of recipient and donor wounds after STSG transplantation using grafts of different thickness.

Concepts: Clinical trial, Clinical research, Grafting, Clinical trial protocol, Transplantation medicine, Good clinical practice, Clinical site, Skin grafting

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Clinical applications of ALT flap have currently extended to extremity (hand and foot) as well as oral cavity reconstruction. In these anatomical areas, the traditional harvesting technique presents a few disadvantages such as bulkiness of the recipient site and potential donor site morbidity including damage to the deep fascia and skin graft adhesions. The purpose of the present study was to compare the functional and aesthetic outcomes of upper and lower extremity reconstruction with either suprafascial or subfascial harvested anterolateral (ALT) flaps. Sixty patients who underwent hand or foot reconstruction with an ALT flap between January 2013 and January 2015 were included in the study (34 flaps elevated on a subfascial plane and 26 on a suprafascial plane). Group 1 (subfascial harvested ALT flap) was composed of 23 male and 11 female patients with an average age of 53.4 years (range, 36-72 years). Group 2 (suprafascial harvested ALT flap) was composed of 18 male and 8 female patients with an average age of 48.7 years (range, 32-69 years). Surgical indication was tumor resection for 20 patients in group 1 and 16 patients in group 2, chronic ulcer for 8 patients in group 1 and 6 patients in group 2, and trauma for 6 patients in group 1 and 4 patients in group 2. Complications were documented. Aesthetic outcomes were considered in terms of bulkiness of the recipient site, subsequent request for a debulking procedure, and donor site morbidity. Donor site scars were evaluated for cosmesis using a modified Hollander Wound Evaluation Scale (HWES). Skin grafts outcomes were assessed according to the modified Vancouver Scar Scale (VSS). Functional outcome at the recipient site was measured using the Enneking functional outcome score (ESS). Total range of motion (ROM) was recorded. All flaps were successfully elevated with at least one viable perforator with both approaches. The survival rates of suprafascial and subfascial harvested ALT flaps were 96.2 and 97% respectively (P = .85). The mean flap size was 110.4 ± 27.8 cm(2) in group 1 and 159.7 ± 44.4 cm(2) in group 2. The average flap thickness was 26.2± 5.2 mm in group 1 and 13.9 mm ± 4.1 in group 2. Complications included total flap loss (1 case in group 1 and 1 case in group 2), partial flap loss (2 cases in group 1 and 1 case in group 2), skin graft failure (3 cases in group 1), and muscle herniation at the donor site (1 case in group 1; P < .17). Secondary debulking procedures were needed for 20 flaps in the subfascial group and for one flap in the suprafascial group (P-value <.01). Donor site closure with skin grafts was necessary in 42 cases: 32 in group 1 and 10 in group 2. The suprafascial harvested ALT flap group reported a significant difference in terms of donor site morbidity. The HWES score of donor site scars was significantly lower in group 1 (mean 1.2 ± 0.54) than in group 2 (mean 2.4 ± 0.58), P < .01. Similarly, the VSS score for skin graft outcomes was lower in patients of group 1 (mean 4.5 ± 0.93) than in patients of group 2 (mean 6.7 ± 0.96), P < .01. There was also a significant lower score of postoperative ESS in patients of group 1 (mean 21.2 ± 3.4) when compared with patients of group 2 (mean 23.6 ± 2.7), P < .01. Total ROM improved on average 60° after surgery (P-value <.01). The suprafascial plane for elevating ALT flaps presented several advantages over the traditional subfascial approach in terms of functional and aesthetic outcomes, providing a thin flap allowing increased versatility to achieve better contour of flap, and minimizing the need for secondary debulking.

Concepts: Surgery, Arithmetic mean, Outcome, Wing, Flap, The VSS, Skin grafting

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Fournier’s gangrene is an infective necrotizing fasciitis of the perineal, genital and perianal regions. Treatment includes aggressive surgical debridement that often results in extensive loss of genital skin. Skin grafts may be used for reconstruction but skin grafting of the male genitalia is diffucult because the penis and scrotum are mobile and deformable. A variety of methods are used to secure skin graft to recipient beds. We used negative pressure therapy (NPT) to secure skin grafts and improve skin graft taking.

Concepts: Necrotizing fasciitis, Necrosis, Penis, Scrotum, Gangrene, Fournier gangrene, Sex organ, Skin grafting

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Skin grafts and free skin flaps are useful options for closure of wounds in which primary closure or use of traditional skin flaps is not feasible. Grafts are classified by their morphology and host-donor relationship. Free skin flaps with microvascular anastomoses are developed from previously described axial pattern flaps and have the added advantage of reestablishing robust vascular supply to the flap, but require specialized equipment and a high degree of technical expertise. Despite intensive perioperative care and the risk of graft or flap failure, skin grafts and free skin flaps can serve as rewarding methods of closing difficult wounds.

Concepts: Skin grafting

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Activated γδ T cells have been shown to accelerate allograft rejection. However, the precise role of skin-resident γδT cells and their subsets - Vγ5 (epidermis), Vγ1 and Vγ4 (dermis) - in skin graft rejection have not been identified. Here, using a male to female skin transplantation model, we demonstrated that Vγ4 T cells, rather than Vγ1 or Vγ5 T cells, accelerated skin graft rejection and that IL-17A was essential for Vγ4 T cell-mediated skin graft rejection. Moreover, we found that Vγ4 T cells were required for early IL-17A production in the transplanted area, both in skin grafts and in the host epidermis around grafts. Additionally, the chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 20 (CCL20)-chemokine receptor 6 (CCR6) pathway was essential for recruitment of Vγ4 T cells to the transplantation area, whereas both IL-1β and IL-23 induced IL-17A production from infiltrating cells. Lastly, Vγ4 T cell-derived IL-17A promoted the accumulation of mature dendritic cells in draining lymph nodes to subsequently regulate αβ T cell function after skin graft transplantation. Taken together, our data reveal that Vγ4 T cells accelerate skin graft rejection by providing an early source of IL-17A.

Concepts: Immune system, Lymph node, Skin, Organ transplant, Dendritic cell, Transplantation medicine, Epidermis, Skin grafting

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The skin graft is a prevalent reconstructive method for burn injuries. We have been applying external wire frame fixation methods in combination with skin grafts since 1986 and have experienced better outcomes in percentage of successful graft take. The overall purpose of this method was to further secure skin graft adherence to wound beds in hard to stabilize areas. There are also location-specific benefits to this technique such as eliminating the need of tarsorrhaphy in periorbital area, allowing immediate food intake after surgery in perioral area, and performing less invasive fixing methods in digits, and so on. The purpose of this study was to clarify its benefits and applicable locations. We reviewed 22 postburn patients with skin graft reconstructions using the external wire frame method at our institution from December 2012 through September 2016. Details of the surgical technique and individual reports are also discussed. Of the 22 cases, 15 (68%) were split-thickness skin grafts and 7 (32%) were full-thickness skin grafts. Five cases (23%) involved periorbital reconstruction, 5 (23%) involved perioral reconstruction, 2 (9%) involved lower limb reconstruction, and 10 (45%) involved digital reconstruction. Complete (100%) survival of the skin graft was attained in all cases. No signs of complication were observed. With 30 years of experiences all combined, we have summarized fail-proof recommendations to a successful graft survival with an emphasis on the locations of its application.

Concepts: Surgery, Injuries, Injury, Grafting, Plastic surgery, Transplantation medicine, Reconstructive surgery, Skin grafting

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We present five patients with vibrio necrotising fasciitis, a lethal and disabling disease. Among our patients, two had a history of exposure to either warm seawater or raw/live seafood, three had underlying chronic liver disease, and four presented with hypotension and fever. There were three deaths and four patients required intensive care unit stay. Among the survivors, one had high morbidity. Only one patient met the criteria of Laboratory Risk Indicator for Necrotizing Fasciitis score > 6. A clinician should suspect possible vibrio necrotising fasciitis if there is contact with fresh seafood/warm seawater, known history of chronic liver disease and pain out of proportion to cutaneous signs. All patients must be managed via intensive care in the high-dependency units. We recommend a two-step surgical protocol for patient management that involves an initial local debridement followed by a second stage radical debridement and skin grafting.

Concepts: Death, Medical terms, Hospital, Skin, Necrotizing fasciitis, Necrosis, Gangrene, Skin grafting

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Split thickness skin grafting is a commonly used technique in burn surgery for resurfacing wounds that are unlikely to heal without scarring. Meshing and expanding skin grafts allow for reconstruction of larger wounds with smaller donor sites.

Concepts: Scar, Wound healing, Surgery, Grafting, Plastic surgery, Transplantation medicine, Skin grafting