HOME ABOUT CONTACT AVAILABLE ISSUES SUBSCRIBE MEDIA & ADS CONFERENCE CALENDAR
LATEST UPDATES » Volume 20, Volume 2, February 2016 Biomedical Research Governance       » Tissue banking in Singapore — An Evolving Enterprise       » China Recognizes Prominent Scientists and Stresses on Innovation       » NUS Researchers Uncover Potent Parasite-killing Mechanism of Nobel Prize-Winning Anti-Malarial Drug       » A New Water Robot "Born" to Detect Water Quality       » Probing the Mystery of How Cancer Cells Die       » Researchers Find Link between Processed Foods and Autoimmune Diseases       » Unravelling the Genetics of Pregnancy and Heart Failure      
EYE ON CHINA
Innovative technique creates large skin flaps for full-face resurfacing
Patients with massive burns causing complete loss of the facial skin pose a difficult challenge for reconstructive surgeons. A group of surgeons in China have developed an innovative technique for creating a one-piece skin flap large enough to perform full-face resurfacing.

Dr. QingFeng Li and colleagues of Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine describe their approach to creating "monoblock" flaps for use in extensive face skin resurfacing. In their successful experience with five severely disfigured patients, the full-face tissue flap "provides universally matched skin and near-normal facial contour."

New technique grows one-piece skin flaps for full-face resurfacing

Complete destruction of the facial skin and underlying (subcutaneous) tissues presents "the most challenging dilemma" in facial reconstructive surgery. Multiple skin flaps and grafts are needed to provide complete coverage, creating a "patchwork" appearance. Standard skin grafts are also too bulky to provide good reconstruction of the delicate features and expressive movement of the normal facial skin.

To meet these challenges, Dr. Li and colleagues have developed a new technique for creating a single, large skin flap appropriate for use in full-face resurfacing. Their approach starts with "prefabrication" of a flap of the patient's own skin, harvested from another part of the body. The skin flap, along with its carefully preserved blood supply, is allowed to grow for some weeks in a "pocket" created under the patient's skin of the patient's upper chest.

Tissue expanders — balloon-like devices gradually filled with saline solution — are used to enlarge the skin flap over time. While skin expansion is a standard technique for creation of skin flaps, Dr. Li and his team used an "overexpansion" approach to create very large flaps of relatively thin skin — ideal for use in the facial area. In some cases, when the skin flap was growing too thin, stem cells derived from the patients' own bone marrow were used as an aid to tissue expansion.

Using this technique, Dr. Li and colleagues were able to create very large skin flaps — up to 30 X 30 cm — for use in full-face resurfacing. They used this prefabrication/overexpansion technique in five patients with complete loss of the facial skin, caused by flame or chemical burns. All patients had previously undergone facial reconstruction, but were left with severe deformity and limited facial movement.

The "monoblock" allowed the surgeons to perform complete facial resurfacing using a single flap of the patient's own skin. The large flap size avoided problems with a "patchwork" appearance, while the thin flap width was well-suited for reconstruction of the facial features.

Multiple surgeries were needed to refine the results and to manage complications. However, all five patients eventually achieved a more normal appearance and better functioning — including improved emotional expression.

The researchers emphasize that their patients with massive facial burns, while severely disfigured, differ from those with deeper tissue destruction who are candidates for face transplantation. Patients being considered for face transplantation have destruction not only of the skin and subcutaneous tissues, but also of the underlying facial muscles and organs of the head and neck.

Dr. Li and coauthors believe their technique, although complex, provides a valuable new approach to reconstruction for patients with complete destruction of the facial skin. They conclude, "It is a reliable and an excellent reconstructive option for massive facial skin defects."

Click here for the complete issue.

NEWS CRUNCH  
news EmTech Asia Opens: Features 50 speakers on innovation and emerging technologies
news Russia's only project to supply local high-tech anti-cancer drugs abroad continues with the first shipment to Vietnam
news Wheat Genome Sequencing Gets Major Boost
PR NEWSWIRE  
Asia Pacific Biotech News
EDITORS' CHOICE  

Primates in Biomedical Research
COLUMNS  
\
APBN Editorial Calendar 2016
January:
Guest Editorial - Biotechnology In Korea
February:
Guest Editorial - Biomedical Research Governance
March:
Guest Editorial - Life-Saving Opportunities: A Guide to Regenerative Medicine
April:
Cancerology / Oncology
May:
Guest Editorial - Antibody Informatics In Japan
June:
Medical Devices and Technology
July:
Water Technology
August:
Occupational Health
September:
Olympics: Evolution of Sports
October:
Respiratory: Seasonal flu viruses
November:
Tobacco Smoking
Editorial calendar is subjected to changes.
– Editor: Carmen, Jia Wen Loh
MAGAZINE TAGS
About Us
Events
Available issues
Editorial Board
Letters to Editor
Instructions to Authors
Advertise with Us
CONTACT
World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd.
5 Toh Tuck Link, Singapore 596224
Tel: 65-6466-5775
Fax: 65-6467-7667
» Editorial Enquiries: biotech_edit@wspc.com
» For Subscriptions, Advertisements &
   Media Partnerships Enquiries:
   Ms PoPo Kwok or Ms Sok Ching Lim/td>
Copyright© 2015 World Scientific Publishing Co Pte Ltd  •  Privacy Policy