Though all surgeons close wounds, there are times when the special skill of a plastic surgeon is needed. Their expertise can improve healing and reduce scarring when a wound is large, jagged or cannot be covered with the skin currently at the site. Each surgery is unique, and your doctor will talk with you about what type of wound closure option is best in your particular case.
While basic suturing techniques continue to be essential, surgeons today have a wide range of materials available, including:
Absorbable sutures Adhesives Synthetic sutures Tape
+ Skin grafts
Using a graft of healthy skin from another part of the body, doctors are able to cover and close wounds where there is a lack of adjacent skin to use.
+ Tissue expansion
This technique allows plastic surgeons to stretch the skin and underlying tissue. First, a balloon is inserted under the skin. Then, over time, the balloon is filled with water. The process stretches the skin and soon there is enough excess to close the wound. The method is most often used in breast reconstructions, but can be useful in most parts of the body.
During this intricate procedure, surgeons move skin, muscle and/or bone from one part of the body to another area. The flap may be kept alive with its own blood vessels or blood vessels from this flap are reattached to vessels in the new location using microsurgery. Flaps are frequently used to treat cancer and trauma patients.