An External Wire Frame Fixation Method of Skin Grafting for Burn Reconstruction

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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,1 allowing immediate food intake after surgery in perioral area,2 and performing less invasive fixing methods in digits,3 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.

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