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Skin Grafts

Post by espíritu del lago on Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:27 am

A friend of mine received 2nd degree burns on his legs. He is not diabetic, he has read on the internet about the procedure, but wanted to know if anyone can tell their experiences. Most of the info received was just links and general info, no first hand experiences.

The difference between 2nd and 3rd degree burns is that in 3 degree there is nerve damage, so not so much pain. The area effected is his shins. He does have circulatory issues, so blood flow is not as good as it should be. From what I understand that could be an issue.

Anyone who has experience with this we would appreciate some firsthand reports!

Thanks in advance.
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Re: Skin Grafts

Post by ferret on Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:33 pm

Where will the skin grafts be done?...and how long will he be in the hospital in a sterile environment?
IMHO, this may be dicey with impaired circulation but it's even more dicey, with impaired circulation, if he doesn't have it done.
My hubby, who is also not a diabetic but has impaired circulation, had a huge deep ulcer on his ankle for 18 months. It would not heal and constantly got infected with various bacteria even being VERY careful. I finally called the Surgeon in Queretaro who did his femoral artery bypasses and asked for options. He stated that, until the exterior veins with the crappy valves were removed, the ulcer would not heal. If they were removed, it would heal in three months. He was totally correct...and I have pictures detailing the healing.
I do not know the condition of your friend's circulation...but it may very well affect the healing process.
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Re: Skin Grafts

Post by espíritu del lago on Fri Mar 15, 2013 4:30 pm

It is on the shins.. His feet and legs are always cold. They are waiting for medicare approval.
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Re: Skin Grafts

Post by ferret on Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:09 pm

I wish him the very best and hope that it turns out well.
I was just trying to point out that the circulation problem and/or its causes may need to be addressed first or the grafts may not take.
Hubby had huge gnarly exterior varicose veins...and cold legs and feet. Hardly had a pulse in his feet at all. He now has pink, warm legs and feet along with a pale blue road map of brand new veins that have developed. Ulcer is totally healed but with a large white scar in its place.
Good circulation is a requirement for the healing process. Your friend needs to find out what's affecting his.
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Re: Skin Grafts

Post by espíritu del lago on Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:18 pm

Its his heart. Thank you.
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Re: Skin Grafts

Post by kipissippi on Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:50 pm

They were showing some kind of oxygen chamber that speeded up healing.... wish I'd paid more attention. I'll see if I can find it. Seems like it would really be a help.... if what I remember is correct that is!!
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Re: Skin Grafts

Post by ferret on Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:55 pm

Do you think you might have said that in the initial post? His Cardiologist would be the best one to answer his questions and address his concerns about the chances of the graft working.
Hubby has a very well functioning heart...for him, it's the veins and arteries that are crap and affect his circulation.

Kippy...it's called a Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber. We tried that too, in PV.
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Re: Skin Grafts

Post by espíritu del lago on Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:29 pm

Well, he just found out Thursday. You know how slow the American medical system works. I just hoped someone had had this procedure and could shed some light. I appreciate what you have shared. Ill send him over to check out the post. Thanks, Ferret.
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Re: Skin Grafts

Post by Dr. Sam Thelin on Sat Mar 16, 2013 4:35 pm

espíritu del lago wrote:A friend of mine received 2nd degree burns on his legs. He is not diabetic, he has read on the internet about the procedure, but wanted to know if anyone can tell their experiences. Most of the info received was just links and general info, no first hand experiences.

The difference between 2nd and 3rd degree burns is that in 3 degree there is nerve damage, so not so much pain. The area effected is his shins. He does have circulatory issues, so blood flow is not as good as it should be. From what I understand that could be an issue.

Anyone who has experience with this we would appreciate some firsthand reports!

Thanks in advance.

My first question is why does he need the grafts. The shins are not a flexible area, so scar tissue will not cause a problem with movement unless it is pulling on the skin covering the back. It is also not a huge % of the body. Is it just to make the area heal faster?

I have seen it work with patients even up to 90 years of age with less than perfect circulation. However, it will need attention every day for a while, then every other day or every 3rd day for months (the last patient I saw required 4 months of regular attention afterward). However, this is the same care needed for grafted or ungrafted injuries.

If you are asking how it is done, they will likely take skin from the thigh area. Then either cover the area, or put pieces on it (like pepperoni on a pizza) so they can fuse together (heal the burned area faster).

Is the question to do it or not to do it (let it just heal by scar tissue)? Is he wondering if it will just be a waste of money if he does it? What does he specifially want to know?

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Re: Skin Grafts

Post by kipissippi on Sat Mar 16, 2013 5:01 pm

ferret wrote:Do you think you might have said that in the initial post? His Cardiologist would be the best one to answer his questions and address his concerns about the chances of the graft working.
Hubby has a very well functioning heart...for him, it's the veins and arteries that are crap and affect his circulation.

Kippy...it's called a Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber. We tried that too, in PV.

That's it! Thank you!! So..... how did it work for you?
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Re: Skin Grafts

Post by Pedro on Sat Mar 16, 2013 5:16 pm

Dr. Sam Thelin wrote:
espíritu del lago wrote:A friend of mine received 2nd degree burns on his legs. He is not diabetic, he has read on the internet about the procedure, but wanted to know if anyone can tell their experiences. Most of the info received was just links and general info, no first hand experiences.

The difference between 2nd and 3rd degree burns is that in 3 degree there is nerve damage, so not so much pain. The area effected is his shins. He does have circulatory issues, so blood flow is not as good as it should be. From what I understand that could be an issue.

Anyone who has experience with this we would appreciate some firsthand reports!

Thanks in advance.

My first question is why does he need the grafts. The shins are not a flexible area, so scar tissue will not cause a problem with movement unless it is pulling on the skin covering the back. It is also not a huge % of the body. Is it just to make the area heal faster?

I have seen it work with patients even up to 90 years of age with less than perfect circulation. However, it will need attention every day for a while, then every other day or every 3rd day for months (the last patient I saw required 4 months of regular attention afterward). However, this is the same care needed for grafted or ungrafted injuries.

If you are asking how it is done, they will likely take skin from the thigh area. Then either cover the area, or put pieces on it (like pepperoni on a pizza) so they can fuse together (heal the burned area faster).

Is the question to do it or not to do it (let it just heal by scar tissue)? Is he wondering if it will just be a waste of money if he does it? What does he specifially want to know?
your answer makes a lot of sense,doc sam. my shins are scarred all to hell but i never considered a skin graft because there ain't no flesh underneath
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Re: Skin Grafts

Post by ferret on Sat Mar 16, 2013 10:06 pm

Kippy,
It was Hubby who went through it once a week for two months. We hoped it would help to heal the ulcer on the inside of his ankle...not much flesh over bone. Unfortunately, it didn't help at all. I understood the concept of super oxygenated blood and its healing properties...it just didn't work for him.

Espiritu...do a google search "Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber + burns"...it may be of interest.
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Re: Skin Grafts

Post by ferret on Sat Mar 16, 2013 10:58 pm

Espiritu...I finally found the link that I was reading late last night...shoulda bookmarked it.
http://qjmed.oxfordjournals.org/content/97/7/385.2.long

It's all very interesting but you may want to scroll down until you come to "Thermal Burns".
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Re: Skin Grafts

Post by espíritu del lago on Sun Mar 17, 2013 4:26 am

Sam, thank you....

Is it just to make the area heal faster?

I was not with him, and I assume that is the reason. I will have him ask the Doc Thrus.

Is the question to do it or not to do it (let it just heal by scar tissue)? Is he wondering if it will just be a waste of money if he does it? What does he specifially want to know?

Yes that is what we were discussing. Money is not an issue covered by 1,st medicare, maybe??? If not it will be covered by Tri-care.

Basically, he wants to keep the risk of infection to a minimum! Graft would be another source for infection, however if the graft would be a better option, then so be it.
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Re: Skin Grafts

Post by espíritu del lago on Sun Mar 17, 2013 4:28 am

Thank you Ferret!
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Re: Skin Grafts

Post by ferret on Sun Mar 17, 2013 7:44 am

espíritu del lago wrote:Thank you Ferret!

You're welcome but it was Kippy that got the ball rolling and jogged my memory.
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