Wound Care

Our physicians include wound care among the reconstructive procedures they offer. Several different procedures can help repair wounds and trauma to the tissues.

Who is a candidate for wound care?

Patients with wounds that are wide or difficult to close are often candidates for wound care with a plastic surgeon. In deciding how to treat a wound, a plastic surgeon must carefully assess its size, severity, and features:
  • Is skin missing?
  • Have nerves or muscles been damaged?
  • Has skeletal support been affected?
As you and your plastic surgeon form your surgical plan, it's important to have a clear understanding of what will happen during the procedure. Asking questions is key to making an informed decision.

What types of wound care are performed?

Depending on several factors, your plastic surgeon may take different routes when repairing your wound. Your procedure will be individualized to create an aesthetically pleasing result.

If your wound is wide or difficult to close, a skin graft may be used to treat the wound. A skin graft uses tissue and skin from a donor site elsewhere on your body.

If your wound is a burn, a split-thickness graft may be used. In this procedure, only surface levels of skin will be grafted. The donor site will depend on the color of the skin. It is important to note the skin may grow back lighter in color.

Similar to a split-thickness graft, a full-thickness graft uses a deeper graft of skin to treat large or deep burns to improve skin elasticity and movement. A thin scar may form at the donor site.

If the wound to be repaired needs underlying support, as in the case of skin cancer on the nose, a composite graft will be performed. This technique utilizes grafts of skin, fat and sometimes cartilage. A thin scar will form at the donor site, but will fade over time.

Tissue expansion techniques may be performed when the tissue around the wound is insufficient to close it. In this procedure, a small balloon-like expander is placed under the skin and gradually filled with saline, stretching the skin.

If your wound is severe, flap surgery or microsurgery may be performed. In this procedure, your plastic surgeon will use living tissue and possibly bone to repair the wound. This procedure is more extensive and will require a longer surgery and recovery time.

Learn more about wound care in Kansas City

Do you have questions about wound care? If so, please set up a consultation to learn how the skills of our plastic surgery team can be used to treat your wound. Contact our office for more details on reconstructive surgery and wound care.