Background: Although escharectomy and full-thickness skin autografting have been widely used to treat deep facial burns, the clinical outcomes remain unacceptable. Composite razor-thin skin grafting over acellular dermal matrix scaffold has been used successfully in repairing burns of the trunk and limbs, but its use in covering deep facial burns has rarely been reported. In this study, the authors investigated the clinical outcomes of early escharectomy and concurrent composite razor-thin skin autografting and acellular dermal matrix scaffold for treating deep facial burns.
Methods: Patients with deep facial burns (n = 16) involving 8 to 30 percent of the total body surface area received early escharectomy by postburn day 3 and concurrent, one-stage, large, razor-thin skin autografting on top of human acellular dermal matrix scaffold. Wound dressings were changed on postoperative days 7, 9, and 12 to examine the survival of skin autografts. Patients were followed up for 12 months to evaluate their facial profiles.
Results: The take rate of composite skin autografts was 97.3 percent at postoperative day 12. At the follow-up visit, the skin autografts appeared normal in color, with soft texture and good elasticity. The skin junctures showed little scarring. The patients exhibited a chubby facial appearance and abundant expression, except for one patient with microstomia and two patients with ectropion who required further plastic surgical interventions.
Conclusion: Early escharectomy and concurrent composite razor-thin skin autografting on top of acellular dermal matrix scaffold constitute an effective and favorable option for covering deep facial burns, especially for patients with limited donor sites.