Soft tissue reconstruction is a cosmetic surgical procedure which uses several techniques to repair, treat and correct damaged soft tissues, including skin, underlying ligaments and often supporting connective tissues
Soft tissue reconstruction is required to cover a wound from injury or surgery mainly. This is an ideal way to correct aesthetic deformity caused by an injury, burn or a scar resulting from it. Soft tissue reconstruction can be a simple process or it can be an extensive and complicated surgical procedure, depending on the location and the type of reconstructive technique being used.
How is Soft Tissue Reconstruction performed?
Soft tissue reconstruction is used to define several different aesthetic surgery techniques that are devised to cover the scar from an injury, burn or from incision wounds.
There are several different techniques that are used to perform a soft tissue reconstruction procedure:
Grafts – Skin grafts are the prime materials used for reconstruction of the upper layers of the skin which has been damaged by an injury, burn or bears a scar from an incision wound. The skin graft can be taken as split-thickness and full-thickness skin grafts. Skin grafts are harvested (sourced) from the patient’s body. The grafted skin is used for effectively covering the damaged skin.
Once the skin graft is in place, the cosmetic surgeon will apply a pressure bandage to the site for enabling ideal integration of the grafted skin.
Skin flaps – Although skin grafts are simpler to use, at times, the extent of the wound may require a skin flap to be implanted. These provide better aesthetic and functional results as compared to skin grafts.
Skin flap contains blood vessels that are connected to the blood vessels at the recipient site. This procedure is often combined with bone grafts, tendon grafts or internal fixation procedures.
Microsurgical reconstruction – This requires the surgeon to harvest extensive skin flaps and fix them perfectly in order to achieve ideal functional reconstruction of complex damage.
How is Soft Tissue Reconstruction helpful?
Soft tissue reconstruction is used in various situations. This is a completely cosmetic surgical procedure and is mainly aimed to improve the appearance of the skin after an injury, infection or another scarring.
When is Soft Tissue Reconstruction used?
Soft tissue reconstruction is used after mainly an injury from an auto accident, severe sports injury damaging skin as well as burn injuries and for treating scars resulting from incision wounds after a surgery.
There are various applications for soft tissue reconstruction, such as:
- Breast reconstruction post mastectomy – Soft tissue reconstruction technique is used to efficiently regain the lost volume in breast after a mastectomy for breast cancer.
- Facial reconstruction post accident/cancer – Soft tissue reconstruction techniques are extensively used to provide aesthetic relief to patients following an extensive head and neck cancer treatment that leaves visible scarring on the facial region.
- Scar treatment – Soft tissue reconstruction is most often required in treatment of scars. Scars are of various types and can result due to an accident, injury, trauma, burn or improper healing of wounds.
- Facial rejuvenation – Soft tissue reconstruction is often used in facial rejuvenation procedures. This technique can effectively help improve the appearance of the face by tightening the skin through reconstructing the damage of ageing at a microscopic level.
Soft tissue reconstruction is one of the most commonly performed aesthetic repair treatment procedures. This is an effective way to recover from severe and unwanted scarring.