New skin graft op is revolutionary
A WOMAN from Uxbridge was among the first people to benefit from a revolutionary skin grafting technique that could reduce the number of patients undergoing invasive surgery.
When an aluminium ladder fell on Gillian Mayer’s leg she had no idea about the depth of the wound. Though painful, there was little blood so she cleaned it and put on a dressing.
But nearly three weeks later, the wound was not healing. During an appointment at the plastic surgery clinic at Mount Vernon Hospital in Rickmansworth Road, Northwood, where Mrs Mayer is being treated for skin cancer, her doctor referred her for pioneering CelluTome treatment at the Royal Free Hospital in London.
A traditional skin graft involves surgically removing healthy skin from a donor site elsewhere on the body before applying it to the affected area, usually while the patient is under general anaesthesia. But a CelluTome procedure uses a combination of suction and warmth to remove a surface of healthy skin before applying it to the wound site and can be carried out in an out-patient clinic in just an hour.
Instead of a wound patients are left with a patch of red skin which heals within two to four weeks. “I could only feel a slight pin pricking,” Mrs Mayer, 62, said. “The heat from the machine was not uncomfortable at all.”
n TECHNIQUE: Gillian Mayer from Uxbridge and her surgical team at the Royal Free Hospital after her pioneering CelluTome skin graft procedure Contributed