3 reconstruction techniques to close problem wounds - Veterinary Medicine
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3 reconstruction techniques to close problem wounds


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Figure 2B. The dorsal nasal area of the dog in Figure 2A after punch grafts have been placed in pockets.
I have used the punch grafts in pockets technique in such wounds as an axillary wound in a dog and a wound over the nasal bones of a dog (Figures 2A-2C). The granulation tissue pockets hold the grafts in place as they revascularize and heal. The pockets regress as the grafts heal in place, and epithelium spreads from the grafts to provide further wound coverage.

Figure 2C. The dorsal nasal area of the dog in Figures 2A & 2B after the punch grafts have healed.
Because the granulation tissue of the pocket is the bandage for the grafts, it is necessary to have a restraint, such as an Elizabethan collar, to prevent wound molestation as the grafts heal. If a scab forms over the grafted wound, it should not be disturbed; it serves as a bandage. Remember, although wound closure is provided, the cosmetic appearance of the wound will not be as good as with other forms of reconstruction.

Steven F. Swaim, DVM, MS, professor­ emeritus, College of Veterinary Medicine­, Auburn University, AL 36849.


1. Scardino MS, Swaim SF, Henderson RA, et al. Enhancing wound closure on the limbs. Compend Contin Educ Pract Vet 1996;18:919-933.

2. Swaim SF. Skin grafts. In: Slatter DH, ed. Textbook of small animal surgery. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: WB Saunders, 2003;321-338.

3. Pavletic MM. Atlas of small animal reconstructive surgery. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: WB Saunders, 1999.


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