Why Does Your Pet Need Wound Closure with Stretching Device?

Do you know that animals' and humans' skin have non-homogenous viscoelastic tissue that combines elastic solids and viscous fluid?

However, every animal has a different level of inherent elasticity present in the skin. Also, it depends on the kind of body's region which has the wound. Moreover, the elasticity highly depends on the pathologic conditions affected by the tissues and age of the animal. Therefore, the skin-stretching devices are made for wound closure, and they aid in attaching the skin's viscoelastic properties.

Methods To Check The Inherent Skin Extensibility:

The inherent skin extensibility can be assessed by grasping and lifting the skin between the index finger and thumb.

  • Mechanical Creep

It is a biomechanical property that includes collagen fibers to align over time. This method allows further skin extension and enhances the inherent extensibility.

  • Stress Relaxation

There is progressive reduction required for stress relaxation to stretch the skin's length. For instance, mechanical creep and stress relaxation are achievable with the consistent application of load on the skin and intermitting the skin with a relaxation period.

  • Biological Creep

The biological creep is recognized by increasing the skin surface, and it will slowly expand due to the subcutaneous forces applied to the tissues. Thus, the progressive enlargement of the enlarged tumours, obesity, and gravity uterus are common examples of this phenomenon.

The surgical attempts for skin stretching include assisting in the closure of wounds and relying on mobilisation to take advantage of the skin's inherent extensibility, stress relaxation, and mechanical creep.

Pre-suturing, load cycling with skin hooks, tissue expanders, and c-clamp skin stretching devices are examples that benefit from the biomechanical properties of the animals' skin.

Every technique used for wound closure has limitations and advantages in clinical patients. Another common drawback of the device includes a flexible degree. In addition, the stretching device requires an insertion beneath or into the skin to exert the mechanical effect. The non-invasive device will be applied with adjustable tension on the skin distant and nearby the surgical region.

The device is named a skin stretcher, which will enable the surgeon to gradually increase the skin's tension and accommodate for loading the stress relaxation and mechanical creep.

Uses Of Skin Stretchers:

The skin stretchers are made for mobilizing and stretching the skin for facilitating wound closure.

  • Pre-stitching the skin before elective surgery, such as skin tumor removal.
  • Stretching skin while opening the wound and preparing the wound for closure with a stretching device.
  •  Application of the incisional tension after the surgery

Application And Skin Preparation

The skin preparation will include the following steps before applying the skin pad:

  1. First of all, clip the animal's fur from the region, including applying a skin pad.
  2. Now gently clean the skin with soap or use isopropyl alcohol.
  3. The skin should be dry enough for applying the skin pad.
  4. The pads are generally placed with the measurement of 10 to 20 cm from the surgical area. Nevertheless, apply multiple skin pads present in several locations, whether it is near or distant from the surgical site.
  5. The placement of pads is possible in pairs or at the opposing areas in the surgical area.

Procedure For Applying Skin Pads:

  1. To remove the adhesive surface, peel off the backing.
  2. For enhancing the skin adhesion, apply some drops of cyanoacrylate adhesive for contact on the surface. Now uniformly spread glue and immediately apply the pad to the skin.
  3. It is crucial to apply the pad perpendicularly to the surgical site.
  4. Now compress the pad on the skin for a few seconds.
  5. The remaining skin pads should be applied in the same style.

Procedure For Attaching The Elastic Cables To Skin Pads:

After the pad application, the cables will be attached to the skin pads in the following style:

  1. You need to place an anchor on the one end of the cable to the one pad.
  2. Now stretch the elastic cable on the paired pad, and it should be on the opposite surgical site. Again, put a small amount of tension.
  3. Cut the elastic cable from the provided coil.
  4. Repeat one to three steps with the left-over pads.
  5. A medical dressing will be placed on the surgical area to protect the surgical site from cable irritation.

Procedure For Adjusting The Elastic Cables After The Application:

  1. When the skin relaxes or stretches, the cable tension will be enhanced by separating the cable from one pad. The reapplication will ensure maximum uniform tension and optimize the skin stretching.
  2. The cable tension requires adjustment every 6 to 8 hours.
  3. The skin stretching is performed for 1 to 5 days per the adjustment required for mobilization. Mostly, the skin stretchers are utilized for 72 hours.

What is the cost of wounder closure with a stretching device?

The fee for wound closure with a stretching device is $2,600.00 approximately.