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Reconstructive surgeons often use a
dermal expander where they need to
obtain large amounts of skin for a graft
(eg for a facial burns victim). The
expander is basically a balloon which is
placed under healthy skin (for instance
the back or chest) and inflated with
period of weeks. The skin
and grows as the balloon inflates. When
it's ready, the surgeon removes the
balloon and surplus skin (which is used
a graft), and closes the hole where the
This has been found to work much better
- where large areas of full-thickness skin
are needed - than the alternative of
piecing together multiple smaller grafts
taken from many parts of the body.
However, even a large graft from a
expander must be cut and stitched to fit
the contours of the face, rather like
making a mask out of paper.
Buchanan Medical and Bookbinding, Inc
wholly-owned subsidiary of Buchanan
Health Care) introduces the Whole Face
The WFDE starts out as a mask of semi-
rigid silicone rubber, shaped to resemble
the burn-victim's original face as closely
as possible. A second layer of thinner
silicone is attached to the back of the
mask, forming a sort of balloon-with-a-
This structure is inserted under the skin
on the back (or chest) - if necessary, a
previous normal dermal expander can be
used to make room for it. Then, over a
few weeks, the balloon is inflated,
stretching the skin over the "face" and
lifting the "face" away from the body.
Finally, the newly-formed face is
like any normal dermal expansion, and
wound is closed. The mask-shaped skin
graft is now ideally shaped for the basis
||The issue with massive facial skin grafts is the loss of expression due to the fact that connective tissue no longer attaches the surface of the face to the underlying muscles. This lends the patient a frightening plastic appearance. Replacing all the skin on the face at the same time would amplify this effect. Doing one area at a time, chin, nose, etc. would make more sense. It's a good idea.
||Excellent idea. The curvature of the buttock should facilitate this perfectly.
||Last time I checked we were growing faces on the backs of rats which is hardly ideal, so a bun from me.
||Great idea, with horror-movie potential.
Perhaps you could structure the inside of the balloon with an architecture of selectively inflatable cells. These could emulate facial movements, thus toning the skin for stretchability and flex in certain areas (ie around the jaw), whilst also providing a great way to break the ice at parties, in the interim. *singing* 'I've got you...under my skin'.
||//toning the skin for stretchability// That
is a brilliant idea! I'm not sure how
growing skin responds to flexing, but
you'd expect this to work.
||I am *very* pleased that this is not, as I assumed from the title, an attempt at growing human bloodhounds.