"Minimally Invasive" Skin Grafting with Enzymatic Debridement and Autologous Skin Cell Suspension: A Retrospective Case Series

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Annals of Burns and Fire Disasters


Minimally invasive surgery is becoming the standard of care across surgical subspecialties. Several new “minimally invasive” options for burn debridement and autografting exist. Enzymatic bromelain-based debridement (BBD) and autologous skin cell spray (ASCS) have independently proven to reduce the rate of split-thickness skin grafting (STSG) and decrease donor site size when grafting is performed. There is a paucity in the literature regarding the combination of these two therapies. The purpose of this study is to characterize a cohort of patients treated with both BBD and ASCS and qualitatively compare data to expected outcomes without these therapies. This retrospective study of a single academic burn center’s experience using BBD and ASCS together included 13 patients with a total burn surface area (TBSA) from 1-30% and all had >50% deep partial thickness. All patients received BBD and ASCS. Deeper burns additionally received STSG with ASCS overspray. Median burn size was 14% TBSA (IQR:5.45,20), donor site size was 225 sq cm (IQR:28.5,556.5), and ratio of donor site area to total treatment area of 0.082 (IQR: 0.039, 0.241) was observed. Median observed length of stay (LOS) was 19 days (IQR:10,27), expected LOS was 15.4 days, and O/E ratio 1.06. Donor sites in both groups of patients were much smaller than expected versus treatment with conventional meshed STSG alone and length of stay is lower than expected based on burn size. An emphasis on expenses and scar development will guide future studies into the patient subset and wound features that are best for this combination treatment.

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