The Humeca skin stretcher was developed to excise larger burn scars in a one-step procedure. Despite many developments and improvements in burn wound treatment, burn scars frequently remain with a poor functional and cosmetic outcome. Although many reconstructive techniques have been described to improve burn scars, scar excision followed by direct wound closure probably gives the best outcome, because it results in a smaller scar. Closing a large skin defect after burn scar excision can be difficult and therefore large burn scar excision is often performed in a multiple-step procedure (serial excision). The Humeca skin stretcher was developed to excise larger burn scars in a one-step procedure. This instrument was developed in close cooperation with surgeons from the Red Cross Hospital, Beverwijk, The Netherlands.
The video below shows a case of skin stretching to reduce the surface of a burn scar on the forearm of a male patient at the Red Cross Hospital in Beverwijk, The Netherlands.
Main Parts of the Skin Stretcher
The main parts of the skin stretcher are shown below. 1. Intradermal needles 2. Hook-needle arm 3. Hook-needle arm holder 4. Stretch force adjustment knob 5. Stretch force reading scale 6. Lock-unlock switch 7. End cap 8. Stainless steel thread shaft
Reference is made to the following literature:
1) Verhaegen PDHM, van Trier AJM, Jongen SJM, Nieuwenhuis MK, Middelkoop E, Van Zuijlen PPM — Efficacy of skin stretching for burn scar excision: a multicenter randomized controlled trial – Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 2011, vol 127: 1958-1966. 2) Verhaegen PDHM, van der Wal MBA, Bloemen MCT, Dokter J, Melis P, Middelkoop E, van Zuijlen PPM, — Sustainable effect of skin stretching for burn scar excision: Long term results of a multicenter randomized controlled trial – Burns 2011, vol 37: 1222-1228. 3) Melis P, Noorlander ML, Bos KE, Tension decrease during skin stretching in undermined versus not undermined skin: An experimental study in piglets – Plast. Reconst. Surg. 2001, vol. 107: 1201-1205; discussion 1206-1207. 4) Melis P, Noorlander ML, van der Kleij AJ, van Noorden CJ, van der Horst CM — Oxygenation and microcirculation during skin stretching in undermined and nonundermined skin – Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 2003, vol 112: 1295-1301. 5) Nordstrom RE – Stretch-back in scalp reductions for male pattern baldness – Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 1984, vol. 3: 422-426. 6) Sommerlad BC, Creasey JM – The stretched scar: a clinical and histological study – British J. Plast. Surg. 1978, vol. 1: 34-45.