When a large area of skin needs to be removed (eg for radical cancer surgery) or has been lost due to trauma (eg a car accident), or after severe infections (dog and cat bite abscesses),the skin sometimes cannot simply be closed. The amount of lost skin is just too great.
To surgically deal with these cases, plastic surgery techniques are used. “Plastic”, in this sense, means to re-shape or sculpt, and also the ‘art’ of modelling skin. The “H “ Plasty is the most commonly used in veterinary surgery.
See below for "H" Plasty illustration.
The “H “ Plasty is used principally for closing large round surgery sites/wounds. Half “H “ Plasty surgeries are also employed where one side of the surgery is in a region where there is little spare or loose skin.
The “H” Plasty converts a round hole into a rectangular or square (straight sided) area, such that the straight edges of the longer sides can be brought together and sutured. This causes the two opposite sides to become floppy and loose, causing a “dog-eared” effect at the four ends of the “H”.
These dog-ears are then also removed by cutting triangular shaped incisions around the floppy/loose skin of the dog-ears, and stitching thes resulting edges together. The final result actually ends up with an “H” with little angled sutured points on the tip of all four tips of the “H”.
The “H” Plasty results in:
- Greatly reduced tension on the skin sutures,
- More even tightness of the pet’s skin,
- MUCH less chance of the sutures pulling apart or the surgery wound breaking down,
- MUCH less chance of areas of skin under high tension losing its blood supply, this skin dying, and the wound disintegrating (DISASTER!)
- Reduced PAIN and distress in the patient
- A MUCH better cosmetic result
We have been performing advanced surgery on Adelaide's western suburbs pets, including from Fulham Gardens, Henley Beach, Grange, Fulham, Lockleys, Seaton, Royal Park, Underdale, Torrensville, Brooklyn Park, Woodville Gardens, Allenby Gardens, Welland, Beverley, Kidman Park, Flinders Park, West Croydon, Woodville, Royal Park, Hendon, Mile End, Thebarton, Westlakes, West Beach, Findon, Tennyson and Fullham Gardens.