What is the difference between hypertrophic scars (HTS) and keloids?
Hypertrophic scars (HTS) and keloids represent an overabundance of fibroplasia in the dermal healing process. HTS rise above the skin level but stay within the confines of the original wound and often regress over time. Keloids rise above the skin level as well, but extend beyond the border of the original wound and rarely regress spontaneously (Fig. below). Both HTS and keloids occur after trauma to the skin, and may be tender, pruritic, and cause a burning sensation. Keloids are 15 times more common in darker-pigmented ethnicities, with individuals of African, Spanish, and Asian ethnicities being especially susceptible. Men and women are equally affected. Genetically, the predilection to keloid formation appears to be autosomal dominant with incomplete penetration and variable expression.
Recurrent keloid on the neck of a 17-year-old patient that had been revised several times.
The treatment of choice for keloids is:
Excision alone of keloids is subject to a high recurrence rate, ranging from 45 to 100%. There are fewer recurrences when surgical excision is combined with other modalities such as intralesional corticosteroid injection, topical application of silicone sheets, or the use of radiation or pressure. Surgery is recommended for debulking large lesions or as second-line therapy when other modalities have failed. Silicone application is relatively painless and should be maintained for 24 hours a day for about 3 months to prevent rebound hypertrophy. It may be secured with tape or worn beneath a pressure garment. The mechanism of action is not understood, but increased hydration of the skin, which decreases capillary activity, inflammation, hyperemia, and collagen deposition, may be involved. Silicone is more effective than other occlusive dressings and is an especially good treatment for children and others who cannot tolerate the pain involved in other modalities.
What is FALSE about peritoneal adhesions?
Peritoneal adhesions are fibrous bands of tissues formed between organs that are normally separated and/or between organs and the internal body wall. Most intra-abdominal adhesions are a result of peritoneal injury, either by a prior surgical procedure or due to intra-abdominal infection. Postmortem examinations demonstrate adhesions in 67% of patients with prior surgical procedures and in 28% with a history of intra-abdominal infection. Intra -abdominal adhesions are the most common cause ( 65-75%) of small bowel obstruction, especially in the ileum. Operations in the lower abdomen have a higher chance of producing small bowel obstruction. Following rectal surgery, left colectomy, or total colectomy, there is an 1 1% chance of developing small bowel obstruction within 1 year, and this rate increases to 30% by 10 years. Adhesions also are a leading cause of secondary infertility in women and can cause substantial abdominal and pelvic pain. Adhesions account for 2% of all surgical admissions and 3% of all laparotomies in general surgery.
Which growth factor has been formulated and approved for treatment of diabetic foot ulcers?
At present, only platelet-derived growth factor BB (PDGF-BB) is currently approved by the FDA for treatment of diabetic foot ulcers. Application of recombinant human PDGF-BB in a gel suspension to these wounds increases the incidence of total healing and decreases healing time. Several other growth factors have been tested clinically and show some promise, but currently none are approved for use.
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