n1ghtshade666 (n1ghtshade666) wrote in little_details,

Skin graft question for fanfic

Hello - I really hope somebody here can help me. I have googled and wiki'd, but now my questions are too specific to be easily answered by either of these.

Character, male, is savaged by monster. The monster basically rips his chest and abdomen area to shreds – not deep enough to affect organs, but definitely doing away with the skin overall, and to some extent with muscle. I'm not sure it is an injury that could be survived by a normal person, but thankfully I don't have to worry about that.

Modern medical help is at hand fairly quickly. And this is where I get stuck. The character heals very fast, but apart from speed, his healing processes would be the same as for other people. I have mostly been looking up information about burns victims, since medical advice on monster-savaging is remarkably limited. I figured that burns might come closest since damage to large areas of skin would appear to be the main medical issue to be solved. If that's wrong, I'd be grateful if somebody more medically knowledgeable could correct me. That's really my first question. Am I looking at the right stuff? (I know that abridement would probably not be necessary.)

Anyway. Info found indicates that skin grafts would be called for; probably some sheet grafts but mostly meshed grafts since the area is so large. Next question: when would these things be applied? As I said, the musculature below is pretty torn up, too. Does that matter? Would the medics have to wait until some healing has taken place there, or would covering it up with skin actually help the healing? But what would the grafts be fixed to?

There's also the question of what else is involved; what needs to be treated apart from the obvious trauma. Blood loss, clearly. What else? I really have no idea.

Final question: scarring. I was picturing a kind of patchwork. Info says that meshed grafts scar more than sheet grafts (presumably in the spaces between the original donor skin?). What would that look like? I only found two pictures online and only one of them gave me a halfway decent impression – it looked sort of striped (not like patchwork, but stripes of two different colours, presumably one colour for the grafted skin and one for the new skin/scars(?) in between). – Oh, and what about nipples? Would that matter at all in rescue surgery or would any old skin do, and reconstructing the details would be a case for cosmetic surgery, take or leave?

Truly final question: is there anything I should be thinking of which I don't appear to be thinking of?

Any help will be appreciated.

Cross-posted to medical_geeks, so apologies if you see this twice.
Tags: ~medicine: injuries to order

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