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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 56-58

Reconstruction of scalp defects in electrical burns: Challenges and options

Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Andhra Medical College, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
P V Sudhakar
Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Andhra Medical College, Visakhapatnam - 530 002, Andhra Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jhnps.jhnps_63_20

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Introduction: Electrical burn injury in India comprises a fair percentage of overall burn injuries, and they cause significant morbidity. Reconstruction of scalp defects often poses challenges to the plastic surgeon regarding the timing of surgery, choice of reconstruction, and postoperative management. The objective of this article is to throw light on various options for reconstruction of scalp defects as the involvement leads to significant morbidity. Materials and Methods: The study was conducted at a tertiary burn care unit. The period of this study was from 2016 to 2019. Retrospective analysis was done. Results: In this study, retrospective analysis of 40 cases of scalp burns was evaluated from 2016 to 2019. Out of these, 6 patients were managed with primary suturing, 8 patients underwent split-thickness skin graft, 24 patients required local flaps, and 2 patients were managed with extracorporeal radial forearm flap. There were no major complications. Minor complications like wound infection were seen in five of the local flap patients which were managed with antibiotics and regular dressing. Two patients had partial flap loss which was revised and managed conservatively. All flaps healed well. There was hair loss patch evident in patients where split-thickness graft was used. Conclusion: Thorough debridement of the wound is necessary in electrical burns. Smaller scalp wounds can be managed with split-thickness skin graft and local flaps, but larger defects should be managed with distant flaps and free flaps. This study shows that local flaps are the ideal choice for reconstruction of scalp defects due to their easy availability, minimal complications, and acceptable cosmesis.

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