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Skin Cuts

Laceration repair mends a tear in the skin or other tissue. The four goals of laceration repair are to stop bleeding, prevent infection, preserve function, and restore appearance.
The laceration is cleaned by removing any foreign material or debris. Removing foreign objects from penetrating wounds can sometimes cause bleeding, so this type of wound must be cleaned very carefully. The wound is then irrigated with saline solution and a disinfectant.

Once the wound has been cleansed, the plastic surgeon anesthetizes the area of the repair. Most lacerations are anesthetized by local injection of lidocaine, into the wound edges.

The plastic surgeon may trim edges or remove tissue that is too damaged to prevent infection. If the laceration is deep, several absorbable stitches (sutures) are placed in the tissue under the skin to help bring the tissue layers together. Suturing also helps eliminate any pockets where tissue fluid or blood can accumulate. The skin wound is closed with sutures. Suture material used on the surface of a wound is usually non-absorbable and will have to be removed later.

The face has several unique properties that dictate the choice of treatment after injury. Although most people do not want an unsightly scar anywhere on the body, they are especially concerned about scars on their face. Thus, primary closure, which usually results in the least noticeable scar, is the preferred treatment for most face cuts. Using special plastic surgery techniques and fine sutures is the most likely way to provide the optimum aesthetic and functional outcome. Under some circumstances special glues or tissue adhesives can be used for closing facial cuts, but there are no differences in aesthetic outcome compared with suture closure.
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