DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Tissue expanders. Inflated tissue expanders in the back of a 12-year-old boy with extensive scarring after third degree burns. Tissue expanders are used to stretch the skin prior to skin grafting. The expanders are surgically implanted under the skin and gradually inflated over several months, forcing the skin to stretch over a wider area. The spare skin is then cut out and grafted over another part of the body, in this case to cover scars caused by third degree burns. Severe burns cause permanent scars that can never be completely hidden. In children the scar tissue stretches and tears as the child grows, making continual medical attention necessary.
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