Background: Yannas and Burke developed the concept of the dermal regeneration template in the 1970s. It is now a widely accepted tool in the treatment of burns as well as in reconstructive surgery.
Methods: The authors present a previously published study of Integra used in 20 consecutive patients to reconstruct 30 anatomical sites and then analyze the histologic and clinical outcomes. Wound healing was evaluated by examination of weekly punch biopsy specimens with standard and immunohistochemical stains. Patient satisfaction was assessed using a visual analogue scale, and scar appearance was assessed using a modified Vancouver Scar Scale.
Results: Four distinct phases of dermal regeneration could be demonstrated histologically: imbibition, fibroblast migration, neovascularization, and remodeling and maturation. Full vascularization of the neodermis occurred at 4 weeks. Patients reported increased range of movement and improvement in appearance compared with their preoperative states.
Conclusions: The color of the matrix reflected the stage of neodermal vascularization. No adnexa, nerve endings, or elastic fibers were seen in any of the specimens. The new collagen was histologically indistinguishable from normal dermal collagen. The authors also present their current protocol and experience with using Integra for a range of reconstructive procedures.