On the occasion of World Plastic Surgery Day on July 15, Karkataka got its first skin bank. The skin bank has been opened at the trauma block in the premises of Bengaluru's Victoria Hospital.
The skin bank will help patients get skin transplant, create awareness about plastic surgery and also assist in faster recovery. Additionally, it aims to educate and create awareness about skin donation.
Currently, Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai are already equipped with skin banks.
The skin bank team harvests the skin from the thighs of the deceased person's body, within six hours of death. The procedure duration lasts for 30 to 40 minutes. The skin can be preserved for two to five years at zero degree temperature.
The harvested skin can enhance quality of life for those suffering with 50% to 60% burns.
The criteria for skin donation for skin grafting is the blood group of the recipient and donor needs not to be matched. Donor should be above 18 years of age.
"In the absence of a skin bank, we use the healthy skin of a burns patient, graft it and re-use it in plastic surgery. This leads to delay in recovery. The skin bank is a boon for patients as there is no blood group matching required in skin grafting. Anyone over 18 years can donate skin," says Dr Sunil Kumar, plastic surgeon, Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute (BMCRI).