Patrick Dillon is a very active man who is often in the beautiful San Juan Mountains near his SW Colorado home as a master nature photographer (as shown above). One unfortunate side effect of being outdoors at elevation with sun exposure is skin cancer risk, and one day this happened.
"When I received the disturbing news that my biopsy taken from the top of my head came back positive for Melanoma in Situ, I knew that a wide margin surgical procedure would be necessary to remove the potentially life-threatening cancer. I understood the importance and priority of the surgery but at the same time, I have a full head of hair and didn’t want a large bald spot atop my head so I started researching on the internet for a something that would help aid in a primary closure which would also help with the aesthetic outcome as well."
"After searching for many hours I finally came across this company called SUTUREGARD.com who claimed to have a medical device that would greatly aid in the primary closure* of large incisions by gently stretching the skin. I immediately contacted the company and found them to be very helpful. I referred my plastic surgeon to them and he said their product appeared doable and was willing to give it a try. He did use the product and after stretching my scalp skin gently for about 20 minutes, was able to close the wound simply in a straight line. He said he would have done a skin flap if we didn’t use the SUTUREGARD®."
"I am so glad I took the time to find this new product created by Dermatologists and a Plastic Surgeon because it worked wonders for my surgery allowing my doctor to perform a primary closure resulting in the successful removal of the Melanoma along with minimal hair loss. "
Note: primary closure is when the wound edges can be closed one to the other in a straight line, without need for a skin flap or a skin graft
"The first picture is at my first postop visit, the second picture is after healing when I part it to try and expose the incision, the last is months later... My hair was shaved a bit along the suture line but it’s coming back nicely even right inside the suture line, I’m very pleased."
"The primary closure aided by SUTUREGARD®, resulted in a less intensive surgery with only a local anesthesia needed resulting in a much quicker recovery time and healing then would be required with a skin flap or graft. "
"One more note about my surgery with SUTUREGARD®. Because my plastic surgeon was able to do a primary closure, this enabled him to not only remove the melanoma in situ, but he also directed the incision in order to use one of the dog ears to remove another dark colored patch that turned out to be actinic keratoses killing two birds with one stone… This also gave him the ability to use the good end of the other dog ear for a backup skin graft if needed. In my case he didn’t need to use this, but as a layperson, it appears to me that a primary closure has many valuable options in surgeries such as this, thus the importance of your product, SUTUREGARD®. "
"I would highly recommend this device to anyone requiring a similar procedure or any other procedure that requires a wide margin closure."
Patrick enjoyed a smooth recovery, returned to full activity and is carefully managing his sun exposure and getting regular followup with his dermatologist.
SUTUREGARD® ISR is a device that allows surgeons to quickly and safely stretch the skin. Many surgeons are not aware that with proper technique, human skin can be stretched up to 50% in 30 minutes. This allows many wounds to be closed simply in a straight line, often with a much shorter scar, under local anesthesia in the office, without the need for skin grafts or flaps.
See more of Patrick’s wonderful photography at PatrickDillonPhoto.com
Learn more about SUTUREGARD® Intraoperative Skin Relaxation Device: Click Here